soldiers who served in Northen Ireland

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by phillymoggs, Sep 10, 2007.

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  1. hello.

    stories needed for an up and coming book on soldiers who served in northan ireland.

    stories from 84/85 needed, and mid 90's- but all stories will be put forward.
    have a look at the website above

    ken_wharton @
  2. Ken, just a wee bit of constructive criticism if you don’t mind,
    Replying with my details and story to a throwaway hotmail addy, Hmm I don’t think so..

    And small grey type on a black background on your website, bit of a bugger for me , sorry gave up trying to read it , but I do like the concept., rather like the Forgotten Voices of the Falklands by Hugh Mc Manners

    Good luck

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Sounds like great idea but......I would probably get my collar felt by plod. If you want the rundown on a nosey copper who tried to stitch up The Army circa 85 ...ask him... he's selling window shutters on TV ...last I heard. :roll:
    • Like Like x 1
  4. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP



    DRUMMER!!?? :p

  5. 'fraid so. East or West which was best? Ooops! Nearly forgot Jungle in the North. :roll:
  6. Say nuthin! These things are best left in the past, Have a habit of coming back and shafting you. Still a lot of genuine and not so genuine victims looking for answers and excuses.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Dead on! There will be a load of pandrop sucking, moralising tw@ts whining about fairness, Yooman Rites etc ready to latch onto anything said and twist it out of context!
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Gents ken is genuine, an ex RGJ and I have contributed a little already, If anyone wants to see how the info will be treated then pm me and I'll cut and paste his work. I'm not concerned enough for anonymity but if you are then feel free to submit on the QT!
    If you dont tell our side of the story then in 20 or so years the politically correct will have whitewashed the murdering terrorists from history and it will all be about oppressed freedom fighters defending their homeland and winning at the Ballot Box!
    ah sod it here you go!
    Chapter Sixteen

    1983: A year of 410 bombings, 424 shootings and the deaths of 15 soldiers, 19 RUC officers, 37 civilians and 7 terrorists, including, for the first time in 3 years, a member of the Loyalists.

    In this year, William Doyle, a County Court judge, was shot dead by members of the IRA as he left mass at a Catholic church in south Belfast. The IRA also exploded a land mine in Tyrone killing four members of the Ulster Defence Regiment (This was the highest casualty rate suffered by the UDR in a single incident.)

    The week before Christmas, in this year, 40 year old lance Corporal Brown Mckeown, UDR, was shot dead in front of his son at Magherafelt.

    Macrory Park 1st May 1983

    Private Ugly, Light Infantry

    8 Platoon, Coy HQ, and an attached Support Platoon from the D&D in Ballykinler on Brigade reserve were deployed to Macrory Park police post. This was situated opposite the City Cemetery on the Whiterock Road wedged in amongst some back to back housing known as the Brittons. We had a round of patrolling for three days, Camp duties for 3 days which meant 8 hours rotating round stagging on in the Sangars and gate sentry, Red 1 section which was the crash team on 2 minutes notice to move. This meant you ate, drank and slept dressed with your INIBA (improved Northern Ireland Body Armour) on under your combat jacket for 8 hours at a time, you then rotated onto fatigues for 8 hours, which if at night meant you could get a couple of hours of sleep.

    The first task I had was with Red 1 so I expected a couple of uncomfortable hour’s kip. Not so; we were crashed to Fort Whiterock on the Springfield Road to get batteries for the watch keeper who was the Coy 2 I/C, and I thought this could be a real pain for the next two months! I remember doing Lurks in the City Cemetery where we would hide and watch for illegal activities, ‘G’ would use it as an opportunity to letch and generally perv’ at the underage drinkers, glue sniffers and shaggers getting up to no good. I was amazed that this was the first time I had stayed put in a graveyard after dark without being scared witless; I put this down to the SLR and 20 rounds of Ball I carried!

    Of the four of us in the team, only G and Rosie had been here before. We now occupied a TAOR (Tactical Area of Responsibility) with our Company that a Bn had covered the previous tour in 1978. I thought this is going to be hard work. Stagging on was seriously dull and not enlivened by the Coy2 I/C demanding that we record the vehicle details of every car that passed the camp. There were so many you couldn’t write a tenth of them down.

    There was one particularly nasty period when the Provisional IRA decided to shut the city down. They planted one bomb in a transit van and let it off. They also put another 8 hijacked vans around nearby to make the Bomb disposal guys’ lives harder. The patrols’ platoon ended up on a cordon for 16 hours including the fatigues and red 1 section. Only the Guard section was left in place and we staged on for 16 hours straight. I was so tired I can’t even remember if I stayed awake or not! That night we became patrols’ platoon and even the Platoon Cdr fell asleep giving a briefing. I remember walking along the Beechmounts and waking up around the corner on the floor having walked into a lamp post.

    ‘G’ did his best for us and when we stagged on into the small hours he would buzz our sangars on the intercom and give us a quiz, 10 questions on military subjects or the latest members of the top 60 players’ list. He would come around with a flask and check your answers; it gave you a lift and helped keep you awake. Most of the sangars were covered by CCTV and almost unnecessary; it was a real pity to spend a scorching hot summer with cam cream on whilst your mates were on the beach. After about a month they withdrew all the cam cream, which was made by Max Factor and apparently gave you skin cancer. It certainly gave you zits!

    The Unit chippy turned up to nail face veils over each sangar window. Occasionally the cooks, bottle washers and CQMS store men would do a stag so we could make up an additional patrol. The storeman was a complete pain and he used to put the window shutter grease around the eye pieces of the binoculars so you got a free pair of Panda eyes. How he was never filled in I’ll never know.

    The other Platoons were based at Fort Whiterock, Coy Cdr with another ops room, a rifle platoon doing Red 2 the 10 minute standby section, 1 section on Sangars and ops room runner and 1 section providing additional patrolling manpower. The RUC station at New Barnsley held 2 more platoons doing a similar role to Macrory Park but Covering the Springmartins, Corry’s wood yard and the lovely Ballymurphy estate. The tour started with 8 Platoon and the attached D&Ds at Macrory, 9 Platoon at Fort Whiterock and 7 Platoon and Recce Platoon at New Barnsley. After 2 months we were to rotate.

    Private Ugly Light Infantry

    The Murder of Geoff Curtis

    I was on Red 1 on the day after the 1983 elections and the results were starting to come in on Breakfast TV. I was asleep and was shaken awake to run into the back of the PIG. Red 1 consisted of a PIG and Piglet (Armoured Land Rover). We crashed out of the gates to the Bull Ring, the notorious central area of the Ballymurphy estate, and were briefed by ‘G’ on the way, “There has been an incident and Starlight has been called.” Starlight the unit medical officer was based in our camp and went round in a 6 wheeled Saracen. We had let him out of the gate in front of us!

    We bumped around for about 3 minutes and piled out at the scene of a bombing just as the RMO was covering the body of Geoff Curtis with a blanket. Geoff had been 3rd man in the 31L patrol call sign. The IRA were out to score a policeman or two on the day that Maggie won the election, a way of saying we haven’t gone away and we haven’t forgiven the Govt for the hunger strikers’ deaths. We must have been seconds behind the RMO yet there was nothing to be done. A few months earlier the INLA had tried to kill a policeman on patrol with a bomb, it went wrong and a local child was killed. The INLA were thrown out of the Divis flats where this occurred. The IRA didn’t want the same thing to happen.

    Geoff’s patrol had two policeman at the front and Second Lieutenant Will XXXX behind; Geoff then crossed the Bull ring and headed off up Glenalina road. There was a lamp post behind a brick wall and a command detonated IED was hidden here with the lamp post as an aiming mark. Sadly for Geoff the two policemen decided to talk to a very young child, and the IRA must have seen this from their firing point and held off. By the time it was safe for them to fire the patrol had moved and Geoff was level with the bomb. He was killed instantly and 2 others were wounded and his family and friends hurt beyond comprehension forever!

    Despite a vigorous follow up and several arrests, no one has ever been charged with his murder. About an hour later whilst I was still in the cordon I looked through a front window of a house to see myself debussing within 5 minutes of the blast. It turns out that the news crews were warned of an incident at The Ballymurphy yet none of them chose to warn us. I hate the press to this day!

    Private Geoff Curtis was 20 and was killed by the device – a 15lb bomb – and two other soldiers and the two RUC men were wounded. Curtis was from the Grimsby area and seconds before the device exploded, one of the RUC had actually shouted a warning to him. He was a very popular soldier with his many comrades in the Light Infantry.

    Trust me its very cathartic!
    • Informative Informative x 8
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  9. Seriously crap website! You are right WW, impossible to read.

  10. Spot on Ugly....

    I'm pissed off hearing about the negative side of our deployment in the province. Its an opportunity to put our story forward. I'm proud of my service there.....Fck em
    • Like Like x 2
  11. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Nice reccolection Ugly.Having never served in the Province but living here,I find it interesting reading about your experiences here.But one thing that is always on my mind is the sacrifice made by the Security Forces as well as the civillians on both sides.
    However,I care not for the dead P/IRA scum who callously & cowardly murdered & bombed in their 'quest' for ideoligy.May they rot in hell.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Well dont hang around, even funny stories get reviewed. It is very much a release!
  13. Only have stories from '81 and '86.
  14. At this stage he will still include all years...though time is running out.
  15. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Come on Sven, send them in anonymously and we'll try and guess which are from you!