Troop deaths in Ulster 'higher than thought'

#1
The number of British soldiers who died during the Northern Ireland conflict is substantially higher than previously thought with more than 1,000 dead, it can be disclosed for the first time.

An unacknowledged cost of the conflict has been the estimated 100 soldiers who committed suicide during tours or soon afterwards and a similar number who died in accidents.

The new figure, more than 30 per cent higher than the Ministry of Defence total of 763, emerged after research into a Government-backed proposal to erect a memorial to every soldier, sailor and airman who died during the Troubles.

The National Memorial Committee, aided by a £500,000 Government grant, has been formed to consult relatives of dead servicemen and regimental associations before unveiling a memorial plan by the Autumn.

While there are scores of individual monuments to soldiers murdered by IRA terrorists and an Ulster ash tree has been planted at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire for each soldier killed, there is no single memorial to the conflict.

One idea has been to build something similar to the Vietnam War memorial in Washington DC, a black granite wall which includes the name, rank, age and date of death of all 58,000 troops killed.

It might also recognise the single Royal Navy death and 10 RAF victims by carrying the tri-services emblem.

David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist Party leader, who was promised the money during talks with Tony Blair, said it would an appropriate for "the particular contribution the British military have made".

There will be a debate over siting the memorial. While Belfast enjoys relative peace, any tribute to the British military outside a barracks would inevitably be vandalised.

Many families would prefer a site on mainland Britain which was home to the majority of the dead.

They feel that placing it in London or somewhere in the Midlands would make it secure and accessible.

The official MoD figure of 763 servicemen who died as a result of terrorism includes serving and former members of the Ulster Defence Regiment. Of the 300,000 troops who served in Northern Ireland since 1969, 6,116 were wounded.

However, it may never be possible to find the exact number who died in service because the MoD said it did not have figures on suicides or accidents.

Research by The Telegraph has discovered that the number killed, including those known to have died in accidents or through suicides, is at least 852. This figure has been compiled mainly by former soldiers who run a memorial garden in Palace Barracks, outside Belfast, but they admit it does not include all deaths in service.

The Northern Ireland Veterans Association has calculated that at least 45 soldiers committed suicide since 1984 and estimate that 100 or more took their lives during the conflict. The final figure could exceed the 1,078 British dead from the Korean War.

Steven Jones, for Niva, said the high suicide rate could be blamed on the easy access to firearms and the stresses of an operational tour. "During my three tours I knew of at least five men who took their lives. There were also a lot of suicides when blokes got back from the tours.

"Soldiers were under a lot of pressure and there was no real recreation time. Also, the appropriate psychological training was not given before or after the tours."

The former Royals Signals soldier added that his organisation was "100 per cent" behind the memorial. "People in Britain need to be educated about the sacrifice made by soldiers who fell during the longest-running conflict for the British Army."

Ann Magee, whose husband Kevin, a former UDR soldier, was killed in the 1994 Mull of Kintyre helicopter crash, said: "A visual memory is something for future generations to remember all the sacrifices made otherwise they will be forgotten," she added.
So much for it being a policing action.

RIP all those that died on the fields and streets of NI[/quote]
 

Unknown_Quantity

War Hero
Moderator
#2
It's an excellent idea. Make sure that there is plenty of space at the bottom though, I don't think we're done there just yet.
 
#3
Good to hear they're acknowledging all who died as a direct result of the conflict.

One young gunner from my battery died in an RTA as he came home on R & R. His multiple had been on a 12 hour night shift, they came off the streets early in the morning, straight on a plane, stright in a hire car to drive home, fell asleep at the wheel, went down an embankment and hit a concrete culvert. He died, the passenger was wounded.

As much a victim of the troubles as anyone.
 
#4
Unknown_Quantity said:
It's an excellent idea. Make sure that there is plenty of space at the bottom though, I don't think we're done there just yet.
Unfortunately UQ, - I think you may be right :(
 
#5
Can you really see this government allowing such a thing without capitulating to IRA demands for something similar?
 
#6
Awol said:
Can you really see this government allowing such a thing without capitulating to IRA demands for something similar?
Sorry but didnt it say ...

The new figure, more than 30 per cent higher than the Ministry of Defence total of 763, emerged after research into a Government-backed proposal to erect a memorial to every soldier, sailor and airman who died during the Troubles.

The National Memorial Committee, aided by a £500,000 Government grant, has been formed to consult relatives of dead servicemen and regimental associations before unveiling a memorial plan by the Autumn.

David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist Party leader, who was promised the money during talks with Tony Blair, said it would an appropriate for "the particular contribution the British military have made".
This has nothing to do with normalisation or capitulating, It is about recognition of those who have fallen in service, It is long overdue.
:(
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#7
Awol said:
Can you really see this government allowing such a thing without capitulating to IRA demands for something similar?
Agreed-this Government will only agree if the spin machine can set up a nice photo op for B'Liar and that nice Mr Adams doesn't raise any objections (perhaps we can involve the Sinn Fein fund raising director, Mr Robin Banks!!)
 
#8
Where do they put it. If they stick it in the Emeral Toilet it will just be defaced and vandalised. Hyde Park me thinks.
 
#9
Birdie_Numnums said:
Where do they put it. If they stick it in the Emeral Toilet it will just be defaced and vandalised. Hyde Park me thinks.
And that will stop it being defaced and vandalised then?!
 

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