"Visor"," Soldier", "Defence", "Checkpoint", and a variety of other titles!

Discussion in 'Old & Bold' started by Punch, May 23, 2011.

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  1. I had occasion to climb into my loft today in search of something totally unrelated to this subject.

    I found some boxes - unopened since leaving Northern Ireland some years ago.
    I had saved copies of some of the earliest general "sitreps" issued by the Security Forces in Northern Ireland - and completely forgotten about them!
    Most are Army, some are Police and a few are "others".
    The earliest newsheet is simply entitled "Weekly Report" and is either of one A4 page printed both sides, or A3 folded and with some cartoons (and a few pictures of "girls"). These begin in late 1972 and are, in many cases, (particularly with the cartoons), gloriously politically incorrect. There are names of Army (incl UDR) and police personnel who have been injured, with little consideration to Persec.

    This version seems to have evolved into "Visor". I have many of those

    Some narratives are sad, others are funny (it is obvious the Editor was maintaining an upbeat line), and there are references to many units and their achievements.

    One story tells of an attempt at civil disturbance by the ladies of Armagh. They hijacked a cattle trailer and freed the animals it carried, thereby having RUC and Army running around all night like demented cowboys!

    The early "Soldier" magazines are more sober and quite formal. The "Defence" (UDR), and "Checkpoint" magazines, which are mainly in standard tabloid format, have in those early years a naivety which disappears in the later years. There are also some copies of "The Green Hackle" among them.

    I am currently reading through these, and reliving those years, sad and happy by turns, happy that I was privileged to number so many great people as my friends, sad that so many are no longer with us.
  2. HHH

    HHH LE

    That brings back memories, my first job after leaving school was working in AIS in HQNI. Unbelievable place for a 16yr old to "learn" about life.
  3. Do you have a scanner?

    If so, be a good chap and do the obvious.
  4. Visor was good, used to like reading it,Soldier was very stiff upper lip, go on,you know you want to photocopy the Visors :)
  5. Yes I have a scanner. However I have lots of magazines (and I don't think I've found them all yet), so I don't know what I should reproduce (if I even can - never done it before so not sure how successful could be). The earlier ones have lots of names ranks and locations, and references to the incidents concerning them. I'm not sure I should post too much of that.

    Working on it.
  6. Perhaps some kind person could PM me with assistance on copying extracts on to here?

    In the meantime;- (From "Weekly Report" Issue 30 dated 1-7 Oct 1973,

    "Arms and explosives finds"

    "A bumper crop of finds this week included 7 rifles, 1x SMG (plus 2 realistic looking imitations), 2 x M1 Carbines, 1 x shotgun, 4 x pistols, 10 mortars (plus 26 tubes), 2 x Zip guns, 3061 live assorted rounds, 10 x magazines, 3 grenades, 1 x mortar bomb, 700 lbs of explosive,2 x incendiary devices,2 x pipe bombs, 230 ft Cordtex, 18 ft safety fuse, 21 detonators, 2 micro switches, 1 x telescopic sight, electric circuit testing equipment, 1 x gas gun with two gas cylinders and 186 slugs, clocks, batteries and coils of wire, 1 x crossbow and a number of empty cases."

    "Items of a less explosive nature included 6 x NCB uniforms, 1 x combat jacket, 1 x face veil, 1 cap comforter, 1 x duplicating machine and copies of a "news sheet", sundry literature, and an instruction book on firing mechanisms."

    There is something tongue in cheek about that report - did you write it HHH? - that makes it quite amusing.

    Quite a complicated training programme would have been needed to cope with all this! No bolts for the crossbow however - someone on a charge there!
    Did it really mean NBC or were there some terrorist inclined ex-miners (National Coal Board) who aspired to be specialist tunnelling engineers?

    Strange times indeed.

    There are quite a few interesting cartoons, many copied on ARRSE as "original". Bored soldiers of all ranks produced some great cartoons, some of which are classics. (Seamus, confronted by an AVRE on OP Motorman, "Jaysus Paddy, run! It's the biggest rubber bullet gun in the whole world!")
  7. HHH

    HHH LE

    Unfortunately I had no input into the writing of the Visor, I did however have imput into licking the envelopes, that copies of it got sent out in! Or if I had been really good they let me put a copy into the GOC's pigeon hole.
  8. A little snippet from Issue 41 of the WEEKLY REPORT of Dec 1973

    An escape attempt by four well known detainees was foiled on Christmas Eve. They were dressed in para-military uniforms with civilian clothes sewn into the lining of their jackets. They had cut a hole in the compound wire.
    They were all of Belfast; Gerry Adams, T Nolan, M F Mooney, and M T O'Rawe. They are again now safely under lock and key.

    During routine searches of the Maze compounds over 74 gallons of illicit fermenting liquor (booze) was found over Christmas. (Unquote)

    These " Weekly Reports" have no security grading and (when looked at from this distance in time) seem to have been intended both as a boost for the Security Forces and as a form of psych ops aimed at the terrorists (no doubt they would have had access to copies). However names and units are used rather more freely than was perhaps wise. We were all in a learning curve then.

    The cartoons are often hilarious.
    One pictures an effeminate young man in somewhat flamboyant dress and and the pose of someone of a certain sexual inclination addressing a large but confused looking squaddie. "Helloo! Would you like to search me then!".

    I don't think this would be permitted today?

    Another is a split illustration of a miserable looking patrol up to their armpits in water on a wet night as they receive instructions from a Watchkeeper with his feet on the desk, his mug of coffee in hand, in a warm Ops Room.
    Familiar anyone?