When was Saracen last used in Ulster ?

#1
Guys, can anybody tell me when the last Saracen was taken out of service in Northern Ireland? I know they were still in use as late as 1989 or so but can anybody give a definitive date? On a more specific note does any body recall if Saracens were still in use in Ballykelly in the early 1990's? If not were any other similar vehicels in use there, I'm thinking Saxon perhaps? this is all just to settle an argument I'm havig on another site BTW. Thanks.
 
#3
seanbean said:
And I thought the Ottoman Empire disappeared centuries ago...
Sorry I took so long to reply, I was waiting for my ribs to stop hurting.
 
#5
I think the last one left NI in about 1984 - it was the water cannon version. I could be wrong about the last one in NI but it was certainly the last one in Londonderry.
 
#6
Yep, that would be the SWD (special water dispenser) versions used by 321 EOD Coy RAOC (as was). When I get the chance I'll check the old team photos - which should tell when they were last on the teams - within a few months or so.
 
#7
Dunno, but the first one I saw was at the Whiterock Junction in July 1970- painted sand yellow, having been diverted to Ulster from God-knows where. The Belfast Telegraph immediately identified it as a 'tank'! :roll:

Funnily enough, as the marching-cum-riot season kicked off, we were Bde Reserve at Sunnyside (a misnomer if ever there was one) and we ended up briefly attached to the D&Ds, whose helmets were also painted sand yellow.

Apparently they had been due to go wherever it was the Sarricans were supposed to be going and they weren't best pleased to find themselves in the Windy City! :D :D :D
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#8
Still used as Starlight in 83 in West Belfast!
 
#13
Fred_Cat said:
Pigs were still knocking around very early nineties - in the reserve role at the least.
We used pigs in 91 and they weren't reserve. Used all the time out of NHSM, Last Saracen (Amby) I saw was at XMG in 87.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#14
We had Pigs with the ferret turret and .30 in XMG late 87 and 88. " ifI recall as I used to sleep on a camp bed in the vehicle hangar, the one with all the mortar frag holes in!
 
#15
Off topic a bit,sorry but did the can have the same engine as the stally? I am pretty certain it did but if any one knows for sure it would be appreciatted
 
#16
Oracle said:
I think the last one left NI in about 1984 - it was the water cannon version. I could be wrong about the last one in NI but it was certainly the last one in Londonderry.
Yes i remember one of these being based in fort George in londonderrey in 84, i think ATO used the Water Cannon to disrupt suspect devices as it never deployed with us on PO. I never saw any on latter tours in other areas.In West Belfast in 88 was Pigs (with Top Cover hatches unlike the ones we had in londonderry). Dident seve in the province againe untill 2003(Stab on S Type) and by then it was all Saxon.
 
#17
I was a very foolish young subby at Kinnegar in 1985/86 and used to tag along when the Vehicle Depot moved military vehicles in and out of NI - in convoys from the vehicle depot at Kinnegar to the ferry at Larne. I recall being the "vehicle commander" of what I was told was the last standard Sarrie to leave the province. Mind you, the VS's from the depot usually wound me up with all sorts of bollox that I believed. But anyway my guess is that that was some time in the first half of 1986. I was therefore on the last standard sarrie in the province. Not much of a claim to fame I admit. I probably looked a right tw*t with my gormeless head stuck out of the top.
 

diplomat

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#18
I seem to remember Sarrie Ambulances in belfast in 1989/1990, but there again my memory is not what it used to be.
 
#19
RHODESIAN said:
Off topic a bit,sorry but did the can have the same engine as the stally? I am pretty certain it did but if any one knows for sure it would be appreciatted
Correct. Rolls Royce B80 petrol straight eight. Saracen, saladin, salamander and stalwart all had the same basic chassis, although in various engine & transmission configurations.
 
#20
I drove the 6th Operational Saxon to hit the streets of Belfast on Op Banner in March 93. We were the first Sqn to get them. Still prefered Pigs though.........
 

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