British Army fatal casualties--Ulster troubles, 1969-1998.Introduction
With the easing of tensions in Northern Ireland Northern Ireland: see Ireland, Northern.
Part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland occupying the northeastern portion of the island of Ireland. Area: 5,461 sq mi (14,144 sq km). Population (2001): 1,685,267. in recent years, it is timely to examine the cost borne by the British Army The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. It came into being with unification of the governments and armed forces of England and Scotland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. during the Ulster troubles from 1969-1998.
The Troubles in Northern Ireland can be traced back to the 16th Century, but Cromwell's invasion of Ireland in 1649, and his ruthless suppression of Roman Catholics, and the creation of a strong Protestant enclave in what became Ulster, led to much political agitation over the coming centuries. The 1801 Act of Union (Ireland) united the Parliaments of Ireland This is a list of Parliaments of Ireland to 1801. For subsequent Parliaments, see the list of Parliaments of the United Kingdom. For post-1918 Parliaments, see elections in Ireland. Parliaments before 1264 are not currently listed. and Great Britain Great Britain, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutional monarchy (2005 est. pop. 60,441,000), 94,226 sq mi (244,044 sq km), on the British Isles, off W Europe. The country is often referred to simply as Britain. , an unpopular move with the southern counties. The formation of the Sinn Fein Sinn Fein
An Irish political and cultural society founded about 1905 to promote political and economic independence from England, unification of Ireland, and a renewal of Irish culture. in 1907, and its complementary paramilitary par·a·mil·i·tar·y
Of, relating to, or being a group of civilians organized in a military fashion, especially to operate in place of or assist regular army troops.
n. pl. wing--the Irish Republican Army Irish Republican Army (IRA), nationalist organization devoted to the integration of Ireland as a complete and independent unit. Organized by Michael Collins from remnants of rebel units dispersed after the Easter Rebellion in 1916 (see Ireland), it was composed of (IRA Ira, in the Bible
Ira (ī`rə), in the Bible.
1 Chief officer of David.
3 Two of David's guard.
IRA. ), aimed to break ties with Great Britain and declare Ireland a republic. The Easter Rebellion Easter Rebellion: see Ireland. of 1916, and the subsequent terror campaign against the Royal Irish Constabulary The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) (Irish: Constáblacht Ríoga na hÉireann) was one of Ireland's two police forces in the early twentieth century, alongside the Dublin Metropolitan Police. and its 'Black and Tan' reservists, led to the Anglo--Irish Treaty of December 1921, which saw the formation of the Irish Free State Irish Free State: see Ireland; Ireland, Republic of , a self governing Irish Dominion still tied to the British Crown. A
bloody civil war erupted in 1922 over the provision that six, mainly Protestant, counties of Ulster remained part of Britain.
In 1948, the Irish Free State declared itself a republic, and a year later, Westminster passed the Ireland Act which confirmed the constitutional position of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. In 1956, the IRA launched a bombing campaign which lasted until 1962. Nor was the violence one sided. Protestants formed Loyalist loyalist
American colonist loyal to Britain in the American Revolution. About one-third of American colonists were loyalists, including officeholders who served the British crown, large landholders, wealthy merchants, Anglican clergy and their parishioners, and Quakers. volunteer units to combat what they saw as fresh attempts by the IRA and Sinn Fein to drag Ulster into the Irish Republic. By mid-1968, the street violence had increased to such a level, that Harold Wilson
In August 1969, the British Army deployed units to northern Ireland or Ulster as it is often known, in response to widespread rioting which was beyond the capacity of the Royal Ulster Constabulary The Royal Ulster Constabulary GC (RUC) (Irish: Constáblacht Ríoga Ulaidh) was the police force in Northern Ireland from 1922 to 2001. It was founded on 1 June 1922 out of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). (RUC RUC Royal Ulster Constabulary: a former name for the Police Service of Northern Ireland
RUC n abbr (= Royal Ulster Constabulary) → fuerza de policía en Irlanda del Norte
RUC (Brit , which was formed in 1922) to contain. The first British Army units sent to Ulster included the 1st Battalion, The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the King's Division. It was created in 1958 by the amalgamation of The West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) (14th Foot) and The East Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of York's , the 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Wales The Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot) was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales' Division. It was formed in 1969 by the amalgamation of two other regiments:
The regiment was formed on 31 December 1966 by the amalgamation of the four remaining regiments of the Home Counties Brigade as a consequence of further defence cuts being implemented. . On October 1969, the local B Special Constabulary The Special Constabulary is the part-time volunteer section of a statutory police force in the United Kingdom or some Crown dependencies. Its officers are known as Special Constables or informally as Specials. which had been formed years earlier as a part-time reserve of Protestants capable of assisting the RUC when needed, was disbanded, and replaced by a new regular/part-time force-the Ulster Defence Regiment The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was an infantry regiment of the British Army. It was a locally raised, part time and full time unit, intended to carry out security duties within Northern Ireland. (UDR UDR n abbr (BRIT) (= Ulster Defence Regiment) → fuerza de seguridad de Irlanda del Norte
UDR (Brit) n abbr (= Ulster Defence Regiment) → ) which would be part of the British Army. Over the next thirty years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time British Army maintained a presence in Ulster, and although a fragile peace agreement was reached in 1998, the refusal of the IRA to destroy its many weapons dumps leaves open the option to revert to violence at some future date. With this threat in mind, the British Army, albeit diminished in numbers in numbered parts; as, a book published in numbers.
See also: Number , remains in Ulster, but leaves policing of the streets to the local Ulster security forces.
A Long And Costly Campaign
An analysis of the 719 British Army deaths resulting from the so-called Troubles in Northern Ireland during the period from 1969-1998, provides a powerful insight into how a terrorist enemy operates, and the enormous difficulties that face any army charged with enforcing the peace within a civilian community suffering from divided political loyalties as is stiff the case in Ulster.
Casualties by units
Units of the British Army which suffered fatal casualties, are listed along with the number of Officers and Other Ranks killed, and the average age of the casualties. The average age of fatalities in cavalry units was 26.4 years, and in infantry units (including the Parachute Regt)--23.8, as against only 22.5 years in the Guards Brigade. The average age in corps units was as expected, somewhat higher at 26.6 years, whilst the Ulster Defence Regiment had an average age of 35.6 years, due to the fact that the unit included many part-time soldiers who were usually older than their counterparts in a Regular Army battalion.
Average Officers ORs age Cavalry Regiments The Life Guards 1 26 The Blues and Royals 1 6 24.2 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards 1 35 The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards 1 19 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards 1 24 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards 1 25 16th/5th The Queen's Royal Lancers 1 1 21.5 The 9th/12th Royal Lancers 3 26 The Royal Hussars 1 35 14th/20th King's Hussars 1 3 30.7 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars 1 22 17th/21st Lancers 2 28.5 Royal Armoured Corps 3 23.3 Royal Regiment of Artillery 3 53 23.4 Corps of Royal Engineers 2 9 28.5 Royal Corps of Signals 15 24.1 Regiments of Foot Guards Grenadier Guards 2 4 23.1 Coldstream Guards 1 6 23 Guards 14 22.2 Irish Guards 1 21 Welsh Guards 3 23.3 Line Regiments of Infantry The Royal Scots 4 23.5 The Queen's Regiment 9 22.3 The King's Own Royal Border Regiment 5 23.4 The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 1 22 25.3 The King's Regiment 15 21.6 The Royal Anglian Regiment 2 16 23.1 The Devonshire & Dorset Regiment 6 24.1 The Light Infantry 25 20.7 The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire 2 23.5 The Green Howards 1 8 25.3 The Royal Highland Fusiliers 5 21.4 The Cheshire Regiment 9 22.3 The Royal Welsh Fusiliers 1 5 23 The Royal Regiment of Wales 7 23.2 The King's Own Scottish Borderers 5 25.4 The Gloucestershire Regiment 5 21.2 The Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire & Wiltshire Regiment 1 29 The Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters 4 23.2 The Queen's Lancashire Regiment 7 20.8 The Duke of Wellington's Regiment 1 5 22.3 The Royal Hampshire Regiment 3 21 The Staffordshire Regiment 1 3 24.2 The Black Watch 2 20 The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment 6 25.3 Queen's Own Highlanders 1 3 28 The Gordon Highlanders 5 30.4 The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders 2 4 29.8 The Parachute Regiment 3 39 23.8 The Royal Green Jackets 2 30 24.2 Royal Army Chaplains Department 1 38 Royal Logistic Corps 1 25 Royal Corps of Transport 12 23.5 Royal Army Medical Corps 1 33 Royal Army Ordnance Corps 6 16 28.9 Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 7 27 Corps of Royal Military Police 4 28.7 Royal Army Pay Corps 1 18 Royal Army Veterinary Corps 1 34 Royal Army Dental Corps 1 25 Royal Pioneer Corps 3 22 Intelligence Corps 1 27 Army Physical Training Corps 1 31 Army Catering Corps 3 19.3 Women's Royal Army Corps 2 18.5 Territorial Army 2 7 32.6 Ulster Defence Regiments (1) 18 180 35.6 Royal Irish Rangers 1 2 32 Royal Irish Regiment 7 32.7 Royal Navy 1 45 Royal Marines 23 25.2 Royal Air Force 4 24.2 Fatal casualties murder 157 booby-trap devices 97 gun-fire and attack on foot patrol 51 sniper fire 40 abduction and murder 19 ambush of foot patrol 14 foot patrol under machine-gun fire 7 attack on a border post 5 undercover intelligence operations 5 mortar attack 3 helicopter under fire 1 bomb attacks 140 mobile patrol was shot at 63 land-mines 49 sniper engaging a foot patrol 28 detonation of explosive device 15 'friendly fire' (includes 2 shot by RUC). 8 soldiers on guard duty shot by snipers 6 para-military Loyalist attacks 5 rocket attack 3 civilian attack on foot patrol 2 APC crushed soldier 1 TOTAL--719 Fatal Casualties.
Casualties by rank:
A total of 55 officers were killed: Colonels--2; lieutenant-colonels--3; majors--15; captains--18; chaplain--1 ; lieutenants 7; 2nd lieutenants--9.
Other ranks killed were: Warrant officers--17; staff sergeants--13; colour sergeants colour sergeant
a sergeant who carries the regimental, battalion, or national colours 7; sergeants--52; corporate 93; lance corporals--97; privates--375.
Approximately 2000 civilians and 296 members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary were killed. There were 7,000 wounded or injured. Five female soldiers were killed (0.6%), two from the Women's Royal Army Corps The Women's Royal Army Corps (WRAC; sometimes pronounced acronymically as IPA: /ˈræk/, a term unpopular with its members) was the corps to which all women in the British Army except medical, dental and veterinary and three from the Ulster Defence Regiment.
How Casualties Occurred
The long drawn out conflict in Ulster lent itself to terrorist activity by the IRA, and on occasions by the Protestant Loyalist groups, many of the casualties occurred in the built-up areas built-up area n → bebautes Gebiet nt
built-up area n → abitato of Belfast and other Ulster towns, but also on country roads. Being able to choose targets and operate with impunity IMPUNITY. Not being punished for a crime or misdemeanor committed. The impunity of crimes is one of the most prolific sources whence they arise. lmpunitas continuum affectum tribuit delinquenti. 4 Co. 45, a; 5 Co. 109, a. in some localities due to the level of local support, meant that the IRA had an advantage over the British Army, which could only be diminished by sound tactics, good training, military intelligence and co-operation with the RUC. As the terror campaign continued, the IRA through a series of bombings which inflicted heavy casualties an the civilian population, found that the level of public support had significantly diminished, and found itself marginalised and forced to seek a political rather than a violent solution. Having resisted the terror campaign without resorting to massive reprisal reprisal, in international law, the forcible taking, in time of peace, by one country of the property or territory belonging to another country or to the citizens of the other country, to be held as a pledge or as redress in order to satisfy a claim. attacks, the British Army made a valuable contribution to the reduced level of violence that prevailed in Ulster to the late 1990s, and enabled discussions to be held which led to a form of peace not seen in Ulster for generations. The following list shows the various methods used by a terrorist body such as the IRA, and highlights the enormous difficulties faced by the British Army in dealing with such an enemy. Some 176 members of the British Army were murdered by the IRA (24.4% of all fatalities), many of whom were part-time members of the UDR who were killed on their way to and from work. Casualties which resulted from a direct operational contact with the enemy only accounted for 26.2% of the total, as most casualties were caused by bombs, land-mines and booby-trap devices operated from a safe distance. These figures do not include the many soldiers who were wounded in the course of their duties.
In his book of The British Army in Ulster, Colonel Dewar (2) observed that the British Army 'has maintained a remarkable degree of restraint, often despite extreme provocation'. The above statistics illustrate the tragic cost sustained by the British Army in attempting to maintain order during its long campaign in Ulster, and should provide a salutary sal·u·tar·y
Favorable to health; wholesome.
salutary Healthy, beneficial lesson to any future Government wishing to commit its Regular Army to deal with a terrorist enemy operating in a mainly urban environment.
(1) The Ulster Defence Regiment and the Royal Irish Rangers were on 1 July 1992, merged into a new unit--The Royal Irish Regiment Royal Irish Regiment may be either of two British Army regiments:
(2) M Dewar, The British Army in Northern Ireland, Arms & Armour, London 1996
* N Curtis, Faith and duty, Andre Deutsch, London 1998.
* J Potter, A testimony of courage, the History of the UDR, Leo Leo, in astronomy
Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Cooper, Barnsley, 2001.
* J Rennie, The Operators, Century, London 1996.
* P Taylor, Brits, The war against the IRA, Bloomsbury, London 2001.