4th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
4th (County Fermanagh) Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment
UDR Insignia
Regimental Insignia
Active 1970–1992
Country  United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Infantry battalion
Role Internal Security
Size 750
Motto "Quis Separabit" (Latin)
"Who Shall Separate Us?"
March (Quick) Garryowen & Sprig of Shillelagh.
(Slow) Oft in the Stilly Night
Commanders
Colonel Commandant

First: General Sir John Anderson GBE, KCB, DSO.

Last: General Sir Charles Huxtable, KCB, CBE, DL
Colonel of the Regiment Colonel Sir Dennis Faulkner CBE

4th (County Fermanagh) Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment (4 UDR) was formed in 1970 as part of the 7 original battalions specified in The Ulster Defence Regiment Act 1969, which received Royal Assent on 18 December 1969[1] and was brought into force on 1 January 1970.[2][3] It was amalgamated with the 6th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment in 1992 to form the 4th/6th Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment.

History[edit]

Along with the other 6 original battalions, 4 UDR commenced operational duties on 1 April 1970.

The first training Major (TISO) was Major KW Battison Royal Welsh Fusiliers.[4] Part of his job was to find accommodation for the various companies of the new battalion. Where possible accommodation was sought in army bases although the old Ulster Special Constabulary platoon huts were vacant and available. To have used those would have attracted criticism from those who were already claiming that the UDR was the B Specials under a new name.[4]

The battalion was initially based in the ladies rest room of the territorial army centre in Enniskillen but was moved to Grosvenor Barracks, Coleshill, Enniskillen where a new "hardened" barracks was eventually built, partially underground, to withstand mortar attack. The modified barracks was opened by the Duke of Westminster in 1991 [5] (Grosvenor being the family name of the Duke. He has long standing family and military connections with the area).

Most patrols from of Grosvenor Barracks went out by helicopter or boat. Because of the danger of ambush vehicles were only used in the urban area around Enniskillen. The county is surrounded on three sides by the Republic of Ireland. Boat patrols were common as the county contains upper and lower Lough Erne.[6] The battalion performed this task when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made her last visit to the area just several days before her resignation.

Uniform, armament & equipment[edit]

See: Ulster Defence Regiment Uniform, armament & equipment

Greenfinches[edit]

See also: Women's UDR

Intimidation[edit]

Protestant and Catholic soldiers were both intimidated out of the regiment.[7] Following the introduction of internment however more Catholic soldiers found themselves the subject of intimidation from within their own community.[7] In Enniskillen one member of the conrate guard was Catholic. Some of his neighbours came to his home in the early hours of the morning and beat him as well as scrubbing his face with a hard brush. He was a frail man but was beaten black and blue and his face badly damaged by the brush. He resigned from the battalion the next day.[8]

Casualties[edit]

  • On 1 March 1971, 43 year old Thomas Fletcher (A Company) was abducted from his home at Frevagh near Garrison, County Fermanagh and killed a short distance away with 22 shots being fired into him, witnessed by his wife.[9] Within five days of this other soldiers of the 4th Battalion who lived in the Garrison area and had been threatened by the IRA, abandoned their homes and farms near the border.[9]
  • On 3 September 1971, Private Frank Veitch, aged 23, (B Company) a farmer, was on duty outside Kinawley police station. He was killed by five shots fired from a passing car. He was the first soldier from the 4th Battalion to be killed and the second from the regiment to be killed in action.[10]
  • Private Tommy. R. Bullock Age 53 (C. Company), 21 September 1972. He and his Wife were shot at home as they watched TV by the IRA. Mrs Bullock was shot dead at the front porch, The gunmen stepped over her body and went inside to kill her husband.[11]

Notable personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44996. p. 129747. 29 December 1969. Retrieved 5 March 2009.
  2. ^ Statutory Instrument, 1969 No. 1860 (C. 58), The Ulster Defence Regiment Act 1969 (Commencement) Order 1969
  3. ^ The New Law Journal, Volume 120, Part 1
  4. ^ a b Potter p27
  5. ^ Potter p345
  6. ^ Ryder p191
  7. ^ a b Potter p58
  8. ^ Potter p59
  9. ^ a b Ryder p55
  10. ^ Palace Barracks Memorial Garden - Northern Ireland, Falklands Islands, Felix Memorial Garden
  11. ^ Ryder p56