List of attacks on the Ulster Defence Regiment

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This page is a record of notable attacks by paramilitary organisations on Ulster Defence Regiment personnel during the Troubles resulting in two or more fatalities or notable firsts:

1971[edit]

  • 9 August - A patrol from 6 UDR's Strabane company come under fire from a Thompson submachine gun at a checkpoint near Clady Bridge border crossing, County Tyrone. Private Winston Donnell is killed instantly. He is the first UDR soldier to be killed in action.[1]
  • 8 December - The first UDR Catholic soldier to die, Private Sean Russell is shot dead in his home in New Barnsley, Belfast by the IRA.[2]

1972[edit]

  • 4 March - Captain Marcus McCausland formerly of D Coy 5 UDR is abducted and killed by the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA). He is the first officer who served with the UDR to be killed.[3]
  • 21 September - A member of C Coy, 4 UDR (and his wife) shot dead by the IRA as they watched TV at home.[4]

1973[edit]

  • 30 August - An eight man IRA team cross the border to kill a part-time UDR soldier. The soldier is able to get his Submachine gun and return fire. A 13 year old boy is wounded in the exchange of shots and a subsequent bomb destroys the garage where he worked and a nearby customs post. Another bomb explodes as bomb disposal officers try to defuse it and Staff Sergeant Ronald Beckett, a technician of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, was killed. The part-time UDR soldier receives the Military Medal for his part in the action.[citation needed]

1974[edit]

  • 19 January - The Company Commander of L Coy, 8 UDR is abducted from a hotel in the Republic of Ireland when he went to buys drinks at the bar, leaving his wife and two teenage daughters at dinner. His body was found in the north the following morning, shot through the head.
  • April - Major George Saunderson (Brevet Lt Col) until the previous year second in command of 4 UDR, is killed in the kitchen of a school by gunmen who then crash through a Garda checkpoint to escape into the Republic of Ireland.
  • 2 May - Attack at the Deanery base of C Coy, 6 UDR in Clogher. Opening fire using mortars then continuing with small arms and rockets the estimated 40 man IRA team [5] mounted a sustained attack lasting for 20 minutes against the small contingent in the base who reply with rifle fire. During the attack Female Private Eva Martin is hit by a rocket fragment. She is the first women UDR soldier to be killed. Sean O'Callaghan was later convicted of her murder after confessing.[5]
  • 28 October - A bomb attack at the joint 3 UDR and regular army barracks at Ballykinlar destroys the Sandes soldiers canteen on the base killing two members of the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment.

1991[edit]

  • A mobile patrol from the 2nd Battalion was the subject of the first recorded use of the Mk12 horizontal mortar [6] on 1 March 1991.[7] Two soldiers were killed as a result of the attack. The funeral of one of them, Private Paul Sutcliffe, an Englishman, was held in Barrowford, Lancashire - the only UDR funeral to be held outside Northern Ireland.[7] The second casualty, Private Roger Love, from Portadown died after three days. His kidneys were donated to the NHS.[7]
  • At 11:30 PM on the 31 May 1991 a truck loaded with 2,000 lb (1,100 kg) of a new type of home made explosive was rolled (driverless) down a hill at the rear of the barracks and crashed through the perimeter fence, coming to rest against a corner of the main building.[8][9] The blast left a deep crater[8] and it could be heard over 30 miles away, as far as Dundalk.[9] Three UDR soldiers – Paul Blakely (30), Robert Crozier (46), Sydney Hamilton (44) – were killed and ten were wounded.[9] Four civilians were also wounded.[9] The Provisional IRA claimed responsibility two days later.[9]

Sources[edit]

  • A Testimony to Courage - the Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment 1969 - 1992, Major John Furniss Potter, Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 2001, ISBN 0-85052-819-4
  • The Ulster Defence Regiment - An Instrument of Peace?, Chris Ryder, Methuen 1991, ISBN 0-413-64800-1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sutton Index 1971
  2. ^ A Testimony to Courage - the Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment 1969 - 1992, Major John Furniss Potter, Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 2001, ISBN 0-85052-819-4 (1971)
  3. ^ Sutton Index of Deaths - 1972
  4. ^ A Testimony to Courage - the Regimental History of the Ulster Defence Regiment 1969 - 1992, Major John Furniss Potter, Pen & Sword Books Ltd, 2001, ISBN 0-85052-819-4 (1972)
  5. ^ a b http://www.royal-irish.com/events/first-female-soldier-udr-pte-eva-martin-killed-ira-clogher
  6. ^ McKittrick p565
  7. ^ a b c Potter p350
  8. ^ a b Oppenheimer, A.R. (2009). IRA: The Bombs and the Bullets. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-7165-2895-1. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Whitney, Craig. "I.R.A. Says It Planted Truck Bomb That Killed 3". The New York Times, 2 June 1991.