Talk:Ulster Defence Regiment

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August 16, 2013 WikiProject A-class review Not approved
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A Class Review[edit]

The article requires specific points to be address to pass A Class. They are detailed here Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Ulster Defence Regiment. In spite of everything which is going on surrounding images I would be really pleased if other editors would have a look at the review and see if they can help get the article up to the correct standard. SonofSetanta (talk) 15:07, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

I have started the work recommended by User:AustralianRupert. In making these recommendations he has stressed that many of them are based on his own recommendations and that it would be pertinent to have some discussion about those changes here so if anyone feels I am doing something wrong please step in and either change the content or let me know your views. SonofSetanta (talk) 15:50, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Reader feedback: I CAN FIND NO MENTION OF LT ...[edit] posted this comment on 16 October 2012 (view all feedback).


Any thoughts?

Mo ainm~Talk 10:52, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

I've tried Google, nothing. Nothing in Ryder, Potter or Gamble. I e-mailed the UDR Association but they say they have nothing on Col Bowen although I think they mistook the enquiry for a request for a photograph so I have repeated it. If something is found though it would probably be best to post the answer on the page for 4 UDR as Bowen doesn't seem to be notable beyond the fact that he had command of 4 UDR in 1973.
What's your opinion on this article at the moment? Any suggestions? SonofSetanta (talk) 11:10, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

Re Ulster Defence Regiment categories[edit]

My object in remiving some categories from articles about individual battalions of the UDR is to have the main category Category:Ulster Defence Regiment in the category Category:Militias in Europe (but not Category:Militias as well) rather than having each individual battalion in the category, to the extent that about half of the category content was articles about UDR battalions! I am part-way through this. The same could apply to Category:Military history of Northern Ireland and other categories that the battalion articles are in; put the main category only in some of these categories. Likwise also Category:Defunct Irish regiments of the British Army as the UDR has now been amalgamated out of existence. PS: But does thus mean that every territorial regiment of the British Army should be regarded as “Militia”. Hugo999 (talk) 10:43, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

I see exactly where you're coming from but can I ask: why not the Category:Militias? Unlike in GB where the militias were disbanded in 1908 of the formation of the Territorial Force they actually continued in Northern Ireland under the dual naming convention of "Supplementary Reserve/Militia" until 1953, including the award of the Militia Efficiency Medal. So there's a much recent history of militia in Northern Ireland for a start. Right up to Options for Change you had 4 Royal Irish still using the title "North Irish Militia" and that was during the UDR's history. I wouldn't say that meant we had to treat the TA as milita because they were raised specifically as a reserve to the regular army which means they are regular forces. The UDR was raised through a specific act of parliament which specified they would only be required to serve in Northern Ireland - not with the colours. This type of contract became known as a "Home Service" or "Internal Security" engagement and in fact was duplicated in the formation of the Home Service Force raised in GB in the 1980's. The big difference there being that HSF units had parent regiments from the regular army which the UDR didn't have. So I think the UDR meets all the criteria to be known as a militia, or irregular force. I've seen similar comments by modern authors, even from John Furniss Potter who wrote the regimental history. SonofSetanta (talk) 11:00, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
BTW the UDR wasn't amalgamated out of existence. It was amalgamated yes, but the name was kept in the subtitle of the new RIR. There was a big difference there too however because although the RIR kept its 1st Battalion and two TA battalions they were unique in the army that they had 9 "Home Service" battalions as well which were whittled down as Op Banner started to wind up and then finally disbanded completely about 5 years aqo. Leaving the RIR like all other regiments with General Service and TA battalions only. SonofSetanta (talk) 11:04, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Re why Category:Militias in Europe not Category:Militias; “because its there” as someone said about Everest; ie if there is a regional category use it. But Category:Militias in Europe etc are not linked to any European military category (although it could be) so all the regions could be upmerged to Category:Militias as serving no purpose. PS: Shall I resume removing categories from the battalion articles now as there is no debate about that? Hugo999 (talk) 11:24, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes I would agree - I used the category Category:Militias in Europe because it was there. Is there a British (or Irish) militia category? Do you not think that leaving the Category:Militias on the battalion pages is maybe wiser? After all a reader who comes to a battalion page may not necessarily go to the parent article? Just playing devil's advocate is all. I think you probably know a lot more about categories than I do. SonofSetanta (talk) 11:31, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
No, I think having all the UDR Battalion articles and all the American (state) militia articles in the main overall category would lead to a huge category with other articles getting lost. In general articles should not be in both subcategories and the main category. With exceptions; eg films appear for the appropriate year category eg “1990 films” as well as subcategories by country/type etc. But this is as a finding aid to avoid having to look for a 1990 film in several subcategories, and I don’t think that is the case here. NB: No country category for United Kingdom militia (or for many countries). Hugo999 (talk) 02:03, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm going to bow to your superior knowledge Hugo. It's nitty gritty like this which will get the article raised to A Class. Thank you very much for taking the time to do the work and discuss it. SonofSetanta (talk) 10:41, 30 July 2013 (UTC)


Should 'fast boats' not come under 'transport'?Gavin Lisburn (talk) 11:36, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

Now why didn't I think of that? Probably because I'm still fannying about with the image gallery of weapons. I'm on my sandbox now trying to perfect my technique. Would you please do the honours? SonofSetanta (talk) 11:44, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Done Gavin Lisburn (talk) 00:44, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Loss of Catholic soldiers[edit]

There are a number of reasons why Catholic soldiers left the UDR. Yesterday I expanded and re-worded the "Loss of Catholic soldiers" section as it focused far too much on one of the reasons: IRA intimidation and pressure from the Catholic community. It hardly explained why the Catholic community became hostile to the British Army, it hardly touched on the fact that a great number resigned in protest at the actions of the British Army, and it didn't even mention that Catholic members reported being intimidated by Protestant fellow soldiers. I included all of this information to make the section more balanced and less POV. I supported everything with reliable sources, some of which were already being used in this section. Here is the before and after. However, User:SonofSetanta (who wrote the section in the first place) has reverted my edit completely, claiming that it "introduced POV". Can you please explain how POV was introduced? ~Asarlaí 13:43, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

We have an edit clash here. I've tidied it up. Could you read what I've written below please and then we can discuss how best our concerns can be addressed? SonofSetanta (talk) 14:05, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Hi Asarlai. Thanks for your edit. I have reverted you because I didn't feel it added anything of note to the information already there. This is the sort of thing I mean:

  • Catholics within the regiment also reported being intimidated by Protestant fellow soldiers.

Ryder pp45-46 doesn't support this so I have substituted it with this: Some Catholic soldiers felt uneasy at having to report for duty in former B Special drill huts and experienced subtle intimidation from their comrades

  • Other Catholics resigned in protest at what they saw as the Army's harsh and biased treatment of their community.

The section already clearly identifies the problem in softer terms, which is as per the manual of style (WP:MOS). Your comment, taken again from Ryder p46, is certainly true but in my opinion it's beyond what is needed. For a start it isn't about anything the UDR did and that's already covered in the statement Various events outside the control of the regiment such as: There are loads more factors which any of us could edit in but they won't make the message any stronger. Well, maybe they would, but this article isn't the one to emphasise such matters. With Internment, Bloody Sunday and the Falls Road Curfew already there I think a reader would certainly get the message by using the inline refs.

You have to bear in mind Asarlai that this article is an overview. It's already too long and I'm turning over ideas in my head on how to cut down on what's already there, maybe by creating a separate article for the "Women's UDR". If we edit in every single piece of info we have then the article will just become more overweight. I'm not trying to express WP:OWN but I am trying to preserve the article in near enough its present form for the good article review. The tasks set out at Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Ulster Defence Regiment have been done and really the only thing I believe we should be doing on this article now is tweaking, which I recognise you have tried to do. I hope you're happy with how I've compromised? SonofSetanta (talk) 14:02, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Having read your comments written during our edit clash and hoping you've read mine, could I ask what you feel still needs to be done? SonofSetanta (talk) 14:07, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
The section needs to be re-worded and re-structured. It's about the loss of Catholic soldiers from the regiment. Thus, it should start by saying how many Catholics were in the regiment to begin with and how many left. Then it should explain the reasons why they left, giving proper coverage to all of them. Currently it doesn't do this. It goes straight into blaming the IRA and Catholic community and only briefly mentions the other reasons in passing.
The statement "Catholics within the regiment also reported being intimidated by Protestant fellow soldiers" is clear, direct and fully supported by the source. You made the sentence less direct and then tacked it on to the end of the paragraf, as if it hardly mattered. What's wrong with being direct?
The statement "Other Catholics resigned in protest at what they saw as the Army's harsh and biased treatment of their community" is also clear, direct and fully supported by the sources. Again, you replaced this with a sentence that is less direct and less clear: "as a result of IRA pressure and disillusionment with the government's attitude towards the minority community over internment, 25% of Catholics in the regiment resigned". That doesn't make it clear that it's the soldiers who were disillusioned and that the resigned in protest. Again, what's wrong with being direct and saying exactly what happened?
You write that the loss of Catholic soldiers had nothing to do with the UDR and was a result of "events outside the control of the regiment". That's untrue. As we've just discussed, some Catholic soldiers left due to intimidation within the regiment itself. Furthermore, Ryder wrote that some Catholic soldiers were angered at how their comrades abused people at checkpoints and how most of their actions were directed against the Catholic community.
Also, the tone of the following sentence is utterly biased and it has no place in an encyclopedia: "Without the support of community leaders, shunned by their own community and with their lives under threat, the vast majority of Catholic UDR soldiers resigned or simply stopped turning up for duty". ~Asarlaí 17:30, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
"Catholic recruitment" clearly states the regiment was 18% Catholic in April 1970. We don't need to repeat that. That's just WP:MOS.
The section blames PIRA and the Catholic community because it was assassination by one and pressure from the other which caused the loss of most Catholic recruits. I could go into more detail, because I've got the detail, but it's overkill and would produce an article which wasn't balanced. You must try to understand however, no matter how unpleasant it is, that the campaign against UDR soldiers by PIRA and member of the Catholic community who were influenced by PIRA and Sinn Fein were the main reasons. The section is accurate when it says that various incidents cause the church and political parties to withdraw support and this is a factor, but it led to few Catholics leaving.
Very few Catholic soldiers left because of intimidation from within the regiment. That's a fact.
"Without the support of community leaders, shunned by their own community and with their lives under threat, the vast majority of Catholic UDR soldiers resigned or simply stopped turning up for duty" is a direct lift from the regimental history.
No matter how unpalatable you may find it the facts are there but softened as per WP:MOS. So in my opinion we don't need a rewrite and that's one shared by the A Class reviewers.SonofSetanta (talk)
I've given this a little more thought but I'm still not convinced that putting anything in about army brutality adds anything to the article. The whole area of army brutality is a very spurious one with many false complaints made. I don't want to dismiss it out of hand however so may I ask: how many Catholic UDR soldiers left because of army brutality to fellow Catholics? If it is a significant number we'd have to find a way to edit that in. SonofSetanta (talk) 10:59, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

What you need is a source that details it. If it's not sourced you shouldn't mention it especially if it is controversial which in regards to this article almost everything can be. Mabuska (talk) 10:30, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm sure a source can be found for it (like Jack Charlton, you find the players and I'll find them an Irish granny). The thing is though, for every source which supports such a contention there will be one saying that the vast majority of complaints against the army by Catholics/nationalist/republicans were contrived. I was reading something on this by English or Doherty just last week. The regimental history (Potter) is the best source we have for facts and it clearly states the IRA campaign against Catholic soldiers as the main reason for them leaving. The various army operations mentioned in the article caused a loss of support for the regiment by political parties (notably the SDLP) and the church. From that I think we can assume that recruitment and morale of Catholics may have been affected and I think it's certainly worthy of keeping in the article, but spurious claims of brutality - I couldn't see that as being free of POV. SonofSetanta (talk) 11:39, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ulster Defence Regiment/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Khazar2 (talk · contribs) 01:57, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

This article seems to be in an unusual situation, as its nominator is topic banned from working further on the topic.[1]

On first pass, the article has a lot of good information, but also seems to have some ways to go to meet the GA criteria. Some issues I immediately see:

  • Needs to consolidate lead to four paragraphs per WP:LEAD
  • Needs to reduce overuse of single-sentence paragraphs and very short sentences per WP:LAYOUT
  • Needs copyediting (The sixth sentence, for example, is a comma splice: "The regiment was intended to be nonpartisan, and began with Catholic recruits accounting for 18% of its soldiers, however due to various circumstances by the end of 1972 this dropped to around 3%." A few paragraphs down is a sentence with no period, etc.) I've tried to fix some of the more obvious errors as I went, but this was only a quick pass and still more needs to be done. Future editors of this article might consider requesting a read by the Guild of Copyeditors before this is renominated.
  • "It is doubtful if any other unit of the British Army has ever come under the same sustained criticism as the UDR" -- an opinion this strong probably needs attribution to a specific author, or at least multiple sources, to meet WP:NPOV
  • Some statistics lack citation, such as "In time a combination of these factors reduced Catholic soldiers to around 3% of the Regiment's strength."
  • The article seems to rely quite heavily on Potter, to the point that it clearly endorses his view over another book and the BBC:

"This is not noted in Adams' Sinn Féin biography[205] and the BBC still insists the assailants were arrested by "plain clothes policemen".[206]" It would be better to note the diverging viewpoints here impartially.

  • The article needs work to meet the "concise" criterion (1a); at 69kb of readable prose, it's far longer than needed for a topic of narrow scope.

Given the nominator's situation and some clear issues with the article, I'm not passing it for GA at this time. I hope others may find the above comments useful as a starting point for future revision, however; this would be a great one to get to GA status. Thanks to all who have worked to bring it to this point. -- Khazar2 (talk) 01:57, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Use of the word 'many'[edit]

I have reverted 2nd para from:

"Recruiting in Northern Ireland at a time of intercommunal strife, many of its (mostly Ulster Protestant) members were involved in sectarianism and others in collusion with Ulster loyalist paramilitary organisations."


"Recruiting in Northern Ireland at a time of intercommunal strife, a small number of its members were involved in sectarianism and collusion with Ulster loyalist paramilitary organisations."

as I am not happy with the word 'many'. Out of 40k to 50k members who served, the use of the word 'many' implies a considerable number. I feel that 'a small number' is more correct. --

For collusion perhaps, but low-level sectarianism was commonplace at checkpoints, e.g. people being subjected to searches if they refused to refer to Derry as Londonderry, children with GAA gear being harassed etc. This is why the UDR wasn't used for crowd control. Gob Lofa (talk) 17:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
What evidence? --Gavin Lisburn (talk) 01:27, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Really? OK, I'll put it in. Gob Lofa (talk) 20:58, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
An individual's isolated experience is not evidence. 'Many' is contentious and misleading so just omit it and let the reader decide.--Flexdream (talk) 14:12, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I would concur. --Gavin Lisburn (talk) 01:09, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
"An individual"? Gob Lofa (talk) 08:39, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
@Gob Lofa - I see your point but the experience of few indidual accounts - around 2 or 3 - does not support the claim that 'many' of the 40-50k UDR members were sectarian. One of the references you added claimed the UDR was 'full' of loyalist paramilitaries. That's a claim which you have made clear above you do not support, and it is a ridiculous claim. --Flexdream (talk) 12:40, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Experiences for people from republican areas at UDR checkpoints was uniformly bad, throughout the Troubles. I've given you a smattering of accounts; there are plenty more online. Your Ulster English isn't what it could be, Flexdream; "full of" is a colloquialism that is not meant to be taken literally. Compare "the post office is rotten with them" in McKay's account. Gob Lofa (talk) 16:48, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I've reverted 'many' to 'some' as I am still not happy. One of your references was for the Garda in the South and did not mention UDR in it. The other references describe individual incidents. These still don't constitute 'many'. Since we cannot quantify the number of incidents in any way, how about using 'a number of' instead of 'some' or 'many'. Readers can still refer to the references and it doesn't take away from your point. --Gavin Lisburn (talk) 00:32, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Gob Lofa, I think there's plenty in the lead, it is an introduction not a duplication. 'Bad experiences' does not prove sectarianism, but that might be alleged.--Flexdream (talk) 21:52, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I concur with Gavin Lisburn and Flexdream. The use of many here is unsourced and problematic given the sensitive nature of the article. If it can't be verifiably and academically sourced then we should use a more neutral and less loaded wording. We don't work with personal experiences on Wikipedia. That falls unders opinion and pov. Mabuska (talk) 17:05, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

I see. The article also uses the word 'many' to describe the number of Catholics in the UUP. While I have no problem with using the word in this way, I now know that the three of you do, so why haven't any of you changed it? Given the sensitive nature of the article etc., I feel we ought to be more consistent. Gob Lofa (talk) 13:36, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Considering that you never mentioned this usage of the word "many" in your argument above months ago when you tried to insert it elsewhere into the article, and only seem to have noticed it with your recent it to the section containing this instance, I can assume ignorance to its existence on your behalf. As such you should assume good faith and assume ignorance on our behalf as well. I was totally oblivious to it and only when I checked your recent edit to the article today did I notice it myself, however you had already opened a talk page discussion.
Whilst I would like to commend you for going straight to the talk page to discuss it, I can't considering you decided to insinuate that all three of us who disagreed with you above in the previous discussion are all hypocrites instead. It was unneeded and uncivil especially considering your comment clearly states that you have no problem with the word in this instance. If you have no problem, then why bring it up?
Your use of it elsewhere in the article was contentious and editors disagreed with you. In this different instance the word has been there uncontested for who knows how long, and you yourself stated "I have no problem with using the word in this way". If you decide to change your mind and find usage of the word in this instance contentious then please by all means add a citation tag, which any long-time editor like yourself should know how to do. Other than that, what is the point in this discussion? Other than trying to insinuate that other editors are hypocrites... Mabuska (talk) 19:09, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm pointing out to all of you that we now have an inconsistent use of the word in the same article, and that we have to decide which to use. As you three have expressed strong opinions on the subject, I'm offering you the chance to rectify it to your liking, rather than insisting that the precedent established by this use of the word ought to apply in the previous instance as well. I'm not accusing you of hypocrisy here like I've done elsewhere; you would only be so if you insisted on one use of the word where it suited your politics and another where it didn't. Gob Lofa (talk) 21:10, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
22 instances of 'many' to be reviewed and if deemed necessary amended to eg 'some' or 'a number of' depending on the relevance, --Gavin Lisburn (talk) 00:03, 16 July 2015 (UTC)