August 2022 is the 50th Anniversary of the completion of the first operational tours of Northern Ireland by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Regiment.
In August 1972, our three Battalions had all completed their first operational tours in Northern Ireland. This short article, about our Battalion’s first tours is made up of snippets taken from our Regimental History, Aden to Afghanistan, which is recommended reading, particularly at this 50th anniversary.
1972 was a monumental year in Northern Ireland. In fact, it was to be the worst year of the conflict by all measures: there were more incidents, more deaths and more injuries than in any other year. Following Bloody Sunday, the level of violence escalated alarmingly to some 1,853 bombing and 10,628 shooting incidents during the year. During the year 467 people were killed – 103 Regular Army, 26 UDR, 17 RUC and 223 civilians, 95 Republican terrorists and three Loyalist terrorists. The total number of troops and security forces in the Province almost doubled from 7,800 in 1971 to 14,300 in 1972.