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20 - Resignations
were many different reasons for resigning or being asked to resign
from the UDR. These included being attacked and intimidated by
Republicans, illness, old age, subversive links, disillusion with
the governments handling of the terrorist situation, drunk in
charge of a personal protection weapon, drink driving, criminal
charges including undisclosed criminal charges coming to light,
failing to meet the minimum required operational or training
duties, pregnancy, threat of divorce, civilian job commitments and
personal commitments, to name but a few.
many people failed to join the UDR because of the Republican
terrorist murder campaign, the numbers of personnel reporting for
duty after an attack always went up, not down.
main group that suffered most from intimidation were the Roman
Catholic soldiers. They were easy targets because the Republican
ploy was to get at the courageous individual by attacking their
nearest and dearest first. Children were bullied and threatened at
school, cars were vandalised, windows were broken and excrement was
pushed into the post-box. In the case of E Company, the Republican
activists threatened a soldier’s physically handicapped brother.
and Operational Quotas
Battalion HQ delegated tasks to an individual Company they always
considered the company strength. If the company strength included
too much “Dead Wood” through illness or lack of commitment the
Company Commander would not achieve his training and operational
targets. This pushed leaders into the apparently ruthless attitude
set about discharging any soldiers who were not committed to
training and operations”
was necessary not only for achieving training and operational
targets but also to raise the standards of efficiency and
effectiveness” (V Hamill, 2007).
one stage I became unemployed and was unable to carry out my duties
with the UDR. This was
due to the way I was paid my unemployment and family benefits. I
tried to get around this problem by doing duties but not signing on
for pay. This was not a satisfactory compromise because my records
did not show the operational and training duties I was expected to
complete to maintain my efficiency. I had to report to the OC who
stated this was unsatisfactory and he would have me discharged from
After visiting my local MP for advice I reported the matter
to HQNI. Their response was a lot better than my OC’s but the
situation between us had deteriorated. On one occasion the OC had
even sent out the local CID Sergeant to pick up my personal
protection weapon because I was not doing duties” S25.
had to leave the UDR after an accident at work that damaged my
back. I was off work for over 18 months. I was unfit for military
week after I had had an army medical examination I was telephoned
at home. Someone phoned and told me I was medically discharged and
I had to hand in my army kit and equipment ‘as issued’. My
parting with the UDR was as callous as that” Ted Jamieson 2006.
in all the cases of treachery in E Company it was difficult to
determine if the individuals involved joined the Regiment as
malcontents or later converted.
night two guys in suits visited the camp and wanted to know if a
particular Sergeant from the area was on duty. I informed them that
there was no Sergeant in the company with that name but we did have
a Private soldier with that name and address. They went and spoke
to the OC about the individual” S101.
year after the individual had resigned his former Platoon was on
patrol in the Kilrea area. We read the Police Notice Board and
there was a signal outlining the activities of our former comrade.
two most memorable dates for me were the day I resigned from the
UDR and the date I handed in my kit and equipment. My civilian
employers had offered me promotion; this new job would also involve
extensive world travel. The demand for a greater commitment made it
impossible for me to serve in the UDR as a Company Sergeant Major (WOII).
The conflict of interest stopped as I committed myself to my new
post travelling around the world.
I made many close lifetime friends in the UDR. If I left my
senior position in civilian job after 37 years there would be few
people I could turn to as friends.
Even though I left the UDR over 22 years ago there are many
people I can turn to in times of need or even to socialise with and
I have committed myself to the UDR Association ever since. The
Association runs many events such as bus trips, dinner dances,
visits to battle fields, reunions, BBQs and other fund raising
events to promote the interests and needs of all the UDR, the
veterans and their dependants.
The experience of being in the UDR has had a lasting
influence on my attitude towards all wars. I have become much more
interested in world history and affairs.
think that having served for so long in the UDR, it has helped me
in my social interaction with others. I am inclined to be more
assertive and stand confidently in front of a business group and
I can look back on my military career and see that what we
did was worthwhile. I shudder to think what would have happened in
this country if the UDR had not been there to prevent the
terrorists from taking control. It was worth it and a heavy price
was paid. The terrorist did not win and the UDR played an important
part in achieving peace” S3.
For The Road
was self-employed and as my job became more successful and
demanding my operational duties started to tail off. I was a
Sergeant at that time and the thought of moving up the promotional
ladder did not appeal to me. In the army you have to keep moving
onward and upward otherwise you end up blocking the promotions of
those ready to advance their career. This happened in the mid 80s
when the Regiment was more professional and the roles more
demanding. To be promoted you were expected to attend qualifying
courses in Ballykinlar and England and do the allocated operational
duties and training. As I was now employed full-time in my own
career I decided to call it a day.
On the night of my resignation I visited the Junior Ranks
bar and asked the barman, Tommy Freeman, to give me two glasses, a
can of Coke and a lemonade bottle filled with six shots of Dark
Rum. I carefully placed these items in my recruiters’ briefcase
and waited patiently for the OC to complete his Thursday night
Orders and Interviews session. I was almost denied access to the OC
because I was in ‘civvies’; I explained to the Company Sergeant
Major that it would be a casual interview so I was allowed in to
see the OC. I grabbed a chair, turned it round and straddled it,
just like the John Wayne movies. Up came the briefcase and I opened
it. I said, ‘Sir, is that you finished with orders for the
night?’ He replied, ‘Yes’, so I put the glasses out in front
of us, poured out three shots of rum each and topped this up with
the Coke. Then I said, ‘Cheers Sir, we’re having one for the
road, I’m finished’. The OC was flustered, he said, ‘You
can’t leave like that! You can’t leave like that!’ My
departure was as amicable as that and it became the talk of the
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