We were not allowed
to cross the border in our
we were enemies,
on both sides of the border;
Ulster Defence Regt.
British Army brought
in to help the police-
Northern Ireland 'Troubles'
**NB For those of you who are interested, I was a Female Soldier in 11th (Craigavon) Battalion, Ulster Defence Regiment. With 11 battalions the UDR was the biggest regt., in the British Army. It was raised by asking for volunteers. First for men in 1970 and then for women in 1973.
We were engaged as non-combatants to do female searching, first aid and radio operating roles. We were armed with nothing more lethal than a clipboard and pen!
We were called Greenfinches which was our call sign on the radio. We did stints in the operations room and we went out on foot and vehicle patrols.
Apart from female RMPs (Royal Military Police), we were the only female soldiers in N.I. so we were asked to do stints in what was called ‘Bandit Country’ which involved being picked up from our home base and being taken by helicopter to Newry, Crossmaglen and Bessbrook in South Armagh. We couldn’t go by road because of all the remote-controlled culvert bombs.
We also got asked to do female searching at the Long Kesh Internment Camp.
Despite being non-combatants four of our girls were either killed on duty or murdered off duty but my sincere thanks will always go to those brave lads who took it upon themselves to keep us protected and safe. No UDR/ British Army soldier wanted to be on a patrol where their Greenfinch(es) got killed. **