It did get a bit hairy after Jan 30th 1972. In the whole of that four months tour we had over 400 shooting and bombing incidents - and that's not even counting the riots. Our Unit - 9 (Plassey) Bty of 12th Regt RA - were the first to do foot patrols in Andersonstown. All the previous units had used the PIGS. It was said by a serving officer at the end of the tour that our Battery had been under the longest period of sustained attack that any unit of the British Army had experienced since the end of WW2. I know it sounds far-fetched, but that is what was stated!
People these days are just fed on the stories of Iraq and Afghanistan, and they have no idea just how bad Northern Ireland was. Many are under the impression that we only lost a few soldiers, when in truth, at times, the death-rate was far higher than is currently experienced in Afghanistan for British soldiers. In 1974 our unit lost two men in a matter of weeks. I've added a picture of one of my reminders of Ireland. It's a handkerchief which I drew up and had on our billet wall at Girdwood Park barracks in New Lodge 1974. The names are of the lads in our section, and the G51 was our call-sign.