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Northern Ireland British Mk IV helmet

Article about: Here I have a Mk IV helmet made in 1952 and converted for use as a riot helmet and probably used in Northern Ireland during the troubles. You can see on the pictures the date 1952 and Mk IV

  1. #11

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    Hey Mark, as a matter of interest, on my second tour (New Lodge - June to October 1974) we were using (by then) the Pye pocket radio. The patrol leaders then started carrying the radio themselves. But I remember our patrol commander handing me the radio and asking me to lead our section after a Sgt had been shot dead the day before, some poor ba**ard had to run over and retrieve the radio off him to call for help. Our section leader thought that carrying the radio made you a target!
    Yep I recall the "Pye Pocketphone" and the shortcomings over any distance. You are quite right about larger radios being a bit of a sniper magnet! Rather like salutes or officer rank badges too.

    Mark

    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  2. #12

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    I've never even heard of Northern Ireland high legged boots Gunny! They are just 'boots, DMS, for the use of.' We wore puttees in Northern Ireland, although they are not visible in the picture. The trick was to keep the trouser leg higher up when wrapping the puttee around the leg, and then pull the loose material down over the puttee. Also note how the flack-jacket is worn underneath the combat jacket. We thought it made us look 'harder.' Yes, we did think of our image back then, and the harder and meaner you looked on the streets the better it was for you in dodgy situations. As for the radio - something I often got lumbered with on patrol, I seem to remember - as do some of my friends - that it was the A42. I've just been through my old course notes for my B11 signals, and the A41 isn't even mentioned. The A 42 had a frequency range of 26.3 MHz to 38mhz, and a range of 1.5 to 3 miles with the 4ft rod antenna. When on mobile patrol they made a handy seat in the back of the Pig. We always drove around with the Pig doors wide open, and it wasn't unusual to arrive back at base and find a bullet hole in the battery (see picture of the card from battery) I have no intention to steal the thread, so I best shut up.

    Attachment 880847

    (added @ 10.35am) Further to the use of A41 and A42 man pack radio's, it would appear that their use was governed by the type of base set being used in HQ. If the C45 was being used, then the A42 would be the portable radio used by the patrols.
    Steal away it's good info mate
    "When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me 85 dollars. That is why in the Navy the Captain goes down with the ship." -Dick Gregory-

    Ian

  3. #13

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    I've never even heard of Northern Ireland high legged boots Gunny! They are just 'boots, DMS, for the use of.' We wore puttees in Northern Ireland, although they are not visible in the picture. The trick was to keep the trouser leg higher up when wrapping the puttee around the leg, and then pull the loose material down over the puttee. Also note how the flack-jacket is worn underneath the combat jacket. We thought it made us look 'harder.' Yes, we did think of our image back then, and the harder and meaner you looked on the streets the better it was for you in dodgy situations. As for the radio - something I often got lumbered with on patrol, I seem to remember - as do some of my friends - that it was the A42. I've just been through my old course notes for my B11 signals, and the A41 isn't even mentioned. The A 42 had a frequency range of 26.3 MHz to 38mhz, and a range of 1.5 to 3 miles with the 4ft rod antenna. When on mobile patrol they made a handy seat in the back of the Pig. We always drove around with the Pig doors wide open, and it wasn't unusual to arrive back at base and find a bullet hole in the battery (see picture of the card from battery) I have no intention to steal the thread, so I best shut up.

    Attachment 880847

    (added @ 10.35am) Further to the use of A41 and A42 man pack radio's, it would appear that their use was governed by the type of base set being used in HQ. If the C45 was being used, then the A42 would be the portable radio used by the patrols.
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    Boots, Hi leg Combat Northern Ireland.
    These are the boots Steve AKA "boots, DMS, urban patrol"
    Sorry for the hijack!....
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  4. #14

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    Thanks for showing them Gunny, and thanks also to Ian for allowing us to deviate somewhat from the original posting. I have never seen this type of boot before. But then again, I came out of the army at the end of my last tour in November 1974 - and I would imagine that that type of boot came out somewhat later.

    Another bullet hole to look at... The bullet hole is from a piece of a combat jacket being worn by Bdr Renzo Agnello when he was shot and seriously wounded on January 31st 1972. After entering the armoured Pig through the windscreen, the bullet took a button off the cuff off the driver, went through another lads beret, went in Renzo's right shoulder and came out of his left, brushed the cheek of the vehicle commander and then hit Renzo again on the back of the head.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  5. #15
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    Quote by Watchdog View Post
    NO! They were not much fun at all let alone to run in

    Yes, the radio is the A41 (if these are infantry toops, hard to tell from this image) manpack of the Larkspur series that preceeded the Clansman PRC types.

    The chinstrap is quite right but was one of those things that never really became mainstream. Probably, I think, because units had the helmets already but to convert to the IS (internal security) configuration the visor, visor cover and strap had to be demanded from supply as separate items which was likely deemed too much bother for some QM's and then the parts would be fitted by individuals which then is affected by the typical squaddie resistance to "niff naff and trivia" A point to note is that the visor cover was a "starred item" meaning it was strictly accounted for whereas the visor itself was not. Probably because the most common use for the visor cover was to keep anything other than the visor in (boot cleaning kit etc).

    The attachment of sling, rear swivel to wrist was a kind of obvious precaution but only came about as a result of worrying situations with crowds. Typical army retarded thinking really to be slow on the precaution front!

    Thie boots referred to as "high leg" would be Boots Urban Patrol often called just NI boots. They were a lightweight boot with a high leg that did away with the puttees worn with Boots DMS. Before the UPB was issued troops often had their DMS extended by a cobbler or even wore jungle boots blackened with boot polish if they could get past the RSM

    As a point of interest the UPB was painful to wear when new and by the time it was broken in it was usually knackered. Also (as the name suggests) it really was tarmac use only and any attempt to wear it in rural environments was traumatic as they had absolutely no grip on soft ground and were even less waterproof than DMS.

    The situation began to improve after the Falklands campaign in 1982 when the first Boots Combat High were issued although the evolution was still a difficult one with recruits of the "training shoe generation" not being allowed to do PT in them until about week 8 of training whils us "old sweat" instructors had to run in them from new (that was a test trust me!)

    Anyway, I digress, nice "historical" lid thanks for the memories

    Hope my waffle inspired by the comments above is of interest.

    Mark
    Hi Mark,

    When were the High legs issued , on the 76 Tour we were still wearing DMS and puttees although i managed to wear French jump boots most of the time as the TSM was that used to me wearing them!!

    Steve don't know whether you know but two tree memorials have been put up at the NMA to Kim MCcunn and Bernie Fearns who were killed on the 74 Tour with 97 Battery ?
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  6. #16

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    I didn't know about the trees Paul, but it is a while since I have been there. I don't know what the feeling was between you lot from 97Bty (4 regt), but we of 13 Troop always suspected there was more to the death of Kim than the official version of events.

    Cheers,
    Steve.
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  7. #17
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    Just got put in earlier this year Steve.

    Must admit as i wasn't with 97 and it was before my time it wasn't something that i knew that much about in detail , probably found out more info from you rather than anyone from 97 !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  8. #18

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    Quote by Paul D View Post
    Hi Mark,

    When were the High legs issued , on the 76 Tour we were still wearing DMS and puttees although i managed to wear French jump boots most of the time as the TSM was that used to me wearing them!!
    Not exactly sure but I think it was '77/78 but like so many items that were new to the inventory and in this case theatre specific it was a fairly piecemeal affair. Issue to units was not automatic and each QM had to demand issue from the supply system based on authority from higher echelon. As these were soley for use in urban areas a unit deployed in a TAOR with no urban area would not be entitled therefore, pers in such units would not be issued with these boots. For example some entire UDR battalions never had them. Units based in the cities ie Londonderry and Belfast were fully issued. Despite this it was not unusual to find both UPB and DMS mixed in the same unit and some troops preferred DMS and declined to wear the UPB. The UPB like many other items did appear in slightly varying design, for instance as far as I recall mine and those of my peers did not have a toe cap. The UPB seems to be rather a rare find now but I think any collection of NI kit should really have a pair. Sadly I wore mine till they fell off as once they were worn in they were like slippers and were great for running the BFT if you could get away with it

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  9. #19
    ?

    Default

    Thanks Mark , today of course they do run the BFT in slippers ( well trainers ) !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  10. #20

    Cool British MKIV riot helmet 1972 magazine cover photo

    here's an interesting photo of a riot helmet in use by British in Northern Ireland 1972

    WEAPONS OF ULSTER - FEBRUARY 1972. Rubber Bullet Gun used by the British Army in riots during The Troubles, Northern Ireland.

    the soldier looks like he's also wearing a US issue M69 type flak vest?
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