The Ulster Defence Regiment becomes operational.

Wed, 04/01/1970
UDR No 4 Lee Enfield
Initially equipped with No4 Lee Enfield Rifles.

Following The Ulster Defence Regiment Act 1969 and a short period of recruiting and training, The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) became operational on 1 April 1970. Although still under strength, the UDR on formation consisted of the following battalions:

1st (County Antrim) Battalion; Battalion HQ - Ballymena

2nd (County Armagh) Battalion: Battalion HQ - Armagh

3rd (County Down) Battalion; Battalion HQ - Ballykinler

4th (County Fermanagh) Battalion; Battalion HQ - Enniskillen

5th (County Londonderry) Battalion; Battalion HQ - Londonderry

3UDRVCP6th (County Tyrone) Battalion; Battalion HQ - Omagh

7th (City of Belfast) Battalion; Battalion HQ - Holywood

WUDRThe Battalions' titles were abbreviated to their number followed by 'UDR' so that, for example, the 1st Battalion The Ulster Defence Regiment's short title was 1 UDR.

Operation BANNER saw the UDR serve for twenty-two years through the dark days of the 'Troubles', a period of unmatched, unbroken operational service. In total, between 1 April 1970 and 30 June 1992, 197 UDR serving members were killed, with a further 61 killed after they had resigned or retired from the UDR (see attachment 'Roll of Honour'). Terrorists also seriously wounded 444 men and women of The Ulster Defence Regiment.

The men and women of the UDR were merged with the Royal Irish Rangers in 1992 to form a unique regiment of the British Army, The Royal Irish Regiment, with Regular and Part-Time service personnel in its Home Service battalions.

UDRVCP80sOn the 6 October 2006, Her Majesty The Queen awarded The Royal Irish Regiment the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross in recognition of the bravery, sacrifice and service of the Home Service battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment and their forebears, The Ulster Defence Regiment.

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