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OPERATION Banner draws to a close on July 31, 2007 bringing to an end the British Army’s longest continuously running military campaign. For the past 38 years, the Armed Forces have been immersed in supporting the police in public order and counter terrorism in Northern Ireland.

https://www.armynet.mod.uk/soldier/OPBANNER.pdf

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How many CSM NI's will that be - somewhere around 1/4 million or more with about 30,000 Acumulated CSM's?

Badly positioned badge on that Welsh Guardsman's beret - overlapping the band.

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How many CSM NI's will that be - somewhere around 1/4 million or more with about 30,000 Acumulated CSM's?

Badly positioned badge on that Welsh Guardsman's beret - overlapping the band.

How many CSM NI's will that be - somewhere around 1/4 million or more with about 30,000 Acumulated CSM's?

Must be if not more!!!!!!

Badly positioned badge on that Welsh Guardsman's beret - overlapping the band.

:speechless1: Well spotted..."Get him awayyyyyyyyy!!!!!"

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L/Bdr Restorick was shot in the back by a sniper at an army checkpoint in Bessbrook, County Armagh, in February 1997.

L/Bdr Restorick, was the last British soldier to be killed in action, during Op Banner.

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Gunner Robert Curtis becomes the first British soldier to die in Northern Ireland 06/02/1971

Shot by sniper while on British Army foot patrol, New Lodge Road, Belfast.

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An outstanding Northern Ireland General Officer Commanding Commendation Campaign Service Medal awarded to Fusilier G.A. Colman, A Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who was decorated for the IRA attack the Permanent Vehicle Check Point (PVCP) Romeo One Five on the 1st May 1992, when the Irish Republican Army launched one of its most sophisticated bomb attacks during the conflict. Fusilier Andrew Grundy was killed in the incident. Campaign Service Medal, 1 Clasp: Northern Ireland, with oakleaf on ribbon representing the award of the General Officer Commanding’s Commendation for Northern Ireland, named to: (24863595 FUS G A COLMAN RRF). Mounted loose style on wearing pin.

With a publication of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers journal ‘The Fusilier’, Volume 7 Number 4, for December 1993. Page 370 shows the lists of Honours and Awards’ with Fusilier Colman’s name shown for the GOC Northern Ireland Commendation, he was serving with the 2nd Battalion at the time.

Fusilier G.A. Colman served with the 2nd Battalion, and his service number indicates that he joined up in 1987, into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. In 1991 following their five year commitment to the ACE Mobile Force Land, the 2nd Battalion began a two year tour of Northern Ireland in the same area as where the Battalion had first exercised after their formation in 1968. Based at Abercorn Barracks in Ballykinler, the 2nd Battalion arrived in theatre during late July 1991 as the resident regular battalion of 3rd Brigade which was tasked with the security of the Border region. Colman would have taken part in Operation ‘Bronski’ the construction and refurbishment of the Golf and Romeo OP Towers in South Armagh. This tour eventually became one of the longest tours ever staged by a battalion in NI, at 31 months. It was the Regiment’s 30th tour of Ulster during the troubles, and became one full of incidents. The most serious was the destruction of PVCP (Permanent Vehicle Check Point) Romeo One Five on 1st May 1992, one of the most sophisticated bomb attacks by the IRA throughout the conflict, and the one for which Colman would be decorated with his G.O.C.’s NI Commendation.

The following details of the incident are taken from the regimental history of the Royal Fusiliers “For England and St George”.

Romeo One Five was situated at Killeen, south of Newry on the main Belfast to Dublin road. The PVCP (Permanent Vehicle Check Point) had been first destroyed in 1990 by a proxy bomb driven to the site by an innocent civilian whose family had been kidnapped and threatened with death if he did not comply. Ranger Cyril Smith of the Royal Irish Rangers died instantly in the explosion. Romeo One Five was built in its place, but this time it was protected by armoured blast walls against proxy bombs and incorporated a hardened shelter for the troops, known as the ‘submarine’. After careful examination from afar, the IRA had discovered a chink in its armour. R15 was armoured on three sides facing the A1 Road. The fact that the railway side was unprotected had been realised and work was in hand to rectify the failing. As part of the contingency planning, the base was to be evacuated when the threat level reached a certain level. At this point, the platoon would disperse into preordained positions in the surrounding hills, leaving only a few people in the control sangar to coordinate matters. The threat level had almost been reached but there was pressure from on high not to evacuate the base. During the night of 30th April, an IRA ASU hijacked a JCB mechanical digger and drove it to Killeen bridge where the A1 passes over the Belfast to Dublin railway line, just inside the Northern Ireland border. After knocking down a wall and preparing an access ramp, the JCB lifted the Renault Master van on to the railway line. The tyres of the van had been removed and it had been fitted with an extra set of wheels so as to run on the tracks; it also contained one ton of homemade explosives. The courtesy light was switched on and second gear was engaged. The van started trundling north towards Newry with 1800 metres of command wire spooling out of the back. At the same time IRA teams set up road blocks north and south of R15 to stop civilian vehicles from approaching the PVCP. At R15 the guard at the rear sangar overlooking the railway line had just changed and Fusilier Andrew Grundy had relieved his close friend Michael Beswick. Most of the Fusiliers were asleep in the ‘submarine’. Shortly after 0200 hours, a Fusilier in R14, a hilltop OP overlooking the PCVP, noticed a light moving northwards along the railway line and sent a message by radio stating ‘A car is driving down the railway line’. He made the transmission twice on the company net but was met with disbelief. At the rear of the PVCP, Fusilier Grundy heard the warning and was leaning out of the sangar when he saw it approaching. He immediately realised the danger and shouted over the intercom - ‘Proxy bomb - rear gate!’ He then brought his rifle to bear to try to disrupt the device with gun fire. A third person was also watching the approach van and when he saw the telltale curtesy light draw abreast of R15, he radioed his accomplice at the end of the command wire. One kilometre south of the PVCP multiples from 3 Platoon under the command of Lieutenant Peter Allanach were on patrol when they were approached by a civilian who told them that his car had been stopped by hooded men telling him to avoid R15. Lieutenant ‘Zippy’ Allanach radioed a warning and then 3 Platoon began running towards the PCVP. At 0205 hours, the bomb detonated on the only unprotected side of the PVCP. The explosion uprooted the 10 ton rear sangar and propelled it a distance of some then metres. Inside, Fusilier Grundy was killed instantly by the blast. The first report to be received by battalion headquarters was from 3 Platoon which stated - ‘Contact now at R15. Major explosion’. The next report was even more dire - Contact R15 bombing. There are mass casualties - the submarine has gone!’. There were 24 soldiers in the ‘submarine’ and this report precipitated numerous offers of assistance over the battalion net.

The commander of the platoon manning R15 , Lieutenant Andrew Rawding then emerged from the debris, with blood running down his face and his rifle destroyed, and ascertained that the casualties were not severe. The ‘submarine’ had survived intact and all those inside had not been harmed, indeed many had slept through the explosion. The uninjured Fusiliers were deployed on the high ground around the site in case of a follow up attack by the IRA. None was forthcoming. Cpl Tom Sayers of 1 Platoon A Company was asleep at the time, having just returned from patrol but was still dressed for action. ‘I was asleep in my pit and the next thing I knew was waking up with the roof on top of me as the whole portacabin had collapsed. There were two other people in the room with me – Fusilier ‘Evo’ Evans and Cpl ‘Stan’ Boardman. Outside were the rest of the multiple in a hardened shelter. It was pitch black so I scrabbled around for my weapon, helmet and webbing. I got the radio out to send a contact report but the cryptic had been damaged so it didn’t work. I then shouted out “Stan! Evo! Are you alright?” as I hadn’t heard anything. Evo said, “I can’t feel my legs”. Stan said “My head’s bleeding”. So I moved to Stan but he seemed OK and then to Evo thinking Oh God what am I going to find here but it was only the GPMG lying on his legs. We eventually got outside and got the teams out of their cut-off positions to stop anything or anyone coming in. My next task was to find out how many casualties there were. I went to find Sergeant Major ‘Patch’ Ai but couldn’t find him in his portacabin so I went to the hardened shelter, opened the door and there was ‘Patch’ standing stark bollock naked with cuts all over him, going into shock. The Medic, Fusilier ‘Brewkit’ Brewer was sorting through his bed bunk so I said to him. “What are you doing?” and he replied “I’m trying to find him a pair of underpants.” I told him, “He’s going into shock – get the blanket off the bed, wrap him in it, and get him sorted.” Lieutenant Rawding was on the net calling for the helicopter evacuation of the casualties to Newry hospital. Cpl Sayers then located Fusilier Grundy in the sangar which had been blown up ‘there was Grundy – not a mark on him.’ I called over four Fusiliers and we placed him on the door. Now the helipad was on the top of a steep hill so it was quite a struggle to get him up there, but there was no hassle no arguments – straight up to the top. The Lynx arrived and the Doc flew back with the body to Newry, Grundy was pronounced dead on arrival. It is believed that Colman was one of those who bravely took part in the evacuation of Grundy, throughout under the threat of further attack by the IRA, though the specific details behind his GOC NI Commendation are not known, it was awarded for this incident, but for what exactly we are not sure.

After Grundy’s body was evacuated, the OC A Company arrived, Major James Murray-Playfair surveyed the scene of destruction and promptly took one of the NAAFI cigarettes lying around after the explosion, It was the first one he had smoked in ten years.

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The above relates to this medal, found on Ebay

Northern Ireland CSM Medal Colman Fusiliers Decorated!!

GOC NI Commendation IRA Bomb Attack 1st May 1992 Item number: 190145462976

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L/Bdr Restorick was shot in the back by a sniper at an army checkpoint in Bessbrook, County Armagh, in February 1997.

L/Bdr Restorick, was the last British soldier to be killed in action, during Op Banner.

From Peterborough, shot ( & not from the front, unsurprisingly) whilst leaning forward & talking to a lady driver - smiling as he spoke, she recalls.

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Gunner Robert Curtis becomes the first British soldier to die in Northern Ireland 06/02/1971

Shot by sniper while on British Army foot patrol, New Lodge Road, Belfast.

I may be wrong, but shot at Northumberland Avenue? by a Protestant sniper rather than IRA?

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I may be wrong, but shot at Northumberland Avenue? by a Protestant sniper rather than IRA?

Gunner Curtis was shot dead by a Provo "quartermaster' named Billy Reid, who emptied his Sterling at a foot patrol. Reid was killed three months later on Curtis street.

Edited by Ulsterman

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Gunner Curtis was shot dead by a Provo "quartermaster' named Billy Reid, who emptied his Sterling at a foot patrol. Reid was killed three months later on Curtis street.

How Ironic that he should be killed on a street named after a guy he`d murdered!!!

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The result of the blast in which Fus. Grundy was killed on 1st May 1992. The 8ton sangar he was in was blown 12metres by the explosion. The crater measured 11m x 11m x 3.3m deep. Houses up to 500metres away were damaged in the blast.

Graham.

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An outstanding Northern Ireland General Officer Commanding Commendation Campaign Service Medal awarded to Fusilier G.A. Colman, A Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who was decorated for the IRA attack the Permanent Vehicle Check Point (PVCP) Romeo One Five on the 1st May 1992, when the Irish Republican Army launched one of its most sophisticated bomb attacks during the conflict. Fusilier Andrew Grundy was killed in the incident. Campaign Service Medal, 1 Clasp: Northern Ireland, with oakleaf on ribbon representing the award of the General Officer Commanding?s Commendation for Northern Ireland, named to: (24863595 FUS G A COLMAN RRF). Mounted loose style on wearing pin.

With a publication of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers journal ?The Fusilier?, Volume 7 Number 4, for December 1993. Page 370 shows the lists of Honours and Awards? with Fusilier Colman?s name shown for the GOC Northern Ireland Commendation, he was serving with the 2nd Battalion at the time.

Fusilier G.A. Colman served with the 2nd Battalion, and his service number indicates that he joined up in 1987, into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. In 1991 following their five year commitment to the ACE Mobile Force Land, the 2nd Battalion began a two year tour of Northern Ireland in the same area as where the Battalion had first exercised after their formation in 1968. Based at Abercorn Barracks in Ballykinler, the 2nd Battalion arrived in theatre during late July 1991 as the resident regular battalion of 3rd Brigade which was tasked with the security of the Border region. Colman would have taken part in Operation ?Bronski? the construction and refurbishment of the Golf and Romeo OP Towers in South Armagh. This tour eventually became one of the longest tours ever staged by a battalion in NI, at 31 months. It was the Regiment?s 30th tour of Ulster during the troubles, and became one full of incidents. The most serious was the destruction of PVCP (Permanent Vehicle Check Point) Romeo One Five on 1st May 1992, one of the most sophisticated bomb attacks by the IRA throughout the conflict, and the one for which Colman would be decorated with his G.O.C.?s NI Commendation.

The following details of the incident are taken from the regimental history of the Royal Fusiliers ?For England and St George?.

Romeo One Five was situated at Killeen, south of Newry on the main Belfast to Dublin road. The PVCP (Permanent Vehicle Check Point) had been first destroyed in 1990 by a proxy bomb driven to the site by an innocent civilian whose family had been kidnapped and threatened with death if he did not comply. Ranger Cyril Smith of the Royal Irish Rangers died instantly in the explosion. Romeo One Five was built in its place, but this time it was protected by armoured blast walls against proxy bombs and incorporated a hardened shelter for the troops, known as the ?submarine?. After careful examination from afar, the IRA had discovered a chink in its armour. R15 was armoured on three sides facing the A1 Road. The fact that the railway side was unprotected had been realised and work was in hand to rectify the failing. As part of the contingency planning, the base was to be evacuated when the threat level reached a certain level. At this point, the platoon would disperse into preordained positions in the surrounding hills, leaving only a few people in the control sangar to coordinate matters. The threat level had almost been reached but there was pressure from on high not to evacuate the base. During the night of 30th April, an IRA ASU hijacked a JCB mechanical digger and drove it to Killeen bridge where the A1 passes over the Belfast to Dublin railway line, just inside the Northern Ireland border. After knocking down a wall and preparing an access ramp, the JCB lifted the Renault Master van on to the railway line. The tyres of the van had been removed and it had been fitted with an extra set of wheels so as to run on the tracks; it also contained one ton of homemade explosives. The courtesy light was switched on and second gear was engaged. The van started trundling north towards Newry with 1800 metres of command wire spooling out of the back. At the same time IRA teams set up road blocks north and south of R15 to stop civilian vehicles from approaching the PVCP. At R15 the guard at the rear sangar overlooking the railway line had just changed and Fusilier Andrew Grundy had relieved his close friend Michael Beswick. Most of the Fusiliers were asleep in the ?submarine?. Shortly after 0200 hours, a Fusilier in R14, a hilltop OP overlooking the PCVP, noticed a light moving northwards along the railway line and sent a message by radio stating ?A car is driving down the railway line?. He made the transmission twice on the company net but was met with disbelief. At the rear of the PVCP, Fusilier Grundy heard the warning and was leaning out of the sangar when he saw it approaching. He immediately realised the danger and shouted over the intercom - ?Proxy bomb - rear gate!? He then brought his rifle to bear to try to disrupt the device with gun fire. A third person was also watching the approach van and when he saw the telltale curtesy light draw abreast of R15, he radioed his accomplice at the end of the command wire. One kilometre south of the PVCP multiples from 3 Platoon under the command of Lieutenant Peter Allanach were on patrol when they were approached by a civilian who told them that his car had been stopped by hooded men telling him to avoid R15. Lieutenant ?Zippy? Allanach radioed a warning and then 3 Platoon began running towards the PCVP. At 0205 hours, the bomb detonated on the only unprotected side of the PVCP. The explosion uprooted the 10 ton rear sangar and propelled it a distance of some then metres. Inside, Fusilier Grundy was killed instantly by the blast. The first report to be received by battalion headquarters was from 3 Platoon which stated - ?Contact now at R15. Major explosion?. The next report was even more dire - Contact R15 bombing. There are mass casualties - the submarine has gone!?. There were 24 soldiers in the ?submarine? and this report precipitated numerous offers of assistance over the battalion net.

The commander of the platoon manning R15 , Lieutenant Andrew Rawding then emerged from the debris, with blood running down his face and his rifle destroyed, and ascertained that the casualties were not severe. The ?submarine? had survived intact and all those inside had not been harmed, indeed many had slept through the explosion. The uninjured Fusiliers were deployed on the high ground around the site in case of a follow up attack by the IRA. None was forthcoming. Cpl Tom Sayers of 1 Platoon A Company was asleep at the time, having just returned from patrol but was still dressed for action. ?I was asleep in my pit and the next thing I knew was waking up with the roof on top of me as the whole portacabin had collapsed. There were two other people in the room with me ? Fusilier ?Evo? Evans and Cpl ?Stan? Boardman. Outside were the rest of the multiple in a hardened shelter. It was pitch black so I scrabbled around for my weapon, helmet and webbing. I got the radio out to send a contact report but the cryptic had been damaged so it didn?t work. I then shouted out ?Stan! Evo! Are you alright?? as I hadn?t heard anything. Evo said, ?I can?t feel my legs?. Stan said ?My head?s bleeding?. So I moved to Stan but he seemed OK and then to Evo thinking Oh God what am I going to find here but it was only the GPMG lying on his legs. We eventually got outside and got the teams out of their cut-off positions to stop anything or anyone coming in. My next task was to find out how many casualties there were. I went to find Sergeant Major ?Patch? Ai but couldn?t find him in his portacabin so I went to the hardened shelter, opened the door and there was ?Patch? standing stark bollock naked with cuts all over him, going into shock. The Medic, Fusilier ?Brewkit? Brewer was sorting through his bed bunk so I said to him. ?What are you doing?? and he replied ?I?m trying to find him a pair of underpants.? I told him, ?He?s going into shock ? get the blanket off the bed, wrap him in it, and get him sorted.? Lieutenant Rawding was on the net calling for the helicopter evacuation of the casualties to Newry hospital. Cpl Sayers then located Fusilier Grundy in the sangar which had been blown up ?there was Grundy ? not a mark on him.? I called over four Fusiliers and we placed him on the door. Now the helipad was on the top of a steep hill so it was quite a struggle to get him up there, but there was no hassle no arguments ? straight up to the top. The Lynx arrived and the Doc flew back with the body to Newry, Grundy was pronounced dead on arrival. It is believed that Colman was one of those who bravely took part in the evacuation of Grundy, throughout under the threat of further attack by the IRA, though the specific details behind his GOC NI Commendation are not known, it was awarded for this incident, but for what exactly we are not sure.

After Grundy?s body was evacuated, the OC A Company arrived, Major James Murray-Playfair surveyed the scene of destruction and promptly took one of the NAAFI cigarettes lying around after the explosion, It was the first one he had smoked in ten years.

I was one of the Fusilier participants on this night in question and can shed some further clarity on the last few minutes before the attack and the immediate aftermath outside the PVCP base..If any one is interested please drop me a reply back

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Can you please explain who you are as this medal was awarded to MY BROTHER and i don't want this crap here and can tell you that the true medal is and still resides at the Fusiliers museum............

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Do you mean the Coleman medal? It was for sale on eBay @ 2 years ago.

BigJar may have kept a record of the sale.

If the Museum sold it (and that does happen sometimes) OR it was stolen (!) may be we can help you get it back.

Could it have been a replacement medal?

OR someone has sold a faked up CSM. :banger:

I have sent an email to the Major/curator at the Fusilers' Museum to see if they still have the medal. The phone # is on their website.

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An outstanding Northern Ireland General Officer Commanding Commendation Campaign Service Medal awarded to Fusilier G.A. Colman, A Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who was decorated for the IRA attack the Permanent Vehicle Check Point (PVCP) Romeo One Five on the 1st May 1992, when the Irish Republican Army launched one of its most sophisticated bomb attacks during the conflict. Fusilier Andrew Grundy was killed in the incident. Campaign Service Medal, 1 Clasp: Northern Ireland, with oakleaf on ribbon representing the award of the General Officer Commanding’s Commendation for Northern Ireland, named to: (24863595 FUS G A COLMAN RRF). Mounted loose style on wearing pin.

With a publication of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers journal ‘The Fusilier’, Volume 7 Number 4, for December 1993. Page 370 shows the lists of Honours and Awards’ with Fusilier Colman’s name shown for the GOC Northern Ireland Commendation, he was serving with the 2nd Battalion at the time.

Fusilier G.A. Colman served with the 2nd Battalion, and his service number indicates that he joined up in 1987, into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. In 1991 following their five year commitment to the ACE Mobile Force Land, the 2nd Battalion began a two year tour of Northern Ireland in the same area as where the Battalion had first exercised after their formation in 1968. Based at Abercorn Barracks in Ballykinler, the 2nd Battalion arrived in theatre during late July 1991 as the resident regular battalion of 3rd Brigade which was tasked with the security of the Border region. Colman would have taken part in Operation ‘Bronski’ the construction and refurbishment of the Golf and Romeo OP Towers in South Armagh. This tour eventually became one of the longest tours ever staged by a battalion in NI, at 31 months. It was the Regiment’s 30th tour of Ulster during the troubles, and became one full of incidents. The most serious was the destruction of PVCP (Permanent Vehicle Check Point) Romeo One Five on 1st May 1992, one of the most sophisticated bomb attacks by the IRA throughout the conflict, and the one for which Colman would be decorated with his G.O.C.’s NI Commendation.

The following details of the incident are taken from the regimental history of the Royal Fusiliers “For England and St George”.

Romeo One Five was situated at Killeen, south of Newry on the main Belfast to Dublin road. The PVCP (Permanent Vehicle Check Point) had been first destroyed in 1990 by a proxy bomb driven to the site by an innocent civilian whose family had been kidnapped and threatened with death if he did not comply. Ranger Cyril Smith of the Royal Irish Rangers died instantly in the explosion. Romeo One Five was built in its place, but this time it was protected by armoured blast walls against proxy bombs and incorporated a hardened shelter for the troops, known as the ‘submarine’. After careful examination from afar, the IRA had discovered a chink in its armour. R15 was armoured on three sides facing the A1 Road. The fact that the railway side was unprotected had been realised and work was in hand to rectify the failing. As part of the contingency planning, the base was to be evacuated when the threat level reached a certain level. At this point, the platoon would disperse into preordained positions in the surrounding hills, leaving only a few people in the control sangar to coordinate matters. The threat level had almost been reached but there was pressure from on high not to evacuate the base. During the night of 30th April, an IRA ASU hijacked a JCB mechanical digger and drove it to Killeen bridge where the A1 passes over the Belfast to Dublin railway line, just inside the Northern Ireland border. After knocking down a wall and preparing an access ramp, the JCB lifted the Renault Master van on to the railway line. The tyres of the van had been removed and it had been fitted with an extra set of wheels so as to run on the tracks; it also contained one ton of homemade explosives. The courtesy light was switched on and second gear was engaged. The van started trundling north towards Newry with 1800 metres of command wire spooling out of the back. At the same time IRA teams set up road blocks north and south of R15 to stop civilian vehicles from approaching the PVCP. At R15 the guard at the rear sangar overlooking the railway line had just changed and Fusilier Andrew Grundy had relieved his close friend Michael Beswick. Most of the Fusiliers were asleep in the ‘submarine’. Shortly after 0200 hours, a Fusilier in R14, a hilltop OP overlooking the PCVP, noticed a light moving northwards along the railway line and sent a message by radio stating ‘A car is driving down the railway line’. He made the transmission twice on the company net but was met with disbelief. At the rear of the PVCP, Fusilier Grundy heard the warning and was leaning out of the sangar when he saw it approaching. He immediately realised the danger and shouted over the intercom - ‘Proxy bomb - rear gate!’ He then brought his rifle to bear to try to disrupt the device with gun fire. A third person was also watching the approach van and when he saw the telltale curtesy light draw abreast of R15, he radioed his accomplice at the end of the command wire. One kilometre south of the PVCP multiples from 3 Platoon under the command of Lieutenant Peter Allanach were on patrol when they were approached by a civilian who told them that his car had been stopped by hooded men telling him to avoid R15. Lieutenant ‘Zippy’ Allanach radioed a warning and then 3 Platoon began running towards the PCVP. At 0205 hours, the bomb detonated on the only unprotected side of the PVCP. The explosion uprooted the 10 ton rear sangar and propelled it a distance of some then metres. Inside, Fusilier Grundy was killed instantly by the blast. The first report to be received by battalion headquarters was from 3 Platoon which stated - ‘Contact now at R15. Major explosion’. The next report was even more dire - Contact R15 bombing. There are mass casualties - the submarine has gone!’. There were 24 soldiers in the ‘submarine’ and this report precipitated numerous offers of assistance over the battalion net.

The commander of the platoon manning R15 , Lieutenant Andrew Rawding then emerged from the debris, with blood running down his face and his rifle destroyed, and ascertained that the casualties were not severe. The ‘submarine’ had survived intact and all those inside had not been harmed, indeed many had slept through the explosion. The uninjured Fusiliers were deployed on the high ground around the site in case of a follow up attack by the IRA. None was forthcoming. Cpl Tom Sayers of 1 Platoon A Company was asleep at the time, having just returned from patrol but was still dressed for action. ‘I was asleep in my pit and the next thing I knew was waking up with the roof on top of me as the whole portacabin had collapsed. There were two other people in the room with me – Fusilier ‘Evo’ Evans and Cpl ‘Stan’ Boardman. Outside were the rest of the multiple in a hardened shelter. It was pitch black so I scrabbled around for my weapon, helmet and webbing. I got the radio out to send a contact report but the cryptic had been damaged so it didn’t work. I then shouted out “Stan! Evo! Are you alright?” as I hadn’t heard anything. Evo said, “I can’t feel my legs”. Stan said “My head’s bleeding”. So I moved to Stan but he seemed OK and then to Evo thinking Oh God what am I going to find here but it was only the GPMG lying on his legs. We eventually got outside and got the teams out of their cut-off positions to stop anything or anyone coming in. My next task was to find out how many casualties there were. I went to find Sergeant Major ‘Patch’ Ai but couldn’t find him in his portacabin so I went to the hardened shelter, opened the door and there was ‘Patch’ standing stark bollock naked with cuts all over him, going into shock. The Medic, Fusilier ‘Brewkit’ Brewer was sorting through his bed bunk so I said to him. “What are you doing?” and he replied “I’m trying to find him a pair of underpants.” I told him, “He’s going into shock – get the blanket off the bed, wrap him in it, and get him sorted.” Lieutenant Rawding was on the net calling for the helicopter evacuation of the casualties to Newry hospital. Cpl Sayers then located Fusilier Grundy in the sangar which had been blown up ‘there was Grundy – not a mark on him.’ I called over four Fusiliers and we placed him on the door. Now the helipad was on the top of a steep hill so it was quite a struggle to get him up there, but there was no hassle no arguments – straight up to the top. The Lynx arrived and the Doc flew back with the body to Newry, Grundy was pronounced dead on arrival. It is believed that Colman was one of those who bravely took part in the evacuation of Grundy, throughout under the threat of further attack by the IRA, though the specific details behind his GOC NI Commendation are not known, it was awarded for this incident, but for what exactly we are not sure.

After Grundy’s body was evacuated, the OC A Company arrived, Major James Murray-Playfair surveyed the scene of destruction and promptly took one of the NAAFI cigarettes lying around after the explosion, It was the first one he had smoked in ten years.

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I can't believe Ive stumbled across this post after this many years. After reading this I can remember it like it was yesterday, I remember waking up lying on the floor of the porticabin wondering why the roof was gone and the room was flattened. I though I had falling out of bed to start with until I heard Cpl Sayers shouting my name then I realized we had came under contact. I remember trying to get up but I couldn't move which made me panic, looking back that would of been partly due to rubble and the gpmg hitting and lying on my legs but also numbness due to landing on the floor from the top bunk. Once we were out of the rubble we were going to the Sub to make sure the rest of the lads were ok, I remember Patch covered in blood and looking like he was going into shock so I left the sub to go to the wash area to get him some water, on the way there I will never forget seeing flashes and loud bangs which I thought were coming from members of the IRA firing at me I remember thinking ###### wheres my SA80 which was amongst the rubble of the porticabin. I crouched down and as the flashes got bigger I realized it was the massive generator which powered the camp thats had been destroyed making all the noise which sounded like explosions. Once I got to where the wash rooms were they were none existent the place was scattered everywhere. It was surreal at the time I always thought if we were going to come under contact it would have been in the 6 week Newry patrols not a secure camp. Walking the Derry-begs on bonfire night and threw Newry town center on New Years Eve was interesting. There were some brave lads that day at R15 none more than Cpl Sayers and Fus Grundy.

QUOTE (bigjarofwasps @ Sep 1 2007, 19:04 ) An outstanding Northern Ireland General Officer Commanding Commendation Campaign Service Medal awarded to Fusilier G.A. Colman, A Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who was decorated for the IRA attack the Permanent Vehicle Check Point (PVCP) Romeo One Five on the 1st May 1992, when the Irish Republican Army launched one of its most sophisticated bomb attacks during the conflict. Fusilier Andrew Grundy was killed in the incident. Campaign Service Medal, 1 Clasp: Northern Ireland, with oakleaf on ribbon representing the award of the General Officer Commanding?s Commendation for Northern Ireland, named to: (24863595 FUS G A COLMAN RRF). Mounted loose style on wearing pin.

With a publication of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers journal ?The Fusilier?, Volume 7 Number 4, for December 1993. Page 370 shows the lists of Honours and Awards? with Fusilier Colman?s name shown for the GOC Northern Ireland Commendation, he was serving with the 2nd Battalion at the time.

Fusilier G.A. Colman served with the 2nd Battalion, and his service number indicates that he joined up in 1987, into the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. In 1991 following their five year commitment to the ACE Mobile Force Land, the 2nd Battalion began a two year tour of Northern Ireland in the same area as where the Battalion had first exercised after their formation in 1968. Based at Abercorn Barracks in Ballykinler, the 2nd Battalion arrived in theatre during late July 1991 as the resident regular battalion of 3rd Brigade which was tasked with the security of the Border region. Colman would have taken part in Operation ?Bronski? the construction and refurbishment of the Golf and Romeo OP Towers in South Armagh. This tour eventually became one of the longest tours ever staged by a battalion in NI, at 31 months. It was the Regiment?s 30th tour of Ulster during the troubles, and became one full of incidents. The most serious was the destruction of PVCP (Permanent Vehicle Check Point) Romeo One Five on 1st May 1992, one of the most sophisticated bomb attacks by the IRA throughout the conflict, and the one for which Colman would be decorated with his G.O.C.?s NI Commendation.

The following details of the incident are taken from the regimental history of the Royal Fusiliers ?For England and St George?.

Romeo One Five was situated at Killeen, south of Newry on the main Belfast to Dublin road. The PVCP (Permanent Vehicle Check Point) had been first destroyed in 1990 by a proxy bomb driven to the site by an innocent civilian whose family had been kidnapped and threatened with death if he did not comply. Ranger Cyril Smith of the Royal Irish Rangers died instantly in the explosion. Romeo One Five was built in its place, but this time it was protected by armoured blast walls against proxy bombs and incorporated a hardened shelter for the troops, known as the ?submarine?. After careful examination from afar, the IRA had discovered a chink in its armour. R15 was armoured on three sides facing the A1 Road. The fact that the railway side was unprotected had been realised and work was in hand to rectify the failing. As part of the contingency planning, the base was to be evacuated when the threat level reached a certain level. At this point, the platoon would disperse into preordained positions in the surrounding hills, leaving only a few people in the control sangar to coordinate matters. The threat level had almost been reached but there was pressure from on high not to evacuate the base. During the night of 30th April, an IRA ASU hijacked a JCB mechanical digger and drove it to Killeen bridge where the A1 passes over the Belfast to Dublin railway line, just inside the Northern Ireland border. After knocking down a wall and preparing an access ramp, the JCB lifted the Renault Master van on to the railway line. The tyres of the van had been removed and it had been fitted with an extra set of wheels so as to run on the tracks; it also contained one ton of homemade explosives. The courtesy light was switched on and second gear was engaged. The van started trundling north towards Newry with 1800 metres of command wire spooling out of the back. At the same time IRA teams set up road blocks north and south of R15 to stop civilian vehicles from approaching the PVCP. At R15 the guard at the rear sangar overlooking the railway line had just changed and Fusilier Andrew Grundy had relieved his close friend Michael Beswick. Most of the Fusiliers were asleep in the ?submarine?. Shortly after 0200 hours, a Fusilier in R14, a hilltop OP overlooking the PCVP, noticed a light moving northwards along the railway line and sent a message by radio stating ?A car is driving down the railway line?. He made the transmission twice on the company net but was met with disbelief. At the rear of the PVCP, Fusilier Grundy heard the warning and was leaning out of the sangar when he saw it approaching. He immediately realised the danger and shouted over the intercom - ?Proxy bomb - rear gate!? He then brought his rifle to bear to try to disrupt the device with gun fire. A third person was also watching the approach van and when he saw the telltale curtesy light draw abreast of R15, he radioed his accomplice at the end of the command wire. One kilometre south of the PVCP multiples from 3 Platoon under the command of Lieutenant Peter Allanach were on patrol when they were approached by a civilian who told them that his car had been stopped by hooded men telling him to avoid R15. Lieutenant ?Zippy? Allanach radioed a warning and then 3 Platoon began running towards the PCVP. At 0205 hours, the bomb detonated on the only unprotected side of the PVCP. The explosion uprooted the 10 ton rear sangar and propelled it a distance of some then metres. Inside, Fusilier Grundy was killed instantly by the blast. The first report to be received by battalion headquarters was from 3 Platoon which stated - ?Contact now at R15. Major explosion?. The next report was even more dire - Contact R15 bombing. There are mass casualties - the submarine has gone!?. There were 24 soldiers in the ?submarine? and this report precipitated numerous offers of assistance over the battalion net.

The commander of the platoon manning R15 , Lieutenant Andrew Rawding then emerged from the debris, with blood running down his face and his rifle destroyed, and ascertained that the casualties were not severe. The ?submarine? had survived intact and all those inside had not been harmed, indeed many had slept through the explosion. The uninjured Fusiliers were deployed on the high ground around the site in case of a follow up attack by the IRA. None was forthcoming. Cpl Tom Sayers of 1 Platoon A Company was asleep at the time, having just returned from patrol but was still dressed for action. ?I was asleep in my pit and the next thing I knew was waking up with the roof on top of me as the whole portacabin had collapsed. There were two other people in the room with me ? Fusilier ?Evo? Evans and Cpl ?Stan? Boardman. Outside were the rest of the multiple in a hardened shelter. It was pitch black so I scrabbled around for my weapon, helmet and webbing. I got the radio out to send a contact report but the cryptic had been damaged so it didn?t work. I then shouted out ?Stan! Evo! Are you alright?? as I hadn?t heard anything. Evo said, ?I can?t feel my legs?. Stan said ?My head?s bleeding?. So I moved to Stan but he seemed OK and then to Evo thinking Oh God what am I going to find here but it was only the GPMG lying on his legs. We eventually got outside and got the teams out of their cut-off positions to stop anything or anyone coming in. My next task was to find out how many casualties there were. I went to find Sergeant Major ?Patch? Ai but couldn?t find him in his portacabin so I went to the hardened shelter, opened the door and there was ?Patch? standing stark bollock naked with cuts all over him, going into shock. The Medic, Fusilier ?Brewkit? Brewer was sorting through his bed bunk so I said to him. ?What are you doing?? and he replied ?I?m trying to find him a pair of underpants.? I told him, ?He?s going into shock ? get the blanket off the bed, wrap him in it, and get him sorted.? Lieutenant Rawding was on the net calling for the helicopter evacuation of the casualties to Newry hospital. Cpl Sayers then located Fusilier Grundy in the sangar which had been blown up ?there was Grundy ? not a mark on him.? I called over four Fusiliers and we placed him on the door. Now the helipad was on the top of a steep hill so it was quite a struggle to get him up there, but there was no hassle no arguments ? straight up to the top. The Lynx arrived and the Doc flew back with the body to Newry, Grundy was pronounced dead on arrival. It is believed that Colman was one of those who bravely took part in the evacuation of Grundy, throughout under the threat of further attack by the IRA, though the specific details behind his GOC NI Commendation are not known, it was awarded for this incident, but for what exactly we are not sure.

After Grundy?s body was evacuated, the OC A Company arrived, Major James Murray-Playfair surveyed the scene of destruction and promptly took one of the NAAFI cigarettes lying around after the explosion, It was the first one he had smoked in ten years.

I was one of the Fusilier participants on this night in question and can shed some further clarity on the last few minutes before the attack and the immediate aftermath outside the PVCP base..If any one is interested please drop me a reply back

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Hi guys just thought I'd let you know,,,

We are having a memorial for Andy on 9th may 2012 as it will be his 20th year, it will be at the war memorial in Stafford west midlands Andy rawdings amongst others are coming all his mates are welcome,

From his brother chris,

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hey guys,

I'm just a curious CCF cadet, I bought a second hand bergen in a local surplus store with markings from ' P.P. Gibbons 25084540 A coy' and I've been furiously searching google to try and find out anything I can about this guy, and seeing as he's selling off his kit, see if he has anything else I could buy.

I saw he obtained a GSM for Northern Ireland in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, and is selling that through a third party website which won't let me speak to him, and seeing as you guys know so much about the RRF in that conflict, I was wondering if any of you know anything about him.

It's nice to find stories in old kit.

Micky

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