Operations in Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland featured significantly in the Regiment’s first fifteen years, as it did in the Queen’s Regiment and Royal Hampshire Regiment before amalgamation. The Regiment’s deployments to the Province were as follows:

1st Battalion

Date Deployment
1993 to 1995 Omagh.
1996 Two short deployments as the UK Standby Battalion, including West Belfast and Armagh.
1997 to 1998 West Belfast, followed by one composite company deployed with 1st Battalion The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons).

2nd Battalion

Date Deployment
1992/1993 South Armagh. (One composite company, Gallipoli Company, with 1st Battalion The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment).
1993 to 1994 Fermanagh.
1995 to 1997 Omagh.
1998 to 1999 West Belfast.
2006 to 2008 Ballykelly.

This was an extremely interesting time politically, as the 1st Battalion experienced the beginning of the first IRA ceasefire, the 2nd Battalion saw it ending and both battalions deployed during the second ceasefire, with all its uncertainties. Soldiers and their commanders at all levels gained a great deal of valuable experience from these Northern Ireland tours and enjoyed the challenge. The Regiment earned enormous praise for its professionalism as had its immediate forebears. As the ceasefire date of the 1st August 2007 neared, with all its uncertainties, The 2nd Battalion had the distinction of being the last troops out of Bessbrook, South Armagh, a notoriously dangerous patrol base during the Troubles.