Author Topic: Queen awards Conspicuous Gallantry Cross to the Royal Irish Regiment  (Read 1405 times)

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Offline big bad john (John Hill)

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http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/HistoryAndHonour/QueenAwardsConspicuousGallantryCrossToTheRoyalIrishRegiment.htm

Queen awards Conspicuous Gallantry Cross to the Royal Irish Regiment
6 Oct 06
The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross has today, Friday 6 October 2006, been awarded by The Queen to The Royal Irish Regiment in recognition of 36 years continuous operational service and sacrifice in Northern Ireland by The Ulster Defence Regiment and the Home Service battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment.

 
Second only to the Victoria Cross, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross (CGC) is a rare award for military gallantry and is held in the highest esteem by the Armed Forces. It is the first time it has been awarded to a military unit rather than an individual serviceman.

Receiving the CGC from The Queen on behalf of The Royal Irish Regiment at a parade and final review of the Home Service battalions in Belfast today was Corporal Claire Withers, 30, whose father – Corporal Trelford Withers – was the last serving Royal Irish soldier to be killed by terrorist action.

Cpl Trelford Withers, 46, a soldier with the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, was shot dead on 8 August 1994 as he worked in his butcher’s shop in Crossgar, County Down:

"I think of him every day," said Cpl Claire Withers, a physical training instructor with her father’s former battalion. "I was obviously thinking of him today as well, but I was also thinking of everyone else in the regimental family who has lost a loved one over the years."

"There have been many difficult years but our job is now done and we march into history with dignity and with heads held high."
 
Colonel Mark Campbell
Claire, who remembers seeing her father on patrol near Crossgar many years ago, added:

"This award is a great honour for the Regiment, and I am extremely proud to have received it from The Queen on behalf of all members of the Regiment, past and present. I was lucky to have been picked because of my father, but I am representing everyone here today."

Colonel Mark Campbell, Regimental Colonel of The Royal Irish Regiment, said:

"The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross honours the service, sacrifice and achievements of The Royal Irish Regiment and its Home Service predecessor, The Ulster Defence Regiment. It will be emblazoned onto the Regimental Colours, a unique reminder of the gallantry of those who served in Northern Ireland."

Soldiers of the three Home Service battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment paraded for the final time before HM The Queen at the commemorative event at the Balmoral Showground, Belfast marking the end of operational duties in Northern Ireland and the conclusion of 36 years’ loyal service. The Queen was accompanied by HRH The Duke of York in his role as Colonel in Chief of The Royal Irish Regiment.


Among the 9,000 regimental spectators witnessing today’s parade at the Balmoral Showground in Belfast were soldiers past and present of The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) and the Home Service, widows and bereaved of many of the 274 serving and ex-serving personnel lost to terrorist action, veterans wounded while serving in Northern Ireland, and many family members. Dignitaries – several of them former members of the Regiment – were also in attendance.

"We are today commemorating the service and sacrifice of the UDR and the Royal Irish over the past 36 years and the duty of so many that has helped secure the primacy of democratic politics in Northern Ireland," Colonel Campbell continued.

"There have been many difficult years but our job is now done and we march into history with dignity and with heads held high."

274 members and ex-members of The Ulster Defence Regiment, The Royal Irish Regiment, The Royal Irish Rangers and Royal Irish members of the Territorial Army died as a result of terrorist action in Northern Ireland between 1971 and 2002.

The three Home Service battalions became non-operational on 1 September 2006, and are now drawing-down prior to formal disbandment on 31 July 2007. The announcement as to the disbandment of the Home Service battalions of The Royal Irish Regiment was made to the House of Commons by the Secretary of State for Defence on 1 August 2005.

Offline COBRA-6

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Re: Queen awards Conspicuous Gallantry Cross to the Royal Irish Regiment
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2006, 14:41:34 »
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