|After the Riots started in
the Maze Tac HQ, 'A' and 'C' Companies were deployed with the first
'Stick' from the Battalion under the command of Sgt COLE leading the way
followed in 15 Minute intervals by the rest of the Battalion. As they flew
over the Maze they could see the smoke and flames from the various prison
buildings, including the cookhouse which the inmates had set on fire.. 'D'
Company drove up from Auchnacloy with a company of 1st Bn W.F.R. appearing
from Londonderry. Parts of 1 RRF, Royal Anglia's, 45 Royal Marine
Commando, RTR, Royal Engineers and the Royal Hussars all took part.
'A' Company 1 DERR led the entry into the Maze only to
be met by a hail of bricks and chunks of concrete, they managed to take
the first gate into the compounds where they remained under attack
including petrol.. 'D' Company then passed through 'A' and engaged in a
running fight down the lengths of the compound to secure the gate into the
next compound. 'C' Company nearly came unstuck when they confronted the
majority of the rioters but were assisted by timely intervention by 3 RTR.
The rioters then fell back across two football pitches encouraged by helicopters
dropping CS Gas on them. It must be said at this time that 'D' Coy
suffered 'Friendly fire' in as mush as they got gassed as well.
Eventually the rioters were forced up against a fence and slowly but surely
surrendered. The prisoners were well prepared, they had erected
barricades, stock piled bricks and hunks of concrete, made various
weapons, poles with six inch nails embedded in their ends, improvised maces, bed
ends with their ends made as jagged as possible, they even had
Weapons and Equipment
recovered by the Battalion after the riots
The Battalion did however suffer a large number of minor
casualties, mainly from bricks.. The 'Ops Sgt' who volunteered to go in
with 'Tac HQ' was laid out by a particularly large brick and was laid out
again when some first aider removed his respirator in the gas cloud. (Glad
to see standards have not dropped !!)