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1st Bn Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment

(Berkshire and Wiltshire)

 

The 'Maze' 'Ablaze'

The sight that confronted the 'Farmersboys' in October 1974

 

The Maze ablaze

 

Disturbances at the Maze 25 - 26th October 1974 
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 respirators.

Weapons recovered

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 !!)

 

 

'The Maze' Photo gallery

(Click to enlarge

The Maze before the Riot

The Maze after

The Maze before the Riot The Maze after the Riot

The Maze after

Same huts different view

The detention huts after Same huts, different view

The Maze, ablaze

The Capture of some of the inmates

The Maze ablaze Some captured prisoners

The Inmates

The Inmates

The inmates The 'Boyos' confront the 'Farmersboys

The football field round up

First Aid administered
Farmersboys round up prisoners  A DERR Soldier renders first aid
Prisoner removal The scene inside the Maze
A team of unidentified 'Farmersboys' remove a 'Customer' Tear Gas and smoke slow down the work rate
The collection point on the football field A 'Farmersboy' removes an inmate at the double

Dragon vlys view
The blaze continues As always the heroics are reported in the 'Dragon Vly'
 
 
                             
 
                        
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                            Revised: 19 July 2006.