Feb 102019

Operation Banner Soldiers Stories

The British Army’s arrival in Northern Ireland. They were deployed on 14th August 1969 by the Wilson government, as law and order had broken down in the province. Over the next three decades, some 300,000 British troops would serve in what became a war in all but name. Occasionally they were welcomed, more often, they were spat at, pelted with missiles or shot. Operation Banner ended at midnight on 31st July 2007 making it the longest continuous deployment in the British Army’s history, but the memories of the soldiers who had served here would last a lot longer… This documentary for HISTORY, presented by former soldier Ken Hames and based on the in-depth interviews conducted by Northern Ireland veteran Ken Wharton for his books on The Troubles, provides a new and unique insight into the conflict in Northern Ireland. Soldiers have never before given such personal interviews and reveal stories of bombings, humour in the face of adversity, of strong comradeship and of heartache, from their own personal perspective. In the four decades that British troops were stationed in Northern Ireland they were subjected to bombings and shootings on a daily basis. This was a brutal and terrifying time that scarred all who served there.

Sourced From You Tube (Credited James Buchan)

Who Really Shot James Bryson ?

In the original manuscript about the demise of James Bryson, which was written by Ed Maloney and James Kinchin-White it was illustrated with a photograph of a vehicle which was purported to be the vehicle that James Bryson met his death in.

In fact this vehicle was not the said vehicle that James Bryson met his demise in, the vehicle shown in the original document written by the two authors Ed Maloney and James Kinchin-White was in fact unrelated to the death of James Bryson, this vehicle had one year earlier been involved in another shooting.

The vehicle which James Bryson met his demise in was another vehicle, which is only known to the intelligence officers of the British Armed Forces.

The day’s events have a few unanswered questions they are:

How was it that James Bryson had been seen earlier in the estate driving around purported to waving a weapon around, there was intelligence to say this and therefore he was in the radar and was heading towards a rendezvous point, the question is why if the intelligence knew that Bryson was heading towards this area, were two soldiers left in a roof space as sitting ducks?

Two soldiers that should have been on patrol in a formation of more than two soldiers where were the others?

Why were they not sent back up?

Was Bryson working for the intelligence services undercover?

Was his waving of the weapon previously in a residential area an action made to flush out the security forces or was it too show a signal of strength to let other terrorists know he was there or to strike fear in innocent people, both would make sense if he was working for the security forces as has been suggested previously?

Was Bryson going to the final destination under the lull of a sense of false security, he thought he was going with his intelligence officers, others who were working for the armed forces as Ira officers, in the car and his Ira companion unaware that they were going to a rendezvous which would be the capture of his Ira colleague, hence Bryson did not fire at the two soldiers that were sitting as sitting ducks when they kicked the roof space in? 

Soldier who opened fire by his own omission did not give the required warning before he opened fire, why was this, did he panic or did he know he didn’t need to? (Unbeknown to his colleague another Soldier who did not get decorated for his action, although he was in equal danger, as the Soldier who opened fire, this was a pre arranged incident hence only two Soldiers, lay in wait)

The Soldier who opened fire, was it his bullet that killed Bryson, where is the postmortem report to show this?

Did somebody in the car sacrifice Bryson; was he shot in the car?

In fact was this a two for one exercise gets rid of a rogue intelligence officer and an Ira terrorist at the same time?

The only way we will know this is when we know how many occupants were in the car, it is purported that there were 5 in the car, it is also purported that the other 3 were intelligence officers working with the Ira having infiltrated them.

How many occupants were in the car?

Where is the car?

Did the car scream off as was stated by a resident nearby?

What happened to the other occupants?

Were Bryson and his colleague thrown out of the car?

Where are Bryson’s’ bullets, surely he would have returned fire, If he didn’t then was he actually being aggressive, showing aggression with his weapon?

Was this the reason for the Soldier to fire at him?

If no firing was taking place at the time, how come a Soldier fired on Bryson?

Was this a pre organized exercise?

Bryson and his colleague were they shot in the car and to legitimize the incident the Soldier knew he had to put a round down, to cover the tracks of the intelligence officers that had killed Bryson?

How many bullets were in Bryson did they all match the British Soldiers ammunition?

Did the Soldier get The Military Medal as a hush award, to keep his mouth shut a pay off?

All of the above have been circulated unanswered for 45 years.

Of course given the nature of the incident, it is safe to say that the Dead tell no lies, and the answers have died with the x-rays. (X-ray a term used for the dead terrorist in Army speak / Military speak).

He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers.”

Charles Peguy.

To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men –

Ella Wheeler.