July 31

Published in On this Day listing

  • 2007 ‘Operation Banner’, the British Army’s 38-year role in support of the RUC in Northern Ireland, ended. During that period 763 of its personnel had lost their lives
  • 2007 ‘Operation Banner’, the British army’s 38-year role in support of the police in Northern Ireland in which 763 members of British forces died, ended at midnight.
  • 1972 ‘Operation Motorman’: over 36,000 members of the British Army, RUC and UDR move in to dismantle barriers and take over Catholic ‘no-go’ areas in Derry and Belfast. That same day the IRA detonated three large car bombs in the village of Claudy, Co. Derry, killing ten people.
  • 1917 Francis Ledwidge, poet, killed near Ypres.
  • 1917 The Battle of Passchendaele (3rd Battle of Ypres), for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres, began (until 10 November).Francis Ledwidge (29), labourer and poet, was killed by a stray German shell while building a road in Boezinge, Flanders.
  • 1972 ‘Operation Motorman’, the biggest British military operation since the Suez crisis (1956), re-established a military presence in the ‘no-go areas’ of Derry and Belfast. Three large car bombs exploded in the village of Claudy, 10km (6 miles) south-east of the city, killing or mortally wounding six civilians.
  • 1973 The first meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly ended in disorder when over twenty loyalist members refused to accept the ruling that the house would adjourn.

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