Leaflet entitled 'UDR - Peace through strength,' 1976
The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was raised in 1970 for service in Northern Ireland during 'the Troubles (1969-2007). It existed until 1992 when it was merged into The Royal Irish Regiment.
Its duties in Ulster included guarding key points, patrolling, surveillance, and manning vehicle check points. As its soldiers were recruited from the community where they served they were never used for crowd control or riot duties.
Initially envisaged as a non-sectarian force that would replace the controversial Ulster Special Constabulary, the UDR ended up as an overwhelmingly Protestant body. Threats from Republican paramilitaries, the hostility of some Protestant UDR recruits and anger at the introduction of interment in 1972, led to a decline in the recruitment and retention of Catholics.
Loyalist paramilitaries attempted to infiltrate the UDR and several members of the regiment were involved in sectarian crimes. Other soldiers were expelled for being members of paramilitary organisations.
Such incidents, alongside its largely Protestant make up, meant the UDR was distrusted by the nationalist community. Although the regiment came under sustained criticism in the press and from politicians, the vast majority of its soldiers served with honour and upheld the law.
From a collection of 18 leaflets produced for Army recruiting purposes, 1975-1995.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Study Collection