Page 5 of 6 FirstFirst ... 3456 LastLast
Results 41 to 50 of 57

Thread: Gunner George Muncaster, KIA 23rd January 1977

  1. #41
    Wallflower
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    3
    40 Years on and still not forgotten always thinking of you George, and I can still picture the last time I saw you in Grand Central Hotel.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them

  2. #42
    Old Warhorse turned Admin. Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky 1st Class DeadHorse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Kent, nowhere near 'that Yorkshire' {{{shudder}}}
    Posts
    21,495
    RCT & bar (fully licensed)
    This Vehicle is Alarmed
    (but the driver has seen it all before)
    You can lead a horse to water - but you cant make me drink the stuff.

  3. #43
    Association Member of WUSA bigal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    spain
    Posts
    3,044
    Be who you are and say what you feel...
    Because those that matter, don't mind.
    And those that mind, don't matter!

  4. #44
    Administrator Jock2413's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Narf Landan Innit
    Posts
    17,978
    Rest easy fellow Gunner.
    You cannot fight a war with one hand tied behind your back.

  5. #45
    Administrator & NIVA Newshound jigsawged's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Stowmarket, Suffolk (born and raised in Lancashire)
    Posts
    5,945
    End of Mission George, rest easy - always in our thoughts.
    “Some must be warriors, that others may live in peace. ”
    ― Mercedes Lackey

  6. #46
    Admin/Membership Secretary/Treasurer On1on's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    South Yorkshire
    Posts
    7,494


    Couldn't get there this year old lad but still remembered, see you again soon.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Visit tree 49/189 @ the NMA and say hello.

  7. #47
    Chatterbox. As Nuts As Spanner.
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Missionary Work Dorset
    Posts
    2,238

  8. #48
    Association Member eelpieisland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    twickenham
    Posts
    3,210

  9. #49
    Admin/Membership Secretary/Treasurer On1on's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    South Yorkshire
    Posts
    7,494
    Something I wrote back in 2004 for Ken Wharton's book:

    Gunner George Mitchell Muncaster, KIA 23rd January 1977 in Belfast

    I left the Army in 1977 shortly after my second tour of Northern Ireland which had been based at the Ormeau Road gasworks bordering on the republican Markets area, just south of Belfast city centre. I was just 21 years old having joined as a boy soldier aged 15 in the Junior Leaders’ Regiment, Royal Artillery. Like many before and many since, I struggled to adjust and settle down in civvy street having no job to go to and nowhere to live. With the help of family, friends and the love of a good woman, I eventually came good and am now employed helping others in a well paid job I enjoy.

    At first, I was constantly reminded through press and TV of the continuing ‘Troubles’ in the province. I sought to box off the bad memories of NI and keep them tucked away somewhere at the back of my mind whilst getting on with the rest of my life. But, over the last few years as I got older, something had been nagging away at the back of my mind. With age comes a sense of looking back so I suppose what happened was that bit by bit, the string around the box I’d stored away started to unravel bringing back the memories. One memory in particular, that of my friend George Muncaster.

    22.00 hours, 23rd January 1977 in Belfast, my section had just come off a 16 hour shift of foot and mobile patrols of 2 hours on, 2 hours standby, 2 hours on etc and we had grabbed a couple of egg banjos and were off to our pits to clean rifles and grab some kip before starting again at 06.00 next morning. For some reason I’d kept my Pye set, probably too tired to bother handing it in, and just as I was pulling the sheets back came the dreaded “Contact, wait out”. A single high velocity shot fired from Saint Colman’s primary school in the Markets area at 22.08 hours hit and killed George. Within minutes he had died in the arms of a comrade on the corner of Eliza and New Bond Street, only a few hundred yards away from where we were. The gunman escaped the FUIHP and the firing point was discovered the next day, an open window in the school. (I understand the Garand rifle used was recovered by the incoming Regiment a few weeks later).

    I wasn’t there when George was shot; I didn’t witness it firsthand. George wasn’t in our section or troop, he was based at the Mission Hall on Cromac Square with 1 Troop, maybe a quarter of a mile away from the gasworks and 2 & 3 Troop of 55 (The Residency) Battery, 49 Field Regiment RA. We were however both ex brats from Junior Leaders, we both worked on the command post on FACE, we both lived in the barrack block back in Hohne as single lads eating and drinking together. But he died and I didn’t. So why did I feel guilty after all these years? Why was he robbed of his life and I wasn’t? Why did I go on to make a relative success of my life and he couldn’t? Why so many whys?

    Nowadays it’s recognised as survivor guilt, PTSD, back then it wasn’t. You just got on with things, or didn’t. Many a single soldier failed to readjust to ‘normal’ life after returning to BAOR and either went AWOL, got drunk regularly or bought themselves out, I got drunk and PVR’d a few months later. When we returned to Hohne we were dropped off on the main square to await the baggage bus and left to it. There was no support in the 70’s, or if there was, I wasn’t aware or offered it. My unhappiness manifested itself with requests to transfer to other Corps but my colour blindness put paid to that. An offer of promotion to full Bombardier and a two year posting to Warminster as a skill at arms instructor was declined. I got the distinct impression they were glad to see me go as that would be one problem less.

    At the time things were starting to bother me again I discovered the internet and the Northern Ireland Veterans Association online, this would have been 2004. Through their friendship and support, they helped me start to come to terms with my negative thoughts and recognise what was bothering me. Most of the time now I’m ok but on others, usually in the latter part of January, I’m not and feel crap for no apparent reason, but now I know why. So what can I do? Well if nothing else, I can make sure George’s name is not forgotten along with all the others left behind, and aren’t just names in a long list of names of those that gave their all for a nation that all too soon forgets.

    When you visit the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas in Staffordshire, make the long walk along Millennium Way from the visitor centre to the Ulster Ash Grove and visit the tree planted in his honour, (labelled 49/183), with a commemorative plaque attached. Look around and behold the forest of young ash trees planted to remember other fallen young comrades and say hello. Tell him and the many others they are missed by family and friends. Tell him to rest quietly with his new friends and let your eyes fill up and the tears fall, as mine do now writing this, then stand proud and remember, remember the sacrifice of giving his life so others can enjoy the fragile peace, never to be forgotten, not while we live on and the trees grow. No-one will mind, they’re probably doing the same. Rest in peace mate.

    Obituary published in the journal of 49 Field Regiment, RA:

    Gunner George Muncaster

    It was just past 10 o’clock on Sunday night, 23rd January 1977 that one of our best known and best liked friends was callously murdered whilst patrolling with his section on the hard line republican streets of the Markets. Scouse was a man who smiled well and whose contribution to the happiness and welfare of our community was always large. His discos were a regular success, generally noisy and always jolly. Our Battery dances will never be the same again. Coming from the Junior Leaders’ Regiment in 1974 he immediately became one of the Regiment. Football was his great love and on a number of occasions he played for the Regiment as goalkeeper. During his Northern Ireland tour he was a rifleman in 1 Troop based on the Mission Hall. To his parents, brother, sisters and friends, we join in deep sympathy and sorrow. We are proud to have served alongside him.

    From the book, “Bullets, Bombs and Cups of Tea” by Ken Wharton published by Helion & Company Ltd, 2009 (ISBN 978-1906033-34-7)

    Ken Wharton Bibliography:

    • [FONT="]A Long Long War: Voices from the British Army in Northern Ireland, 1969–1998[/FONT][FONT="]. Helion and Company. (2008)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]Bullets, Bombs and Cups of Tea: Further Voices of the British Army in Northern Ireland, 1969–98[/FONT][FONT="]. Helion and Company. (2009)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]Bloody Belfast: An Oral History of the British Army's War Against the IRA[/FONT][FONT="]. The History Press Ltd. (2010)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]The Bloodiest Year: British Soldiers in Northern Ireland 1972, in Their Own Words[/FONT][FONT="]. The History Press Ltd. (2011)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]Sir, They're Taking the Kids Indoors: The British Army in Northern Ireland, 1973/74[/FONT][FONT="]. Helion and Company. (2012)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]Wasted Years, Wasted Lives: Vol 1 The Troubles 1975/7[/FONT][FONT="]. Helion and Company (2013)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]Wasted Years, Wasted Lives: Vol 2 The Troubles 1978/9[/FONT][FONT="]. Helion and Company (July 2014)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]Northern Ireland 1980–83: An Agony Continued[/FONT][FONT="]. Helion and Company (August, 2015)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]Another Bloody Chapter in an Endless Civil War; the troubles: Vol 1[/FONT][FONT="]: 84-87' Helion and Company (July 2016)[/FONT]
    • [FONT="]Another Bloody Chapter in an Endless Civil War; the troubles: Vol 11: 1988-90[/FONT][FONT="] Helion and Company (July 2017[/FONT]

    Blood and Broken Glass; Northern Ireland’s Violent Countdown Towards Peace: 1991-1993 Helion and Company (2018)
    Last edited by On1on; 22-01-2018 at 08:13 PM.
    Visit tree 49/189 @ the NMA and say hello.

  10. #50
    Chatterbox. As Nuts As Spanner.
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Missionary Work Dorset
    Posts
    2,238

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •