Headquarters Northern Ireland
HQ Northern Ireland was the formation responsible for the British Army in and around Northern Ireland. It was established in 1922 and disbanded, replaced by a brigade-level Army Reserve formation, 38 (Irish) Brigade, in 2009.
|HQ Northern Ireland|
|Garrison/HQ||Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn|
Northern Ireland District was established following the partition of Ireland in 1922 and was originally based at Victoria Barracks, Belfast. During the Second World War the role of the District was enhanced from internal security to that of combatting any threat of invasion from the Republic of Ireland. The status of the formation was upgraded from District to Command under the leadership of Lieutenant General Sir John Hackett in 1961.
With the emergence of the Troubles, which started in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, the role of HQ Northern Ireland increased substantially as it took responsibility for "assisting in the defeat of terrorism and the maintenance of public order" and by 1972 it had 27,000 troops under its command.
On 30 January 2006 the Secretary of State for Defence announced to the House of Commons that 19 Light Brigade, then stationed at Catterick, would be re-roling into a light brigade and relocating to Scotland and Northern Ireland. On 10 May 2006 it was further announced that "in addition to the HQ and other units of 19 Light Brigade that we expect to relocate to Northern Ireland in 2007 and 2008, a new and non-deployable regional brigade headquarters will form at Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn. The current 107 (Ulster) Brigade, based at Ballymena, will merge on 15 December this year into HQ 39 Infantry Brigade, which will itself be replaced by the new regional brigade headquarters, 38th (Irish) Brigade under the command of the 2nd Division, on 1 August 2007".
On 6 August 2007 HQ Northern Ireland and 38 (Irish) Brigade combined to create a single transitional headquarters with a two star General Officer Commanding. At the same time the British military presence in the Province was reduced to about 5,000 troops.
Other services had a smaller 'footprint' in the province during the Troubles. The RAF's presence in Northern Ireland was based at RAF Aldergrove, and 230 Squadron was based there for many years, among other units. The Royal Navy no longer maintain a regular presence in Northern Ireland waters with the disbandment of the Northern Ireland Squadron. The Royal Navy's main presence is HMS Hibernia, which serves as the HQ of the Royal Naval Reserve's Ulster Division.
Northern Ireland District Organization in 1939Edit
- Headquarters - Belfast
- Regular Troops
- Northern Ireland District Signal Company, Royal Corps of Signals - Belfast
- 2nd Battalion, The South Wales Borderers - Derry
- 1st Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment - Holywood
- 2nd Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment - Ballykinler
- 2nd Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment - Belfast
- Commander Royal Artillery, Northern Ireland District
- Belfast Fire Command - Belfast
- Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Depot - Omagh
- The Royal Ulster Rifles Depot - Armagh
- Territorial Army
- The Supplementary Reserve
- Other Units
- 26th Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps - Belfast
- 53rd Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps - Belfast
- 54th Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps - Derry
- 15th Field Hospital Company, Royal Army Medical Corps - Holywood
- Northern Ireland District, Royal Army Ordnance Corps - Carrickfergus
- Northern Ireland District, Royal Army Pay Corps - Belfast
- Regular Troops
HQ Northern Ireland formations, December 1989Edit
In December 1989 the following units were based in Northern Ireland under command of HQ Northern Ireland:
- Headquarters Northern Ireland, Lisburn, covering Northern Ireland
- 3rd Infantry Brigade, Armagh
- 8th Infantry Brigade, Derry
- 39th Infantry Brigade, Lisburn
- 655 Squadron AAC, Aldergrove
- 1 Flight AAC, Aldergrove
List of units c.2011Edit
- Permanent Units
- HQ Northern Ireland
- 15 Signal Regiment
- 38 Infantry Brigade
- HQNI Support Battalion
- 2nd Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling), 83rd, 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment)
- 591 (Independent) Field Squadron, Royal Engineers
- 152 Transport Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps
- 253 Medical Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps
- Queen's University Officer Training Corps
- B (North Irish Horse) Squadron, Queen's Own Yeomanry
- 40 (Ulster) Signal Squadron
- 206 (Ulster) Battery, 105th Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers)
- 204 Field Hospital, Royal Army Medical Corps
- No. 3 Squadron, RAF Regiment
- 5 Regiment, Army Air Corps
- 25 Engineer Regiment
- 8 Detachment, Lisburn, Northern Ireland – 243 Provost Company (Volunteers)
General Officers Commanding Northern IrelandEdit
- General Sir Archibald Cameron 1922–1925
- General Sir Felix Ready 1926–1929
- General Sir Arthur Wauchope 1929–1931
- Major-General Sir Eric Girdwood 1931–1935
- Major-General James Cooke-Collis 1935–1938
- Major-General Robert Pollok 1938–1940
- Major-General Hubert Huddleston 1940
- Major-General Ridley Pakenham-Walsh 1940–1941
- Major-General Vivian Majendie 1941–1943
- Major-General Alan Cunningham 1943–1944
- Major-General Gerard Bucknall 1944–1948
- Major-General Ouvry Roberts 1948–1949
- Lieutenant General Sir Reginald Denning 1949–1952
- Lieutenant General Sir John Woodall 1952–1955
- Lieutenant General Sir Brian Kimmins 1955–1958
- Lieutenant General Sir Douglas Packard 1959–1961
Northern Ireland Command
- Lieutenant General Sir John Hackett 1961–1963
- Lieutenant General Sir Richard Anderson 1963–1965
- Lieutenant General Sir Desmond Fitzpatrick 1965–1966
- Lieutenant General Sir Ian Harris 1966–1969
- Lieutenant General Sir Ian Freeland 1969–1971
- Lieutenant General Vernon Erskine-Crum 1971
- General Sir Harry Tuzo 1971–1973
- General Sir Frank King 1973–1975
- Lieutenant General Sir David House 1975–1977
- General Sir Timothy Creasey 1977–1979
- General Sir Richard Lawson 1979–1982
- Lieutenant General Sir Robert Richardson 1982–1985
- General Sir Robert Pascoe 1985–1988
- General Sir John Waters 1988–1990
- General Sir John Wilsey 1990–1993
- General Sir Roger Wheeler 1993–1996
- General Sir Rupert Smith 1996–1998
- Lieutenant General Sir Hew Pike 1998–2000
- General Sir Alistair Irwin 2000–2003
- Lieutenant General Sir Philip Trousdell 2003–2005
- General Sir Redmond Watt 2005–2006
- Lieutenant General Nick Parker 2006–2007
- Major General Chris Brown 2008–2009
- "Northern Ireland District". British Military History. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- "Hackett, Gen Sir John Winthrop". Liddell Hart Military Archives. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- "The mission". HQ Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 16 August 2005. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- "Security forces in the Troubles". BBC. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- Written Ministerial Statements for 10 May 2006
- Heyman, Charles (2011). "The British Army: A Pocket Guide, 2012-2013". Pen & Sword Military. ISBN 978-1848841079.
- 38 Bde/HQ NI website accessed January 2008
- Battle of Jutland veteran HMS Caroline to stay in Belfast Belfast Telegraph, 1 December 2009
- "British Northern Ireland District on 3 September 1939 :: The Patriot Files :: Dedicated to the preservation of military history". www.patriotfiles.com. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Niehorster, Dr Leo. "Northern Ireland District, British Army, 03.09.1939". niehorster.org. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- "NATO Order of Battle". Andy Johnson. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Whitaker's Almanacks 1922 – 2010
- Northern Ireland Command at Regiments.org
- "Army Commands" (PDF). Retrieved 21 November 2015.[dead link]