A chat with Chris Thrall
It was a great pleasure to have such a long chat with a former bootneck, and one with such an interesting life of his own. Also an honour to share in a long line of podcasts with some very interesting people. We covered a lot of ground, Chris. Looking forward to catching up again soon.
2 thoughts on “Chris Thrall Podcast May 2020”
Just watched the podcast Duncan, very informative, but at the same time I’m absolutely abhorred when you described the Francis Hughes incident and how the Det guy Jones was killed after a massive feck up by UDR, though not surprised. I spent 25 years in the UDR/R.Irish and in between some time at CTCRM in 1984/85. I learnt so very much at CTC and took as much of it back to Ulster as was possible. I too during my time received similar envelopes and was dying to better understand what was happening and open them, but never did. Thankfully when I did have cause to open them, I found very little details except for map or trace and grid reference or a location where I was expected to take the Det LO. How embarrassed was I though when on the first job near Downpatrick and being led by a former PWO Cpl, him being in the lead vehicle, trundled off on the scenic route to a wrong location and I had to step up and rectify very quickly. Only a few minutes to pick up two wet and very cold lads out of a hedge on the periphery of a Republican estate. Still, those minutes could have cost a life and I made sure this never happened again, certainly involving me. I’m so sorry and disappointed for the loss of that soldier and deeply disappointed by the unprofessional behaviour of that particular UDR c/s. I hope that anything similar never happened again involving the UDR and some of our brothers in the SF units had better experiences. I know that many SF guys spent a lot of time lying in hedges looking after our guys at their homes and workplaces from attacks by terrorists. Sorry for the waffle, just felt the necessity to comment bud, keep well, keep safe. I look forward to reading your book.
Thank you for your message. Firstly I have to say my story was in no way intended to criticise the UDR. It was a stand alone anecdote. If you read my autobiography you’ll find many stories that ultimately make my own SF unit look foolish at times but I certainly don’t intend to suggest we were a bunch of idiots – not all of the time at least. Every unit has a bad day, bad decisions are made or just simply bad choices based on poor intelligence or varied options. Such is life. Nice story about picking up those cold, wet lads. I know they will have appreciated it.
Take care and all the best.