The Royal Military Police (RMP) and its Association have thanked Lisburn City Council for hosting a reception it its honour.
The reception was given by the Mayor Councillor Margaret Tolerton at the Council Chambers in recognition of the service of the RMP in Lisburn for the past 50 years.
The RMP is the Army’s police service responsible for policing the Army and its dependants throughout the world. It first arrived in Northern Ireland prior to World War One, when forerunners, the Military Mounted/Foot Police (MMP/MFP) were attached from Dublin to police the local regiments both within Lisburn and at other locations throughout Northern Ireland. This was increased as the war started and MMP/MFP units were attached to the Ulster Division.
After the war, as soon as the regiments were disbanded, the MMP/MFP was also reduced and by 1922 the local unit was disbanded. The Military Police (as Corps of Military Police) was raised again in 1939 when two port companies were formed in Londonderry and Belfast.
The first known instance of RMP being deployed to Lisburn was when an advanced party of RMP moved from Victoria Barracks in Belfast to Thiepval Barracks in 1959.
The Headquarters of 173 Pro Coy moved into Thiepval in 1961 and the RMP relationship with Lisburn commenced and has lasted for over 50 years.
With the onset of the troubles in August 1969 additional troops arrived in the province to reinforce the existing Garrison including additional RMP. In 1969 173 Pro Coy was mothballed after 30 years service in the Province and the RMP formed the 1st
Provost Branch HQ NI was formed and new companies were created with 174 Pro Coy forming in Lisburn in November 1971, followed by 177 ( close protection ) and 178 (Special Investigations or SIB). This brought the total RMP establishment in Thiepval to about 300 RMP NCO`s.
In July 1973, 2nd Regiment RMP was established at Aldergrove. By now the numbers of RMP, both male and female amounted to over 400, and some of these were accompanied by their families. By the beginning of the 1990s, the number of RMP was reduced, and both 175 and 177 Pro Coys were stood down leaving just 178 Pro Coy which lasted a further five years in Thiepval. A decision was made by the MOD to re-establish 173 Pro Coy in Lisburn and the unit remained in Thiepval until 2011 when it was disbanded for the second time. The current establishment of RMP in Lisburn is about 35, 29 years ago, the Royal Military Police Association was established within Thiepval Barracks and at present has over 70 ex members of the RMP. It meets on the last Tuesday of each month (except August and December). All those who have served in the RMP or WRAC (Pro) are welcome to join.