THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Special Constabulary ‘a peace-preserving power in Ulster’

From the News Letter, April 26, 1948

Monday, 26th April 2021, 6:00 am
Members of Ulster Special Constabulary
Members of Ulster Special Constabulary

A tribute to the Ulster Special Constabulary, in which he described as “a peace-preserving power”, had been made the Dean of Belfast, the Very Reverend R C H Elliott, MA, at a service which had been held in the Belfast Cathedral.

Belfast members of the force had been inspected before the service Sir Richard Pim, Inspector-General of the RUC, and paraded through the city from May’s Market to the cathedral.

Sir Richard was accompanied by Mr Edmond Warnock, Minister of Home Affairs.

Marching to the music of the Ulster Special Constabulary Band, under the gorce’s director of music, District-Inspector A Hollick, MBE, the men had made impressive spectacle.

After the service, Sir Richard Pim and Mr Warnock took the salute the men marched from the cathedral.

In his sermon, the Dean said they remembered with gratitude the services rendered the force in those troubled times when “it was hardly safe for the ordinary citizen to go about his daily vocation”.

The Dean said: “Nor we forget that, during the war years, large numbers of the force were mobilised for full-time duty and were ready with each new emergency, as it arose in those critical months, when the future of our Christian civilisation was at stake.”

He declared: “The Ulster Special Constabulary is a force of which any community might he proud. For nearly 30 years - since their formation in 1920 - you have proved the mainstay for the preservation of peace and well-being without which no people can prosper, no business enterprise can be undertaken, and no individual can enjoy the liberty which is his due.”

He added: “It is a strange coincidence there should be those who have seen fit to launch an attack upon the Special Constabulary and have even demanded their disbandment.

“One hesitates to call these the enemies of law and order but anyone who compares the situation today with that which existed before the Special Constabulary were formed, must be ready give honour where honour is due.”

He concluded: “Long may you continue to function as a peace-preserving force in Northern Ireland.”

Belfast members of the force had been inspected before the service Sir Richard Pim, Inspector-General of the RUC, and paraded through the city from May’s Market to the cathedral.

Sir Richard was accompanied by Mr Edmond Warnock, Minister of Home Affairs.

Marching to the music of the Ulster Special Constabulary Band, under the gorce’s director of music, District-Inspector A Hollick, MBE, the men had made impressive spectacle.

After the service, Sir Richard Pim and Mr Warnock took the salute the men marched from the cathedral.

In his sermon, the Dean said they remembered with gratitude the services rendered the force in those troubled times when “it was hardly safe for the ordinary citizen to go about his daily vocation”.

The Dean said: “Nor we forget that, during the war years, large numbers of the force were mobilised for full-time duty and were ready with each new emergency, as it arose in those critical months, when the future of our Christian civilisation was at stake.”

He declared: “The Ulster Special Constabulary is a force of which any community might he proud. For nearly 30 years - since their formation in 1920 - you have proved the mainstay for the preservation of peace and well-being without which no people can prosper, no business enterprise can be undertaken, and no individual can enjoy the liberty which is his due.”

He added: “It is a strange coincidence there should be those who have seen fit to launch an attack upon the Special Constabulary and have even demanded their disbandment.

“One hesitates to call these the enemies of law and order but anyone who compares the situation today with that which existed before the Special Constabulary were formed, must be ready give honour where honour is due.”

He concluded: “Long may you continue to function as a peace-preserving force in Northern Ireland.”