14th May – Deaths & Events in Northern Ireland Troubles

Key Events & Deaths on this day in Northern Ireland Troubles

14th May

————————————-

Sunday 14 May 1972

Martha Campbell

A 13 year old Catholic girl was shot dead by Loyalist paramilitaries in Ballymurphy, Belfast.

Monday 14 May 1973

Martin McGuinness was released from prison in the Republic of Ireland having served a six months sentence.

Tuesday 14 May 1974

Beginning of the Ulster Workers Council Strike

There was a debate in the Northern Ireland Assembly on a motion condemning power-sharing and the Council of Ireland. The motion was defeated by 44 votes to 28. At 6.00pm, following the conclusion of the Assembly debate, Harry Murray announced to a group of journalists that a general strike was to start the following day.

The organisation named as being responsible for calling the strike was the Ulster Workers’ Council (UWC). The action was to become known as the UWC Strike. The Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and Sinn Féin (SF) were declared legal following the passing of legislation at Westminster.

Saturday 14 May 1977

Robert Nairac.jpg

Robert Nairac (29), a member of the British Army, was abducted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) outside the Three Step Inn, near Forkhill, County Armagh.

His body was never recovered and he was presumed dead. He is listed as one of the ‘disappeared’.

[The IRA later stated that they had interrogated and killed a Special Air Service (SAS) officer. Nairac was posthumously awarded the George Cross.]

See Robert Nairac

Thursday 14 May 1981

Brendan McLaughlin, an Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner in the Maze Prison, joined the hunger strike to replace Francis Hughes who had died on 12 May 1981.

See Hungry Strike

[McLaughlin was taken off the strike on 26 May 1981 when he suffered a perforated ulcer and internal bleeding.]

Wednesday 14 May 1986

The pressure group ‘Campaign for Equal Citizenship‘ was established at a meeting in Belfast. The CEC argued that British political parties, such as the Labour and Conservative, should organise and stand for election in Northern Ireland. The CEC was also in favour of the full administrative integration of Northern Ireland into the United Kingdom

Saturday 14 May 1994

David Wilson (27), a British Army (BA) soldier, was killed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during a bomb attack on a permanent Vehicle Checkpoint, Castleblaney Road, Keady, County Armagh.

Sunday 14 May 1995

The Sunday Business Post (a Dublin based newspaper) published a report of an interview with Peter Temple-Morris, then co-chairman of the British-Irish Interparliamentary Body. He expressed the view that Republican frustration with the lack of progress on all-party talks might lead to an end of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire.

Wednesday 14 May 1997

Gunmen tried to kill a taxi driver in Milford village, County Armagh.

The attempt failed when the gun jammed. The Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) was believed to be responsible for the attack.

Betty Boothroyd, then Speaker of the House of Commons, ruled that the two Sinn Féin (SF) MPs would not be given office facilities at Westminster because they had refused to take their seats in the House.

In the Queen’s speech setting out the Labour governments legislative plans it was announced that the North Report on parades and marches would be implemented in 1998. In addition the European Convention on Human Rights would be incorporated into forthcoming legislation on Northern Ireland.

Thursday 14 May 1998

Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, paid another visit to Northern Ireland to continue campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum. During his visit he delivered a key note speech.

Friday 14 May 1999

There were further political talks in London involving the two Prime Ministers and the leaders of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Sinn Féin (SF). Before the meeting Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF) expressed concern about the state of the ceasefires of the main Loyalist paramilitary groups.

He claimed that the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) had co-operated with other Loyalist groups in carrying out attacks on Catholic homes.

At the meeting Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, announced an “absolute” deadline of 30 June 1999 for the formation of an Executive and the devolution of power to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Proposals put before the parties were thought to have been agreed by, David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the Irish Government, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Sinn Féin (SF).

[However the UUP Assembly party failed to endorse the proposals. The proposals would have seen the d’Hondt procedure for the appointment of ministers in a power-sharing executive triggered in the coming week, with full devolution achieved by the end of June, following a report on “progress” on decommissioning by Gen. John de Chastelain.]

Sunday 14 May 2000

Cyril Ramaphosa, former secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC), and Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, both of whom were appointed as arms inspectors arrived in Northern Ireland. The arms inspectors report to the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

 

———————————————

Remembering all innocent victims of the Troubles

Today is the anniversary of the death of the following people killed as a results of the conflict in Northern Ireland

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die

– Thomas Campbell

To the innocent on the list – Your memory will live forever

– To the Paramilitaries –

There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, but nothing worth killing for.

10 People lost their lives on the 14th between 1972 – 1994

———————————————–

14 May 1972


Marta Campbell   (13)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Shot while walking along Springhill Avenue, Ballymurphy, Belfast.

———————————————–

14 May 1972


John Pedlow   (17)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Died one day after being shot during gun battle between Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Loyalists, Springmartin Road, Belfast.

———————————————–

14 May 1972
Gerard McCusker   (24)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Loyalist group (LOY)
Found shot on waste ground, Hopeton Street, Shankill, Belfast.

———————————————–

14 May 1973


John McCormac   (34)

Catholic
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF)
Died three days after being shot while walking along Raglan Street, Lower Falls, Belfast.

———————————————–

14 May 1973


Roy Rutherford  (33)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by booby trap bomb in derelict cottage, Moy Road, Portadown, County Armagh

———————————————–

14 May 1977


Robert Nairac   (29)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Undercover British Army (BA) member. Abducted outside Three Step Inn, near Forkhill, County Armagh. Presumed killed. Body never recovered.

See Robert Nairac

———————————————–

14 May 1980
Roy Hamilton   (22)

Protestant
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: non-specific Republican group (REP)
Shot at his workplace, a building site, Ballymagroarty, Derry.

———————————————–

14 May 1981


Samuel Vallely   (23)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed in rocket attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol, Springfield Road, Belfast.

———————————————–

14 May 1984
Seamus Fitzsimmons   (21)

Cathc
Status: Civilian (Civ),

Killed by: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)
Shot by undercover Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) members during attempted robbery at Post Office, Ballygalley, near Larne, County Antrim.

———————————————–

14 May 1994
David Wilson   (27)

nfNI
Status: British Army (BA),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed during bomb attack on British Army (BA) permanent Vehicle Check Point (VCP), Castleblaney Road, Keady, County Armagh.

———————————————–

Proud to be a Loyalist – But I don’t hate Catholic’s

I am 

Unashamedly Proud of My Loyalist and British Heritage.

 queen union jack.jpg

In fact I want the world to know that despite what loony lefties and followers of Corbyn think – its perfectly normal to take pride in our country and celebrate and embrace our long and glorious history.

—————————-

Someone emailed me yesterday after visiting my website and praised me for writing about the history of The Troubles and commemorating the memory of all those who had died during the  30 year conflict.

So far – so good!

And then she asked me………..

“Did I hate Catholic’s and what I thought of a United Ireland ?”.

Well at this stage my antenna went up and I thought ” Here we go again “

Let me explain….

When I set up this blog/website  last year my primary objective was to promote my Autobiography Belfast Child and hopefully attract some attention from the publishing world and maybe one day see my book printed and share my story with the world.

That was the objective anyways and the process  has been long and full of disappointments – but I am now working with high profile ghost writing Tom Henry  to complete the book and his enthusiasm for the subject is feeding my dream.

 

I  have always   thought I had an interesting story to tell ( I would wouldn’t I ? ) and within weeks of launching the site I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was receiving a lot of visitors and people were commenting on my story. As of yesterday I have had more 100,000 visitors to the site and this figure is growing and increasing weekly by a few thousand and this I must say surprised me.

It had always been my aim to dedicate the book/my story to the memory of all those killed in the Troubles  and off course to the memory of  my beloved father John Chambers – who died way to young and left a wound in my soul that can never been healed or soothed.

So with this in mind I decided to use my website to tell the story of the Northern Ireland conflict and include an unbiased (mostly) comprehensive history of all major events and deaths in the Troubles. Due to my loyalist heritage and background this has not always been easy, considering I lived through the worst years of the Troubles among the loyalist communities of West Belfast and like those around me I was on the front-line of the sectarian slaughter and there was no escape from the madness that surrounded and engulfed us.

I blamed the IRA ( and other republican terrorists ) for all the woes of life in Belfast and  I hated them with a passion  – still do.

Growing up as a protestant in Northern Ireland  is unlike life in any other part of the UK or British territories and from cradle to grave our lives are governed by the tenuous umbilical cord that reluctantly connects us to the rest of the UK and Westminster’s corridors of power.

Unlike most other communities throughout the UK we are fanatically proud of our Britishness and we have literally fought for the right to remain part of Britain and have Queen Elizabeth II as the mother of our nation.

Long may she reign

shankill road where my soul was forged.jpg

If you have read extracts from my Autobiography Belfast Child ( It’s worth it – promise ) you will know that  I was raised within the heartlands of loyalist Northern Ireland – The Glorious Shankill Road.

The UDA ( Ulster Defense Force) and other loyalist paramilitaries governed and controlled our daily lives and lived and operated among us. The loyalist community stood as one against the IRA and other republican terrorists and although there was often war between the various different groups , they were untied in their hatred of Republican’s and pride in the Union.

The definition of loyalist is :

a. A supporter of union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

b. A person who remains loyal to the established ruler or government, especially in the face of a revolt.

 

—————————————–

Why Ireland split into the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland

—————————————–

A bit of history for you

A very brief  outlined of the beginning of the modern troubles

Whilst the Protestants’ clung to their British sovereignty and took pride in the union, our Catholic counterparts felt abandoned and second class citizens in a Unionist run state. The civil rights marches of the 60’s & Republican calls for a United Ireland were the catalyst for the IRA and other Republican terrorist groups to take up arms against the British and feed the paranoia of the loyalist community.

Northern Ireland descended into decades of sectarian conflict & slaughter. An attack on the crown was an attack on the Protestant people of the North and the Protestant paramilitaries took up arms and waged an indiscriminate war against the IRA, the Catholic population and each other. Many innocent Catholic’s and Protestant’s became targets of psychopathic sectarian murder squad’s. Murder was almost a daily occurrence and the killings on both sides perpetuated the hatred and mistrust between the two ever-warring communities. It was a recipe for disaster and Northern stood on the brink of all out civil war.

Growing up in this environment it is hardly surprising to learn that  I hated republicans and all they stood for. But that doesn’t mean I hated Catholic’s or Irish people and would  wish  any harm on them – I don’t and I didn’t.

It means I have a different point of view and democracy is all about freedom of choice and my choice is to maintain the Union with the UK and embrace and celebrate my loyalist culture and tradition. It also means I have the right to take pride in the union with the rest of the UK and I wear my nationality like a badge of honor for all the world to  see.

————————————–

proud to be british jason mawer

Jason Mawer has been warned twice to remove his jacket in case it offends someone

The unique Mod-style jacket in red, white and blue was made a few years ago for a Who convention in London

Pub landlord Jason Mawer has twice been asked in public to remove his treasured Union Jack jacket – for risk of it being ‘offensive’.

He was told to take off his valuable Mod-style Barbour jacket – designed in honour of legendary rock band The Who – by officials who appeared to be council enforcement officers.

On the second occasion the female official warned him: ‘Would you mind removing your coat it might offend somebody.’

See Daily Mail for full Story 

————————————–

In recent years it has become almost politically  “incorrect” to show any signs of pride in being British and mad lefties and their deluded disciples are always banging on about offending other religions and communities throughout the UK. The fact that the UK has such a diverse melting pot of different nationalities and religions  and is generally accommodating to them – is lost on these do gooders and they ignore our country’s  long history of religious and politically tolerance and instead accuse us of being  xenophobic  and this offends me no end.

Have they forgotten that it was our forefathers who fought and died for our great nation and our democracy is built on their ultimate  sacrifice for our freedom – they did not die in vain.

…back to the email

If you had taken the time to have a proper  look through my site you would be aware that I commemorate the deaths of all innocent people killed as a direct result of the conflict in Northern Ireland , regardless of political or religious  background  . I also cover the deaths of paramilitaries from both sides killed “in Action” as my objective to to give a complete picture of the history of the Troubles.

I receive lots of emails and comments about my site and although most of these are positive –  a few ( normally from republicans ) accuse me of being a loyalist and somehow responsible for the all the deaths in Northern Ireland’s tortured history. Generally I ignore these emails as they are so far of the mark – if they had taken the time to read my story they would know a bit more about my history and know that I preach love – not hate!

Just because I am proud of the union and my British heritage does not mean I hate Catholics or Irish people or any others for that matter – in fact I judge no man on his colour , creed , religious or political background (apart from Republican Terrorists ).

I judge people on their humanity and empathy towards others and the world around us . Life is for living – so live and let live.

Anne Frank

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
Anne Frank

Hyde Park & Regent’s Park Bombings – 20th July 1982 – Least We Forget!

Source: Hyde Park & Regent’s Park Bombings – 20th July 1982 – Least We Forget!

Advertisements

Hyde Park & Regent’s Park Bombings – 20th July 1982 – Least We Forget!

Belfast Child

 Hyde Park and Regent’s Park Bombings

Hyde Park

Regents Park

The Hyde Park and Regent’s Park bombings occurred on 20 July 1982 in London. Members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated two bombs during British military ceremonies in Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, both in central London.

Soldiers injured in the bombing are pictured following the attack

The explosions killed 11 military personnel:  four soldiers of the Blues & Royals at Hyde Park, and seven bandsmen of the Royal Green Jackets at Regent’s Park. Seven of the Blues & Royals’ horses also died in the attack. One seriously injured horse, Sefton, survived and was subsequently featured on television programmes and was awarded “Horse of the Year“.

McNamee

Gilbert “Danny” McNamee

In 1987, Gilbert “Danny” McNamee was convicted of making the Hyde Park bomb and jailed for 25 years.  He served 12 years before…

View original post 1,355 more words

The London Docklands bombing – 9 February 1996

Belfast Child

Docklands bombing

1996

The London Docklands bombing (also known as the Canary Wharf bombing or South Quay bombing) occurred on 9 February 1996, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated a powerful truck bomb in Canary Wharf, one of the two financial districts of London. The blast devastated a wide area and caused an estimated £100 million worth of damage. Although the IRA had sent warnings 90 minutes beforehand, the area was not fully evacuated; two people were killed and 39 were injured.

———————————————-

IRA bombs Canary Wharf, London

———————————————-

It marked an end to the IRA’s seventeen-month ceasefire. The IRA had agreed to a ceasefire in August 1994, on the understanding that Sinn Féin would be allowed to take part in peace negotiations. However, when the British government then demanded the IRA must fully disarm before any negotiations, the IRA resumed its campaign. After…

View original post 1,063 more words

IRA Bishopsgate Bombing – 24th April 1993

Belfast Child

24th April 1993

Bishopsgate Bombing

Bishopsgate bombing 2.jpg

The Bishopsgate bombing occurred on Saturday 24 April 1993, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated an ANFOtruck bomb on Bishopsgate, a major thoroughfare in London’s financial district, the City of London. A news photographer was killed in the explosion and 44 people were injured; the damage cost £350 million to repair. As a result of the bombing, which occurred just over a year after the bombing of the nearby Baltic Exchange, a “ring of steel” was implemented to protect the City, and many firms introduced disaster recovery plans in case of further attacks or similar disasters.

Background

In early 1993 the Northern Ireland peace process was at a delicate stage, with attempts to broker an IRA ceasefire ongoing.Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin and John Hume of the Social Democratic and Labour Party had been engaged in…

View original post 1,872 more words

The Battle of Danny Boy – Southern Iraq 14th May 2004

Leigh Day lawyers knew murder and torture claims against UK soldiers were false, tribunal hears.

(Left to right) Anna Crowther, Martyn Day and Sapna Malik arrive at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in London.

Enemies of The State

(Left to right) Anna Crowther, Martyn Day and Sapna Malik arrive at the tribunal in London. Credit: PA

A leading law firm and three of its lawyers have been accused of allowing false claims of murder and torture to be made against British soldiers.

Martyn Day, the boss of Leigh Day solicitors, and two members of staff, Sapna Malik and Anna Crowther, all face charges linked to the alleged ambulance chasing in Iraq and the subsequent hounding of British soldiers.

It was alleged at a solicitors tribunal into their activities that over a period of seven years the three allowed the allegations to be made while knowing they were false.

The lawyers are said to have known their clients were members of the Shia militia, the Mahdi Army, and not “the innocent bystanders” that was later claimed.

As a result Leigh Day is accused of causing British soldiers and their families “years of torment”.

Soldiers were questioned over actions during the Battle of Danny Boy near Basra in 2004.

Soldiers were questioned over actions during the Battle of Danny Boy near Basra in 2004. Credit: PA

Outlining the case against them, Tim Dutton QC told the tribunal the reality was soldiers had fought valiantly after they had “been subjected to a murderous ambush”.

The events followed the Battle of Danny Boy near Basra in 2004.

Image result for martyn day leigh day

Leigh Day are also accused of failing to disclose a document known as the ‘OMS list’ to other solicitors, the Ministry of Defence or the Al Sweady Inquiry, which investigated the allegations UK soldiers mistreated Iraqis.

This list showed the principal claimant, Kurd Al Sweady, and nine other claimants were all Mahdi Army members.

The Al Sweady inquiry found in 2014 the allegations were “wholly unfounded” and false.

If the list had been disclosed the inquiry, which cost £29 million of public money, “would have taken a very different course”.

Instead it was alleged Leigh Day ignored the evidence they were receiving about Kurd Al Sweady “because they regarded him as central to their success”.

It was claimed Leigh Day were very heavily invested in the Iraq business. In total the tribunal was told they had earned fees of £9.7 million.

To ensure they got the business, clients had to be referred to them. It is alleged they paid the equivalent of “bribes” to their agents in Iraq.

Leigh Day and three solicitors deny all 20 charges and say they will “strongly contest” the allegations.

Original story ITV New

Image result for The Al Sweady inquiry

See here for more details on The Al Sweady inquiry

Battle of Danny Boy

Image result for Battle of Danny Boy

The Battle of Danny Boy took place close to the city of Amarah in southern Iraq on 14 May 2004, between British soldiers and about 100 Iraqi insurgents of the Mahdi Army. The battle is named after a local British checkpoint called Danny Boy.

Battle

The insurgents ambushed a patrol of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders close to a checkpoint known as Danny Boy near Majar al-Kabir. The Argylls called in reinforcements from the 1st Battalion of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment; the latter were also ambushed and due to an electronic communications failure it was some time before further British relief arrived. While waiting for reinforcements the British were involved in one of the fiercest engagements they fought in Iraq. The fighting involved close-quarter rifle fire and bayonets.

The battle lasted for about three hours during which 28 Mahdi Army insurgents were killed; the British suffered some wounded, but none were killed in the action.

Aftermath

Image result for Sergeant Brian Wood, of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

Sergeant Brian Wood, of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment was awarded the Military Cross for his part in the battle.

On 25 November 2009, Bob Ainsworth, then the British Minister of State for the Armed Forces, announced that retired High Court judge Sir Thayne Forbes would chair the Al-Sweady Inquiry, after high court judges found that the MoD had committed “serious breaches” of its duty. It was alleged that 20 Iraqis, taken prisoner during the battle, were murdered and that others were tortured. The British Ministry of Defence denied that the 20 were captured, stating that 20 bodies were removed from the battlefield for identification and then returned to their families; a further nine were taken prisoner and held for questioning but were not mistreated.

In March 2013, Christopher Stanley of the UK-based Rights Watch group said that MoD was trying to get away with grave human rights violations – including killing – without punishment or due process of law.

On 4 March 2013 the hearings of the Al-Sweady Public Inquiry opened in London. On 20 March 2014 Public Interest Lawyers, a British law firm acting for the families of the dead Iraqis, announced that they were withdrawing the allegations against British soldiers. They accepted that there was no evidence that the Iraqis had been alive when taken into the British compound.

On 17 December 2014 the inquiry, which cost £31 million, returned its findings. It found that no prisoners had been murdered, nor that their bodies had been mutilated. However, the enquiry did find that British soldiers mistreated nine Iraqi prisoners, but not deliberately. It stated that the ill-treatment was much milder than the initial accusations of torture, mutilation and murder. Sir Thayne said that the “most serious allegations” which “have been hanging over [the British] soldiers for the past 10 years” have been found to be “without foundation”.

The inquiry found that the allegations made by the Iraqis and their lawyers were based on “deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility”. As a result of the inquiry’s findings Public Interest Lawyers and Leigh Day, another firm involved in cases against British troops, were referred to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. In August 2016 Public Interest Lawyers went out of business, while the British government announced it would take steps to prevent further spurious claims against troops.

In December 2016 Professor Phil Shiner, head of Public Interest Lawyers, admitted guilt in relation to claims of wrongdoing by British troops in the context of professional misconduct proceedings. He was struck off the roll of solicitors by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in February 2017.

Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood Speech

Rivers of Blood

Related image

Enoch Powell‘s 20 April 1968 address to the General Meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre was a speech criticising Commonwealth immigration to the United Kingdom and the then-proposed Race Relations Bill. Powell (1912–1998) was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West. He referred to the speech as “the Birmingham speech” but it is otherwise known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech, an allusion to a line from Virgil‘s Aeneid (“As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood“), although the expression “rivers of blood” does not appear in Powell’s address.

The speech caused a political storm, making Powell one of the most talked about, and divisive, politicians in the country, and leading to his controversial dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet by Conservative Party leader Edward Heath.

According to most accounts, the popularity of Powell’s perspective on immigration may have played a decisive contributory factor in the Conservatives’ surprise victory in the 1970 general election, and he became one of the most persistent rebels opposing the subsequent Heath government.

 

Background

Powell made the speech on 20 April 1968 in Birmingham to a meeting of the Conservative Political Centre. The Labour government‘s Race Relations Bill 1968 was to have its second reading the following Tuesday, and the Conservative Opposition had tabled an amendment significantly weakening its provisions.

The Bill was a successor to the Race Relations Act 1965.

The Birmingham-based television company ATV saw an advance copy of the speech on the Saturday morning, and its news editor ordered a television crew to go to the venue, where they filmed sections of the speech. Earlier in the week, Powell said to his friend Clement (Clem) Jones, a journalist and then editor at the Wolverhampton Express & Star, “I’m going to make a speech at the weekend and it’s going to go up ‘fizz’ like a rocket; but whereas all rockets fall to the earth, this one is going to stay up.”

In preparing his speech, Powell had applied Clem Jones’ advice that to make hard-hitting political speeches and short-circuit interference from his party organisation, his best timing was on Saturday afternoons, after delivering embargoed copies the previous Thursday or Friday to selected editors and political journalists of Sunday newspapers; this tactic could ensure coverage of the speech over three days through Saturday evening bulletins then Sunday newspapers, so that the coverage would be picked up in Monday newspapers.

Speech

Powell recounted a conversation with one of his constituents, a middle-aged working man, a few weeks earlier. Powell said that the man told him: “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country… I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas.

” The man finished by saying to Powell: “In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”

Powell went on:

Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that the country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant descended population.

It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancées whom they have never seen.

Powell quoted a letter he received from a woman in Northumberland, about an elderly woman living on a Wolverhampton street where she was the only white resident. The elderly woman had lost her husband and her two sons in World War II and had rented out the rooms in her house. Once immigrants had moved into the street she was living in, her white lodgers left. Two black men had knocked on her door at 7:00 am to use her telephone to call their employers, but she refused, as she would have done to any other stranger knocking at her door at such an hour, and was subsequently verbally abused.

The woman had asked her local authority for a rates reduction, but was told by a council officer to let out the rooms of her house. When the woman said the only tenants would be black, the council officer replied: “Racial prejudice won’t get you anywhere in this country.”

He advocated voluntary re-emigration by “generous grants and assistance” and he mentioned that immigrants had asked him whether it was possible. Powell said that all citizens should be equal before the law, and that:

This does not mean that the immigrant and his descendants should be elevated into a privileged or special class or that the citizen should be denied his right to discriminate in the management of his own affairs between one fellow-citizen and another or that he should be subjected to an inquisition as to his reasons and motives for behaving in one lawful manner rather than another.

He argued that journalists who urged the government to pass anti-discrimination laws were “of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it”. Powell said that such legislation would be used to discriminate against the indigenous population and that it would be like “throwing a match on to gunpowder.”

Powell described what he perceived to be the evolving position of the indigenous population:

For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country. They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. On top of this, they now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of Parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.

Powell argued that he felt that although “many thousands” of immigrants wanted to integrate, he felt that the majority did not, and that some had vested interests in fostering racial and religious differences “with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population”

Powell’s peroration of the speech gave rise to its popular title. He quotes the Sibyl‘s prophecy in the epic poem Aeneid, 6, 86–87, of “wars, terrible wars, / and the Tiber foaming with much blood.”

As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood”. That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.

Reaction[edit]

Background[edit]

Powell made the speech on 20 April 1968 in Birmingham to a meeting of the Conservative Political Centre. The Labour government‘s Race Relations Bill 1968 was to have its second reading the following Tuesday, and the Conservative Opposition had tabled an amendment significantly weakening its provisions.[4] The Bill was a successor to the Race Relations Act 1965.

The Birmingham-based television company ATV saw an advance copy of the speech on the Saturday morning, and its news editor ordered a television crew to go to the venue, where they filmed sections of the speech. Earlier in the week, Powell said to his friend Clement (Clem) Jones, a journalist and then editor at the Wolverhampton Express & Star, “I’m going to make a speech at the weekend and it’s going to go up ‘fizz’ like a rocket; but whereas all rockets fall to the earth, this one is going to stay up.”[5]

In preparing his speech, Powell had applied Clem Jones’ advice that to make hard-hitting political speeches and short-circuit interference from his party organisation, his best timing was on Saturday afternoons, after delivering embargoed copies the previous Thursday or Friday to selected editors and political journalists of Sunday newspapers; this tactic could ensure coverage of the speech over three days through Saturday evening bulletins then Sunday newspapers, so that the coverage would be picked up in Monday newspapers.[5]

Speech[edit]

Powell recounted a conversation with one of his constituents, a middle-aged working man, a few weeks earlier. Powell said that the man told him: “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country… I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas.” The man finished by saying to Powell: “In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”[6]

Powell went on:

Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that the country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancées whom they have never seen.[6][7]

Powell quoted a letter he received from a woman in Northumberland, about an elderly woman living on a Wolverhampton street where she was the only white resident. The elderly woman had lost her husband and her two sons in World War II and had rented out the rooms in her house. Once immigrants had moved into the street she was living in, her white lodgers left. Two black men had knocked on her door at 7:00 am to use her telephone to call their employers, but she refused, as she would have done to any other stranger knocking at her door at such an hour, and was subsequently verbally abused.

The woman had asked her local authority for a rates reduction, but was told by a council officer to let out the rooms of her house. When the woman said the only tenants would be black, the council officer replied: “Racial prejudice won’t get you anywhere in this country.”

He advocated voluntary re-emigration by “generous grants and assistance” and he mentioned that immigrants had asked him whether it was possible. Powell said that all citizens should be equal before the law, and that:

This does not mean that the immigrant and his descendants should be elevated into a privileged or special class or that the citizen should be denied his right to discriminate in the management of his own affairs between one fellow-citizen and another or that he should be subjected to an inquisition as to his reasons and motives for behaving in one lawful manner rather than another.[8]

He argued that journalists who urged the government to pass anti-discrimination laws were “of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it”. Powell said that such legislation would be used to discriminate against the indigenous population and that it would be like “throwing a match on to gunpowder.”[8] Powell described what he perceived to be the evolving position of the indigenous population:

For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country. They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. On top of this, they now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of Parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.[9]

Powell argued that he felt that although “many thousands” of immigrants wanted to integrate, he felt that the majority did not, and that some had vested interests in fostering racial and religious differences “with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population”.[10] Powell’s peroration of the speech gave rise to its popular title. He quotes the Sibyl‘s prophecy in the epic poem Aeneid, 6, 86–87, of “wars, terrible wars, / and the Tiber foaming with much blood.”

As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood”. That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.[11]

Reaction

Political

According to C. Howard Wheeldon, who was present at the meeting in which Powell gave the speech, “it is fascinating to note what little hostility emerged from the audience. To the best of my memory, only one person voiced any sign of annoyance.”

The day after the speech Powell went to Sunday Communion at his local church and when he emerged there was a crowd of journalists and a local plasterer (Sidney Miller) said to Powell: “Well done, sir. It needed to be said.”

Powell asked the assembled journalists: “Have I really caused such a furore?” At midday Powell went on the BBC‘s World This Weekend to defend his speech and he appeared later that day on ITN news.

Although the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party did not wish to “stir up the Powell issue”, Labour MP Edward Leadbitter said he would refer the speech to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe spoke of a prima facie case against Powell for incitement. Lady Gaitskell called the speech “cowardly” and the cricketer Sir Learie Constantine condemned it.[15] Labour MP Tony Benn said:

The flag of racialism which has been hoisted in Wolverhampton is beginning to look like the one that fluttered 25 years ago over Dachau and Belsen. If we do not speak up now against the filthy and obscene racialist propaganda … the forces of hatred will mark up their first success and mobilise their first offensive. …
Enoch Powell has emerged as the real leader of the Conservative Party. He is a far stronger character than Mr. Heath. He speaks his mind; Heath does not. The final proof of Powell’s power is that Heath dare not attack him publicly, even when he says things that disgust decent Conservatives.

 

Photograph

The leading Conservatives in the Shadow Cabinet were outraged by the speech. Iain Macleod, Edward Boyle, Quintin Hogg and Robert Carr all threatened to resign from the front bench unless Powell was sacked. Margaret Thatcher thought that some of Powell’s speech was “strong meat”, and said to Heath when he telephoned her to inform her Powell was to be sacked: “I really thought that it was better to let things cool down for the present rather than heighten the crisis”. The Conservative leader, Edward Heath, sacked Powell from his post as Shadow Defence Secretary, telling him on the telephone that Sunday evening (it was the last conversation they would have).

Heath said of the speech in public that it was “racialist in tone and liable to exacerbate racial tensions”. Conservative MPs on the right of the party—Duncan Sandys, Gerald Nabarro, Teddy Taylor—spoke against Powell’s sacking. On 22 April 1968, Heath went on Panorama, telling Robin Day: “I dismissed Mr Powell because I believed his speech was inflammatory and liable to damage race relations. I am determined to do everything I can to prevent racial problems developing into civil strife… I don’t believe the great majority of the British people share Mr Powell’s way of putting his views in his speech.”

The Times newspaper declared it “an evil speech”, stating “This is the first time that a serious British politician has appealed to racial hatred in this direct way in our postwar history.” The Times went on to record incidents of racial attacks in the immediate aftermath of Powell’s speech. One such incident, reported under the headline “Coloured family attacked”, took place on 30 April 1968 in Wolverhampton itself: it involved a slashing incident with 14 white youths chanting “Powell” and “Why don’t you go back to your own country?” at patrons of a West Indian christening party. One of the West Indian victims, Wade Crooks of Lower Villiers Street, was the child’s grandfather. He had to have eight stitches over his left eye. He was reported as saying,

“I have been here since 1955 and nothing like this has happened before. I am shattered.”

Image result for opinion poll

An opinion poll commissioned by the BBC television programme Panorama in December 1968 found that eight per cent of immigrants believed that they had been treated worse by white people since Powell’s speech, 38 per cent would like to return to their country of origin if offered financial help, and 47 per cent supported immigration control, with 30 per cent opposed.

The speech generated much correspondence to newspapers, most markedly with the Express & Star in Wolverhampton itself, whose local sorting office over the following week received 40,000 postcards and 8,000 letters addressed to its local newspaper. Clem Jones recalled:

Ted Heath made a martyr out of Enoch, but as far as Express & Star’s circulation area was concerned, virtually the whole area was determined to make a saint out of him. From the Tuesday through to the end of the week, I had ten, fifteen to twenty bags full of readers’ letters: 95 per cent of them were pro-Enoch.

At the end of that week there were two simultaneous processions in Wolverhampton, one of Powell’s supporters and another of opponents, who each brought petitions to Clem Jones outside his office, the two columns being kept apart by police.

On 23 April 1968, the Race Relations Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons. Many MPs referred or alluded to Powell’s speech. For Labour, Paul Rose, Maurice Orbach, Reginald Paget, Dingle Foot, Ivor Richard, and David Ennals were all critical.

Among the Conservatives, Quintin Hogg and Nigel Fisher were critical, while Hugh Fraser, Ronald Bell, Dudley Smith, and Harold Gurden were sympathetic. Powell was present for the debate but did not speak.

Earlier that day, 1,000 London dockers had gone on strike in protest of Powell’s sacking and marched from the East End to the Palace of Westminster carrying placards saying “Don’t knock Enoch” and “Back Britain, not Black Britain”. Three hundred of them went into the palace, 100 to lobby the MP for Stepney, Peter Shore, and 200 to lobby the MP for Poplar, Ian Mikardo. Shore and Mikardo were shouted down and some dockers kicked Mikardo. Lady Gaitskell shouted:

“You will have your remedy at the next election.” The dockers replied: “We won’t forget.”

The organiser of the strike, Harry Pearman, headed a delegation to meet Powell and said after: “I have just met Enoch Powell and it made me feel proud to be an Englishman. He told me that he felt that if this matter was swept under the rug he would lift the rug and do the same again. We are representatives of the working man. We are not racialists.”

On 24 April 600 dockers at St Katharine Docks voted to strike and numerous smaller factories across the country followed. Six hundred Smithfield meat porters struck and marched to Westminster and handed Powell a 92-page petition supporting him. Powell advised against strike action and asked them to write to Harold Wilson, Heath or their MP. However, strikes continued, reaching Tilbury by 25 April and he allegedly received his 30,000th letter supporting him, with 30 protesting against his speech. By 27 April, 4,500 dockers were on strike. On 28 April, 1,500 people marched to Downing Street chanting “Arrest Enoch Powell”.

Powell claimed to have received 43,000 letters and 700 telegrams supporting him by early May, with 800 letters and four telegrams against. On 2 May, the attorney-general, Sir Elwyn Jones, announced he would not prosecute Powell after consulting the director of public prosecutions.

The Gallup Organization took an opinion poll at the end of April and found that 74 per cent agreed with what Powell had said in his speech; 15 per cent disagreed. 69 per cent felt Heath was wrong to sack Powell and 20 per cent believed Heath was right. Before his speech Powell was favoured to replace Heath as Conservative leader by one per cent, with Reginald Maudling favoured by 20 per cent; after his speech 24 per cent favoured Powell and 18 per cent Maudling. 83 per cent now felt immigration should be restricted (75 per cent before the speech) and 65 per cent favoured anti-discrimination legislation.

Powell defended his speech on 4 May through an interview for the Birmingham Post: “What I would take ‘racialist’ to mean is a person who believes in the inherent inferiority of one race of mankind to another, and who acts and speaks in that belief. So the answer to the question of whether I am a racialist is ‘no’—unless, perhaps, it is to be a racialist in reverse. I regard many of the peoples in India as being superior in many respects—intellectually, for example, and in other respects—to Europeans. Perhaps that is over-correcting.”

According to most accounts, the popularity of Powell’s perspective on race may have played a decisive contributory factor in the Conservatives’ surprise victory in the 1970 general election, although Powell became one of the most persistent rebels opposing the subsequent Heath government.

In “exhaustive research” on the election, the American pollster Douglas Schoen and University of Oxford academic R. W. Johnson believed it “beyond dispute” that Powell had attracted 2.5 million votes to the Conservatives, but nationally the Conservative vote had increased by only 1.7 million since 1966.

In his own constituency at that election – his last in Wolverhampton – his majority of 26,220 and a 64.3 per cent share of the vote were then the highest of his career.

Cultural

Powell was mentioned in early versions of the song “Get Back” by the Beatles.

On 5 August 1976, Eric Clapton provoked an uproar and lingering controversy when he spoke out against increasing immigration during a concert in Birmingham. Visibly intoxicated, Clapton voiced his support of the controversial speech, and announced on stage that Britain was in danger of becoming a “black colony”. Among other things, Clapton said “Keep Britain white!” which was at the time a British National Front slogan.

In November 2010, the actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar recalled the fear which the speech instilled in Britons of Indian origin: “At the end of the 1960s, Enoch Powell was quite a frightening figure to us. He was the one person who represented an enforced ticket out, so we always had suitcases that were ready and packed. My parents held the notion that we may have to leave.”

Whilst a section of the white population appeared to warm to Powell over the speech, the author Mike Phillips recalls that it legitimised hostility, and even violence, towards black Britons like himself.

 

In his book The British Dream (2013), David Goodhart claims that Powell’s speech in effect “put back by more than a generation a robust debate about the successes and failures of immigration”.

Just when a discussion should have been starting about integration, racial justice, and distinguishing the reasonable from the racist complaints of the white people whose communities were being transformed, he polarised the argument and closed it down.

Identity of the woman mentioned in the speech

After Powell delivered the speech, there were attempts to locate the Wolverhampton constituent whom Powell described as being victimised by non-white residents. Despite combing the electoral register and other sources, the editor of the local Wolverhampton newspaper the Express & Star, Clem Jones (a close friend of Powell who broke off relations with him over the controversy) failed to identify the woman.

Shortly after Powell’s death, Kenneth Nock, a Wolverhampton solicitor, wrote to the Express and Star in April 1998 to claim that his firm had acted for the woman in question, but that he could not name her owing to rules concerning client confidentiality.  In January 2007, the BBC Radio Four programme Document, followed by the Daily Mail, claimed to have uncovered the woman’s identity. They said she was Druscilla Cotterill (1907–1978), the widow of Harry Cotterill, a battery quartermaster sergeant with the Royal Artillery who had been killed in World War II (and second cousin of Mark Cotterill, a figure in British far-right politics).

She lived in Brighton Place in Wolverhampton, which by the 1960s was dominated by immigrant families. In order to increase her income, she rented rooms to lodgers, but did not wish to rent rooms to West Indians and stopped taking in any lodgers when the Race Relations Act 1968 banned racial discrimination in housing. She locked up the spare rooms and lived only in two rooms of the house. According to those who remember the period, the many children in the street regarded her as a figure of fun and taunted her.

Support for the speech

Image result for enoch powell rivers of blood

In the United Kingdom, particularly in England, “Enoch [Powell] was right” is a phrase of political rhetoric, inviting comparison of aspects of contemporary English society with the predictions made by Powell in the “Rivers of Blood” speech. The phrase implies criticism of racial quotas, immigration and multiculturalism. Badges, T-shirts and other items bearing the slogan have been produced at different times in the United Kingdom.  Powell gained support from both right-wing and traditionally left-leaning, working-class voters for his anti-immigration stance.

Powell gained the support of the far-right in Britain. Badges, T-shirts and fridge magnets emblazoned with the slogan “Enoch was right” are regularly seen at far-right demonstrations, according to VICE News, and sample recordings of Powell speeches feature heavily in the music of the neo-Nazi hardcore band Of Wolves and Angels.

Powell also has a presence on social media, with an Enoch Powell page on Facebook run by the far-right Traditional Britain Group amassed several thousands of likes, and similar pages which post “racist memes and Daily Mail stories” have been equally successful, such as British nationalist and anti-immigration Britain First‘s Facebook page.

In The Trial of Enoch Powell, a Channel 4 television broadcast in April 1998, on the thirtieth anniversary of his Rivers of Blood speech (and two months after his death), 64% of the studio audience voted that Powell was not a racist. Some in the Church of England, of which Powell had been a member, took a different view. Upon Powell’s death, Barbados-born Wilfred Wood, then Bishop of Croydon, stated, “Enoch Powell gave a certificate of respectability to white racist views which otherwise decent people were ashamed to acknowledge”.

In November 2007, Nigel Hastilow resigned as Conservative candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis after he wrote an article in the Wolverhampton Express & Star that included the statement: “Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 ‘rivers of blood’ speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change Britain irrevocably. He was right and immigration has changed the face of Britain dramatically”.

Nigel Farage MEP 1, Strasbourg - Diliff.jpg

In January 2014, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage stated that ‘the basic principle’ of one passage of the speech which had been read to him was ‘right’.  In June of that year, in response to an Islamist plot to infiltrate schools in Birmingham, Conservative peer and former minister Norman Tebbit wrote in The Daily Telegraph “No one should have been surprised at what was going on in schools in Birmingham. It is precisely what I was talking about over 20 years ago and Enoch Powell was warning against long before that.

We have imported far too many immigrants who have come here not to live in our society, but to replicate here the society of their homelands”. Conservative MP Gerald Howarth said on the same issue “Clearly, the arrival of so many people of non-Christian faith has presented a challenge, as so many of us, including the late Enoch Powell, warned decades ago”.

In March 2016, German writer Michael Stürmer wrote a retrospective pro-Powell piece in Die Welt, opining that nobody else had been “punished so mercilessly” by fellow party members and media for their viewpoints.

Acknowledgement from politicians

In an interview for Today shortly after her departure from office as Prime Minister in 1991, Margaret Thatcher said that Powell had “made a valid argument, if in sometimes regrettable terms.”

Thirty years after the speech, Edward Heath said that Powell’s remarks on the “economic burden of immigration” had been “not without prescience.”

The Labour Party MP Michael Foot remarked to a reporter that it was “tragic” that this “outstanding personality” had been widely misunderstood as predicting actual bloodshed in Britain, when in fact he had used the Aeneid quotation merely to communicate his own sense of foreboding.

Dramatic portrayals

The speech is the subject of a play, What Shadows, written by Chris Hannan. The play was staged in Birmingham from 27 October to 12 November 2016, with Powell portrayed by Ian McDiarmid and Clem Jones by George Costigan.[

Background

Powell made the speech on 20 April 1968 in Birmingham to a meeting of the Conservative Political Centre. The Labour government‘s Race Relations Bill 1968 was to have its second reading the following Tuesday, and the Conservative Opposition had tabled an amendment significantly weakening its provisions.

The Bill was a successor to the Race Relations Act 1965.

The Birmingham-based television company ATV saw an advance copy of the speech on the Saturday morning, and its news editor ordered a television crew to go to the venue, where they filmed sections of the speech. Earlier in the week, Powell said to his friend Clement (Clem) Jones, a journalist and then editor at the Wolverhampton Express & Star, “I’m going to make a speech at the weekend and it’s going to go up ‘fizz’ like a rocket; but whereas all rockets fall to the earth, this one is going to stay up.”

In preparing his speech, Powell had applied Clem Jones’ advice that to make hard-hitting political speeches and short-circuit interference from his party organisation, his best timing was on Saturday afternoons, after delivering embargoed copies the previous Thursday or Friday to selected editors and political journalists of Sunday newspapers; this tactic could ensure coverage of the speech over three days through Saturday evening bulletins then Sunday newspapers, so that the coverage would be picked up in Monday newspapers.

Speech

Powell recounted a conversation with one of his constituents, a middle-aged working man, a few weeks earlier. Powell said that the man told him: “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country… I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas.” The man finished by saying to Powell: “In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”

Powell went on:

Here is a decent, ordinary fellow Englishman, who in broad daylight in my own town says to me, his Member of Parliament, that the country will not be worth living in for his children. I simply do not have the right to shrug my shoulders and think about something else. What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking – not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history. We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancées whom they have never seen.

Powell quoted a letter he received from a woman in Northumberland, about an elderly woman living on a Wolverhampton street where she was the only white resident. The elderly woman had lost her husband and her two sons in World War II and had rented out the rooms in her house. Once immigrants had moved into the street she was living in, her white lodgers left. Two black men had knocked on her door at 7:00 am to use her telephone to call their employers, but she refused, as she would have done to any other stranger knocking at her door at such an hour, and was subsequently verbally abused.

The woman had asked her local authority for a rates reduction, but was told by a council officer to let out the rooms of her house. When the woman said the only tenants would be black, the council officer replied: “Racial prejudice won’t get you anywhere in this country.”

He advocated voluntary re-emigration by “generous grants and assistance” and he mentioned that immigrants had asked him whether it was possible. Powell said that all citizens should be equal before the law, and that:

This does not mean that the immigrant and his descendants should be elevated into a privileged or special class or that the citizen should be denied his right to discriminate in the management of his own affairs between one fellow-citizen and another or that he should be subjected to an inquisition as to his reasons and motives for behaving in one lawful manner rather than another.

He argued that journalists who urged the government to pass anti-discrimination laws were “of the same kidney and sometimes on the same newspapers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it”. Powell said that such legislation would be used to discriminate against the indigenous population and that it would be like “throwing a match on to gunpowder.”

Powell described what he perceived to be the evolving position of the indigenous population:

For reasons which they could not comprehend, and in pursuance of a decision by default, on which they were never consulted, they found themselves made strangers in their own country. They found their wives unable to obtain hospital beds in childbirth, their children unable to obtain school places, their homes and neighbourhoods changed beyond recognition, their plans and prospects for the future defeated; at work they found that employers hesitated to apply to the immigrant worker the standards of discipline and competence required of the native-born worker; they began to hear, as time went by, more and more voices which told them that they were now the unwanted. On top of this, they now learn that a one-way privilege is to be established by Act of Parliament; a law which cannot, and is not intended to, operate to protect them or redress their grievances, is to be enacted to give the stranger, the disgruntled and the agent provocateur the power to pillory them for their private actions.

Powell argued that he felt that although “many thousands” of immigrants wanted to integrate, he felt that the majority did not, and that some had vested interests in fostering racial and religious differences “with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population”. Powell’s peroration of the speech gave rise to its popular title. He quotes the Sibyl‘s prophecy in the epic poem Aeneid, 6, 86–87, of “wars, terrible wars, / and the Tiber foaming with much blood.”

As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood”. That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.

Reaction

Political

Image result for enoch powell rivers of blood

According to C. Howard Wheeldon, who was present at the meeting in which Powell gave the speech, “it is fascinating to note what little hostility emerged from the audience. To the best of my memory, only one person voiced any sign of annoyance.”  The day after the speech Powell went to Sunday Communion at his local church and when he emerged there was a crowd of journalists and a local plasterer (Sidney Miller) said to Powell: “Well done, sir. It needed to be said.”

Powell asked the assembled journalists: “Have I really caused such a furore?” At midday Powell went on the BBC‘s World This Weekend to defend his speech and he appeared later that day on ITN news.

Although the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party did not wish to “stir up the Powell issue”, Labour MP Edward Leadbitter said he would refer the speech to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe spoke of a prima facie case against Powell for incitement. Lady Gaitskell called the speech “cowardly” and the cricketer Sir Learie Constantine condemned it. Labour MP Tony Benn said:

The flag of racialism which has been hoisted in Wolverhampton is beginning to look like the one that fluttered 25 years ago over Dachau and Belsen. If we do not speak up now against the filthy and obscene racialist propaganda … the forces of hatred will mark up their first success and mobilise their first offensive. …
Enoch Powell has emerged as the real leader of the Conservative Party. He is a far stronger character than Mr. Heath. He speaks his mind; Heath does not. The final proof of Powell’s power is that Heath dare not attack him publicly, even when he says things that disgust decent Conservatives.

The leading Conservatives in the Shadow Cabinet were outraged by the speech. Iain Macleod, Edward Boyle, Quintin Hogg and Robert Carr all threatened to resign from the front bench unless Powell was sacked. Margaret Thatcher thought that some of Powell’s speech was “strong meat”, and said to Heath when he telephoned her to inform her Powell was to be sacked: “I really thought that it was better to let things cool down for the present rather than heighten the crisis”.

Image result for Edward Heath

The Conservative leader, Edward Heath, sacked Powell from his post as Shadow Defence Secretary, telling him on the telephone that Sunday evening (it was the last conversation they would have). Heath said of the speech in public that it was “racialist in tone and liable to exacerbate racial tensions”. Conservative MPs on the right of the party—Duncan Sandys, Gerald Nabarro, Teddy Taylor—spoke against Powell’s sacking.

On 22 April 1968, Heath went on Panorama, telling Robin Day: “I dismissed Mr Powell because I believed his speech was inflammatory and liable to damage race relations. I am determined to do everything I can to prevent racial problems developing into civil strife… I don’t believe the great majority of the British people share Mr Powell’s way of putting his views in his speech.”

The Times newspaper declared it “an evil speech”, stating “This is the first time that a serious British politician has appealed to racial hatred in this direct way in our postwar history.”  The Times went on to record incidents of racial attacks in the immediate aftermath of Powell’s speech. One such incident, reported under the headline “Coloured family attacked”, took place on 30 April 1968 in Wolverhampton itself: it involved a slashing incident with 14 white youths chanting “Powell” and “Why don’t you go back to your own country?” at patrons of a West Indian christening party. One of the West Indian victims, Wade Crooks of Lower Villiers Street, was the child’s grandfather.

He had to have eight stitches over his left eye. He was reported as saying, “I have been here since 1955 and nothing like this has happened before. I am shattered.”  An opinion poll commissioned by the BBC television programme Panorama in December 1968 found that eight per cent of immigrants believed that they had been treated worse by white people since Powell’s speech, 38 per cent would like to return to their country of origin if offered financial help, and 47 per cent supported immigration control, with 30 per cent opposed.

The speech generated much correspondence to newspapers, most markedly with the Express & Star in Wolverhampton itself, whose local sorting office over the following week received 40,000 postcards and 8,000 letters addressed to its local newspaper. Clem Jones recalled:

Ted Heath made a martyr out of Enoch, but as far as Express & Star’s circulation area was concerned, virtually the whole area was determined to make a saint out of him. From the Tuesday through to the end of the week, I had ten, fifteen to twenty bags full of readers’ letters: 95 per cent of them were pro-Enoch.

At the end of that week there were two simultaneous processions in Wolverhampton, one of Powell’s supporters and another of opponents, who each brought petitions to Clem Jones outside his office, the two columns being kept apart by police.

On 23 April 1968, the Race Relations Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons. Many MPs referred or alluded to Powell’s speech. For Labour, Paul Rose, Maurice Orbach, Reginald Paget, Dingle Foot, Ivor Richard, and David Ennals were all critical. Among the Conservatives, Quintin Hogg and Nigel Fisher were critical, while Hugh Fraser, Ronald Bell, Dudley Smith, and Harold Gurden were sympathetic.

Powell was present for the debate but did not speak.

Earlier that day, 1,000 London dockers had gone on strike in protest of Powell’s sacking and marched from the East End to the Palace of Westminster carrying placards saying “Don’t knock Enoch” and “Back Britain, not Black Britain”. Three hundred of them went into the palace, 100 to lobby the MP for Stepney, Peter Shore, and 200 to lobby the MP for Poplar, Ian Mikardo. Shore and Mikardo were shouted down and some dockers kicked Mikardo. Lady Gaitskell shouted:

“You will have your remedy at the next election.” The dockers replied: “We won’t forget.”

The organiser of the strike, Harry Pearman, headed a delegation to meet Powell and said after: “I have just met Enoch Powell and it made me feel proud to be an Englishman. He told me that he felt that if this matter was swept under the rug he would lift the rug and do the same again. We are representatives of the working man. We are not racialists.”

On 24 April 600 dockers at St Katharine Docks voted to strike and numerous smaller factories across the country followed. Six hundred Smithfield meat porters struck and marched to Westminster and handed Powell a 92-page petition supporting him. Powell advised against strike action and asked them to write to Harold Wilson, Heath or their MP. However, strikes continued, reaching Tilbury by 25 April and he allegedly received his 30,000th letter supporting him, with 30 protesting against his speech. By 27 April, 4,500 dockers were on strike.

Related image

On 28 April, 1,500 people marched to Downing Street chanting “Arrest Enoch Powell”.

Powell claimed to have received 43,000 letters and 700 telegrams supporting him by early May, with 800 letters and four telegrams against. On 2 May, the attorney-general, Sir Elwyn Jones, announced he would not prosecute Powell after consulting the director of public prosecutions.

The Gallup Organization took an opinion poll at the end of April and found that 74 per cent agreed with what Powell had said in his speech; 15 per cent disagreed. 69 per cent felt Heath was wrong to sack Powell and 20 per cent believed Heath was right. Before his speech Powell was favoured to replace Heath as Conservative leader by one per cent, with Reginald Maudling favoured by 20 per cent; after his speech 24 per cent favoured Powell and 18 per cent Maudling. 83 per cent now felt immigration should be restricted (75 per cent before the speech) and 65 per cent favoured anti-discrimination legislation.

Powell defended his speech on 4 May through an interview for the Birmingham Post:

“What I would take ‘racialist’ to mean is a person who believes in the inherent inferiority of one race of mankind to another, and who acts and speaks in that belief. So the answer to the question of whether I am a racialist is ‘no’—unless, perhaps, it is to be a racialist in reverse. I regard many of the peoples in India as being superior in many respects—intellectually, for example, and in other respects—to Europeans. Perhaps that is over-correcting.”

According to most accounts, the popularity of Powell’s perspective on race may have played a decisive contributory factor in the Conservatives’ surprise victory in the 1970 general election, although Powell became one of the most persistent rebels opposing the subsequent Heath government.

In “exhaustive research” on the election, the American pollster Douglas Schoen and University of Oxford academic R. W. Johnson believed it “beyond dispute” that Powell had attracted 2.5 million votes to the Conservatives, but nationally the Conservative vote had increased by only 1.7 million since 1966. In his own constituency at that election – his last in Wolverhampton – his majority of 26,220 and a 64.3 per cent share of the vote were then the highest of his career.

Cultural

Beatles Get Back.jpg

Powell was mentioned in early versions of the song “Get Back” by the Beatles.

On 5 August 1976, Eric Clapton provoked an uproar and lingering controversy when he spoke out against increasing immigration during a concert in Birmingham. Visibly intoxicated, Clapton voiced his support of the controversial speech, and announced on stage that Britain was in danger of becoming a “black colony”. Among other things, Clapton said:

Keep Britain white!”

which was at the time a British National Front slogan.

In November 2010, the actor and comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar recalled the fear which the speech instilled in Britons of Indian origin: “At the end of the 1960s, Enoch Powell was quite a frightening figure to us. He was the one person who represented an enforced ticket out, so we always had suitcases that were ready and packed. My parents held the notion that we may have to leave.

Whilst a section of the white population appeared to warm to Powell over the speech, the author Mike Phillips recalls that it legitimised hostility, and even violence, towards black Britons like himself.

In his book The British Dream (2013), David Goodhart claims that Powell’s speech in effect “put back by more than a generation a robust debate about the successes and failures of immigration”.

Just when a discussion should have been starting about integration, racial justice, and distinguishing the reasonable from the racist complaints of the white people whose communities were being transformed, he polarised the argument and closed it down.

Identity of the woman mentioned in the speech

After Powell delivered the speech, there were attempts to locate the Wolverhampton constituent whom Powell described as being victimised by non-white residents. Despite combing the electoral register and other sources, the editor of the local Wolverhampton newspaper the Express & Star, Clem Jones (a close friend of Powell who broke off relations with him over the controversy) failed to identify the woman.

Shortly after Powell’s death, Kenneth Nock, a Wolverhampton solicitor, wrote to the Express and Star in April 1998 to claim that his firm had acted for the woman in question, but that he could not name her owing to rules concerning client confidentiality.[37] In January 2007, the BBC Radio Four programme Document, followed by the Daily Mail, claimed to have uncovered the woman’s identity. They said she was Druscilla Cotterill (1907–1978), the widow of Harry Cotterill, a battery quartermaster sergeant with the Royal Artillery who had been killed in World War II (and second cousin of Mark Cotterill, a figure in British far-right politics).

She lived in Brighton Place in Wolverhampton, which by the 1960s was dominated by immigrant families. In order to increase her income, she rented rooms to lodgers, but did not wish to rent rooms to West Indians and stopped taking in any lodgers when the Race Relations Act 1968 banned racial discrimination in housing. She locked up the spare rooms and lived only in two rooms of the house. According to those who remember the period, the many children in the street regarded her as a figure of fun and taunted her.

Support for the speech

In the United Kingdom, particularly in England, “Enoch [Powell] was right” is a phrase of political rhetoric, inviting comparison of aspects of contemporary English society with the predictions made by Powell in the “Rivers of Blood” speech. The phrase implies criticism of racial quotas, immigration and multiculturalism. Badges, T-shirts and other items bearing the slogan have been produced at different times in the United Kingdom.[citation needed] Powell gained support from both right-wing and traditionally left-leaning, working-class voters for his anti-immigration stance.

Powell gained the support of the far-right in Britain. Badges, T-shirts and fridge magnets emblazoned with the slogan “Enoch was right” are regularly seen at far-right demonstrations, according to VICE News, and sample recordings of Powell speeches feature heavily in the music of the neo-Nazi hardcore band Of Wolves and Angels.

Powell also has a presence on social media, with an Enoch Powell page on Facebook run by the far-right Traditional Britain Group amassed several thousands of likes, and similar pages which post “racist memes and Daily Mail stories” have been equally successful, such as British nationalist and anti-immigration Britain First‘s Facebook page.

In The Trial of Enoch Powell, a Channel 4 television broadcast in April 1998, on the thirtieth anniversary of his Rivers of Blood speech (and two months after his death), 64% of the studio audience voted that Powell was not a racist. Some in the Church of England, of which Powell had been a member, took a different view. Upon Powell’s death, Barbados-born Wilfred Wood, then Bishop of Croydon, stated,

“Enoch Powell gave a certificate of respectability to white racist views which otherwise decent people were ashamed to acknowledge”.

In November 2007, Nigel Hastilow resigned as Conservative candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis after he wrote an article in the Wolverhampton Express & Star that included the statement: “Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 ‘rivers of blood’ speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change Britain irrevocably. He was right and immigration has changed the face of Britain dramatically”.

Logo of UKIP.svg

In January 2014, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage stated that ‘the basic principle’ of one passage of the speech which had been read to him was ‘right’. In June of that year, in response to an Islamist plot to infiltrate schools in Birmingham, Conservative peer and former minister Norman Tebbit wrote in The Daily Telegraph “No one should have been surprised at what was going on in schools in Birmingham. It is precisely what I was talking about over 20 years ago and Enoch Powell was warning against long before that. We have imported far too many immigrants who have come here not to live in our society, but to replicate here the society of their homelands”.

Conservative MP Gerald Howarth said on the same issue “Clearly, the arrival of so many people of non-Christian faith has presented a challenge, as so many of us, including the late Enoch Powell, warned decades ago”.

In March 2016, German writer Michael Stürmer wrote a retrospective pro-Powell piece in Die Welt, opining that nobody else had been “punished so mercilessly” by fellow party members and media for their viewpoints.

Image result for Birmingham Post enoch powell

Acknowledgement from politicians

In an interview for Today shortly after her departure from office as Prime Minister in 1991, Margaret Thatcher said that Powell had “made a valid argument, if in sometimes regrettable terms.”

Thirty years after the speech, Edward Heath said that Powell’s remarks on the “economic burden of immigration” had been “not without prescience.”

The Labour Party MP Michael Foot remarked to a reporter that it was “tragic” that this “outstanding personality” had been widely misunderstood as predicting actual bloodshed in Britain, when in fact he had used the Aeneid quotation merely to communicate his own sense of foreboding.

Dramatic portrayals

The speech is the subject of a play, What Shadows, written by Chris Hannan. The play was staged in Birmingham from 27 October to 12 November 2016, with Powell portrayed by Ian McDiarmid and Clem Jones by George Costigan.[

Political

According to C. Howard Wheeldon, who was present at the meeting in which Powell gave the speech, “it is fascinating to note what little hostility emerged from the audience. To the best of my memory, only one person voiced any sign of annoyance.” The day after the speech Powell went to Sunday Communion at his local church and when he emerged there was a crowd of journalists and a local plasterer (Sidney Miller) said to Powell: “Well done, sir. It needed to be said.” Powell asked the assembled journalists: “Have I really caused such a furore?” At midday Powell went on the BBC‘s World This Weekend to defend his speech and he appeared later that day on ITN news.

Although the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party did not wish to “stir up the Powell issue”, Labour MP Edward Leadbitter said he would refer the speech to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe spoke of a prima facie case against Powell for incitement. Lady Gaitskell called the speech “cowardly” and the cricketer Sir Learie Constantine condemned it.

Tony Benn2.jpg

 

 Labour MP Tony Benn said:

The flag of racialism which has been hoisted in Wolverhampton is beginning to look like the one that fluttered 25 years ago over Dachau and Belsen. If we do not speak up now against the filthy and obscene racialist propaganda … the forces of hatred will mark up their first success and mobilise their first offensive. …
Enoch Powell has emerged as the real leader of the Conservative Party. He is a far stronger character than Mr. Heath. He speaks his mind; Heath does not. The final proof of Powell’s power is that Heath dare not attack him publicly, even when he says things that disgust decent Conservatives.

The leading Conservatives in the Shadow Cabinet were outraged by the speech. Iain Macleod, Edward Boyle, Quintin Hogg and Robert Carr all threatened to resign from the front bench unless Powell was sacked. Margaret Thatcher thought that some of Powell’s speech was “strong meat”,  and said to Heath when he telephoned her to inform her Powell was to be sacked: “I really thought that it was better to let things cool down for the present rather than heighten the crisis”. The Conservative leader, Edward Heath, sacked Powell from his post as Shadow Defence Secretary, telling him on the telephone that Sunday evening (it was the last conversation they would have).

Heath said of the speech in public that it was “racialist in tone and liable to exacerbate racial tensions”. Conservative MPs on the right of the party—Duncan Sandys, Gerald Nabarro, Teddy Taylor—spoke against Powell’s sacking. On 22 April 1968, Heath went on Panorama, telling Robin Day: “I dismissed Mr Powell because I believed his speech was inflammatory and liable to damage race relations. I am determined to do everything I can to prevent racial problems developing into civil strife… I don’t believe the great majority of the British people share Mr Powell’s way of putting his views in his speech.”

The Times newspaper declared it “an evil speech”, stating “This is the first time that a serious British politician has appealed to racial hatred in this direct way in our postwar history.”[19] The Times went on to record incidents of racial attacks in the immediate aftermath of Powell’s speech. One such incident, reported under the headline “Coloured family attacked”, took place on 30 April 1968 in Wolverhampton itself: it involved a slashing incident with 14 white youths chanting “Powell” and “Why don’t you go back to your own country?” at patrons of a West Indian christening party. One of the West Indian victims, Wade Crooks of Lower Villiers Street, was the child’s grandfather. He had to have eight stitches over his left eye. He was reported as saying,

“I have been here since 1955 and nothing like this has happened before. I am shattered.”

An opinion poll commissioned by the BBC television programme Panorama in December 1968 found that eight per cent of immigrants believed that they had been treated worse by white people since Powell’s speech, 38 per cent would like to return to their country of origin if offered financial help, and 47 per cent supported immigration control, with 30 per cent opposed.

The speech generated much correspondence to newspapers, most markedly with the Express & Star in Wolverhampton itself, whose local sorting office over the following week received 40,000 postcards and 8,000 letters addressed to its local newspaper. Clem Jones recalled:

Ted Heath made a martyr out of Enoch, but as far as Express & Star’s circulation area was concerned, virtually the whole area was determined to make a saint out of him. From the Tuesday through to the end of the week, I had ten, fifteen to twenty bags full of readers’ letters: 95 per cent of them were pro-Enoch.

At the end of that week there were two simultaneous processions in Wolverhampton, one of Powell’s supporters and another of opponents, who each brought petitions to Clem Jones outside his office, the two columns being kept apart by police.

On 23 April 1968, the Race Relations Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons. Many MPs referred or alluded to Powell’s speech. For Labour, Paul Rose, Maurice Orbach, Reginald Paget, Dingle Foot, Ivor Richard, and David Ennals were all critical. Among the Conservatives, Quintin Hogg and Nigel Fisher were critical, while Hugh Fraser, Ronald Bell, Dudley Smith, and Harold Gurden were sympathetic. Powell was present for the debate but did not speak.

Earlier that day, 1,000 London dockers had gone on strike in protest of Powell’s sacking and marched from the East End to the Palace of Westminster carrying placards saying “Don’t knock Enoch” and “Back Britain, not Black Britain”. Three hundred of them went into the palace, 100 to lobby the MP for Stepney, Peter Shore, and 200 to lobby the MP for Poplar, Ian Mikardo. Shore and Mikardo were shouted down and some dockers kicked Mikardo. Lady Gaitskell shouted:

“You will have your remedy at the next election.” The dockers replied: “We won’t forget.”

The organiser of the strike, Harry Pearman, headed a delegation to meet Powell and said after: “I have just met Enoch Powell and it made me feel proud to be an Englishman. He told me that he felt that if this matter was swept under the rug he would lift the rug and do the same again. We are representatives of the working man. We are not racialists.”[23]

On 24 April 600 dockers at St Katharine Docks voted to strike and numerous smaller factories across the country followed. Six hundred Smithfield meat porters struck and marched to Westminster and handed Powell a 92-page petition supporting him. Powell advised against strike action and asked them to write to Harold Wilson, Heath or their MP. However, strikes continued, reaching Tilbury by 25 April and he allegedly received his 30,000th letter supporting him, with 30 protesting against his speech. By 27 April, 4,500 dockers were on strike.

On 28 April, 1,500 people marched to Downing Street chanting “Arrest Enoch Powell”. Powell claimed to have received 43,000 letters and 700 telegrams supporting him by early May, with 800 letters and four telegrams against. On 2 May, the attorney-general, Sir Elwyn Jones, announced he would not prosecute Powell after consulting the director of public prosecutions.

The Gallup Organization took an opinion poll at the end of April and found that 74 per cent agreed with what Powell had said in his speech; 15 per cent disagreed. 69 per cent felt Heath was wrong to sack Powell and 20 per cent believed Heath was right. Before his speech Powell was favoured to replace Heath as Conservative leader by one per cent, with Reginald Maudling favoured by 20 per cent; after his speech 24 per cent favoured Powell and 18 per cent Maudling. 83 per cent now felt immigration should be restricted (75 per cent before the speech) and 65 per cent favoured anti-discrimination legislation.

Image result for Birmingham Post

Powell defended his speech on 4 May through an interview for the Birmingham Post:

“What I would take ‘racialist’ to mean is a person who believes in the inherent inferiority of one race of mankind to another, and who acts and speaks in that belief. So the answer to the question of whether I am a racialist is ‘no’—unless, perhaps, it is to be a racialist in reverse. I regard many of the peoples in India as being superior in many respects—intellectually, for example, and in other respects—to Europeans. Perhaps that is over-correcting.”

According to most accounts, the popularity of Powell’s perspective on race may have played a decisive contributory factor in the Conservatives’ surprise victory in the 1970 general election, although Powell became one of the most persistent rebels opposing the subsequent Heath government. In “exhaustive research” on the election, the American pollster Douglas Schoen and University of Oxford academic R. W. Johnson believed it “beyond dispute” that Powell had attracted 2.5 million votes to the Conservatives, but nationally the Conservative vote had increased by only 1.7 million since 1966.

In his own constituency at that election – his last in Wolverhampton – his majority of 26,220 and a 64.3 per cent share of the vote were then the highest of his career.

See Birmingham Mail for more details

See BBC ONTHISDAY for more details

Enoch Powell 6 Allan Warren.jpg

See here for more details on Enoch Powell

 

 

1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick – Luka Magnotta The Ice Pick Killer

Luka Magnotta

The Ice Pick Killer

Luka-Rocco-Magnotta-001_244x183

Luka Rocco Magnotta (born Eric Clinton Kirk Newman; July 24, 1982) is a Canadian murderer, convicted of killing and dismembering Lin Jun, a Chinese international student, before mailing Lin Jun’s limbs to elementary schools and federal political party offices.

with boyfriend.png

With Lin Jun

This act gained international notoriety.

After a video depicting the murder was posted online in May 2012, Magnotta fled Canada, becoming the subject of an Interpol Red Notice and prompting an international manhunt. He was apprehended at an Internet café in Berlin while reading news about himself in June 2012.  After eight days of deliberations, a jury convicted him of first-degree murder on December 23, 2014.

He was previously sought by animal rights groups for allegedly uploading videos of himself killing kittens.

Luka Rocco Magnotta
German police mugshot of Magnotta taken following his arrest in Berlin.

The Berlin Police mugshot of Luka Magnotta taken following his arrest.
Born Eric Clinton Kirk Newman
(1982-07-24) July 24, 1982 (age 34)
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Other names Vladimir Romanov
Mattia Del Santo
“Jimmy”
“Justin”
“Angel”
Kirk Trammel
Occupation Model, sex worker
Criminal charge first-degree murder; committing an indignity to a body; criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; mailing obscene and indecent material; publishing obscene materials.
Criminal penalty Automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years plus 19 years to be served concurrently.
Criminal status Imprisoned
Conviction(s) Convicted on all counts, December 23, 2014
Capture status
apprehended June 4, 2012 in Berlin following an international manhunt
Imprisoned at TBD

Biography

Luka-Rocco-Magnotta 2

Magnotta was born Eric Clinton Kirk Newman on July 24, 1982 in Scarborough, Toronto. He attended I. E. Weldon Secondary School in Lindsay.

Downtown Lindsay

Downtown Lindsay

In 2003, he began to appear in pornographic videos, occasionally working as a stripper and a male escort. He appeared as a pin-up model in a 2005 issue of Toronto’s fab magazine using the pseudonym “Jimmy”. In 2007, he was an unsuccessful competitor in OUTtv‘s reality series COVERguy. Magnotta had multiple cosmetic surgeries and auditioned for the Slice network television show Plastic Makes Perfect in February 2008.

In 2005, he was convicted of one count of impersonation and three counts of fraud (against Sears Canada, The Brick, and 2001 Audio Video) after impersonating a woman to apply for a credit card and purchasing over $10,000 worth of goods. He pleaded guilty and received a nine-month conditional sentence with 12 months of probation.

He legally changed his name to Luka Rocco Magnotta on August 12, 2006. Magnotta declared bankruptcy in March 2007, owing $17,000 in various debts. The bankruptcy was fully discharged in December 2007.

Magnotta created many profiles on various internet social media and discussion forums over several years to plant a variety of claims about himself. One such rumor emerged in 2007, claiming Magnotta was in a relationship with Karla Homolka, a high-profile Canadian convicted murderer, though he denied this in a subsequent interview with the Toronto Sun.

Image result for Karla Homolka

See here fore more details on: Karla Homolka

During the murder investigation, Montreal police initially announced the pair had dated but soon retracted the statement and acknowledged that they had no evidence to corroborate the claim. As with the Homolka relationship, Magnotta repeatedly denied the claims as hoaxes and part of a campaign of cyber stalking against him.

Police stated that Magnotta set up at least 70 Facebook pages and 20 websites under different names. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Magnotta posted on the white supremacist website Stormfront under two different usernames, and had followed the Twitter account of white nationalist Don Black. In one of his alleged Stormfront comments, Magnotta denounced Chinese people.

Murder of Lin Jun

Lin Jun (Chinese: 林俊; pinyin: Lín Jùn) (30 December 1978 – 24/25 May 2012), also known as Justin Lin, was an international student from Wuhan and an undergraduate in the engineering and computer science faculty at Concordia University. He worked part-time as a convenience store clerk in Pointe-Saint-Charles. Lin had been studying in Montreal since July 2011.

Image result for Lin Jun

Lin moved into a Griffintown-area apartment with a roommate on May 1. He was last seen on May 24, 2012 and his friends reported getting a text message from his phone at 9 pm. His boss became suspicious when he didn’t show up for his shift the next day. Three of his friends went into his apartment on May 27.

He was reported missing to police on May 29.

On May 25, 2012, an 11-minute video titled 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick was uploaded to Bestgore.com, depicting a naked male tied to a bed frame being repeatedly stabbed with an ice pick and a kitchen knife, then dismembered, followed by acts of necrophilia.

The perpetrator uses a knife and fork to cut off some of the flesh and gets a dog to chew on the body.

During the video, the 1987 New Order song “True Faith” plays in the background, and a poster for the 1942 film Casablanca is visible on the wall. Canadian authorities obtained a “more extensive” version of the video and said cannibalism may have been performed. Materials promoting the video appeared online 10 days before the murder took place.

On May 26, an attorney from Montana attempted to report the video to Toronto Police, his local Sheriff, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but the report was dismissed by officials. Bestgore viewers also attempted to report the video. Police later confirmed it as authentic and identified the victim, an Asian male, as the same one whose body parts were sent to Ottawa.

At 11 am on May 29, 2012, a package containing a left foot was delivered to the national headquarters of the Conservative Party of Canada. The package was stained with blood and had a foul smell. It was marked with a red heart symbol.Another package containing a left hand was intercepted in a Canada Post processing facility, addressed to the Liberal Party.

A janitor discovered a decomposing torso inside a suitcase, left in a garbage pile in the alley behind an apartment building in the Snowdon area of Montreal.He first saw the suitcase on May 25, but it was not picked up due to the large amount of garbage that day.

After searching the scene, police recovered human remains, bloody clothes, papers identifying the suspect, as well as “sharp and blunt objects” from the back alley.

Footage from surveillance cameras inside the building showed a suspect bringing numerous garbage bags outside, and the images matched the suspect who was captured on video at the post office in Côte-des-Neiges.

At 11:33 pm EDT (03:33 UTC), police searched apartment 208 of the building, which Magnotta was renting. He had moved in four months prior, and his rent was paid up to June 1. The apartment had been mostly emptied before he left.  Blood was found on different items including the mattress, the refrigerator, the table, and the bathtub.

“If you don’t like the reflection. Don’t look in the mirror. I don’t care”

was written in red ink on the inside of a closet.

On May 30, 2012, it was confirmed that the body parts belonged to the same individual, later identified as Lin Jun. The suspect in the case was quickly identified as Magnotta, who had by then fled.

A note was found with the package sent to the Conservative Party, saying six body parts had been distributed and the perpetrator would kill again. The other three packages also contained notes, but their contents were undisclosed by police, who cited their concerns about possible copycat crimes.

On June 5, 2012, a package containing a right foot was delivered to St. George’s School and another package containing a right hand to False Creek Elementary School in Vancouver.

Vancouver School Board logo.jpg

Both schools opened as normal the following morning. It was confirmed that both packages were sent from Montreal.

On June 13, the four limbs and the torso were matched to Lin using DNA samples from his family. On July 1, his head was recovered at the edge of a small lake in Montreal’s Angrignon Park after police received an anonymous tip.

Lin’s body was cremated on July 11 and his ashes were buried on July 26 at Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery in Montreal.

Manhunt

An arrest warrant for Magnotta was issued by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), later upgraded to a Canada-wide warrant by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), accusing him of the following crimes:

  1. First-degree murder;
  2. Committing an indignity to a dead body;
  3. Publishing obscene material;
  4. Mailing obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous material; and
  5. Criminally harassing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and several (unnamed) members of Parliament.

On May 31, 2012, Interpol issued a Red notice for Magnotta at the request of Canadian authorities, and for several days before and after his arrest his name and photo were displayed prominently at the top of the home page of the Interpol website. The Red Notice requested that Magnotta be provisionally arrested pending extradition back to Canada by any Interpol member state.

Image result for luka magnotta arrested

Magnotta booked a ticket for a flight from Montreal to Paris on May 25, using a passport with his own name.  After his arrival in France, his cell phone signal was traced to a hotel in Bagnolet, but he had left by the time police arrived. Pornographic magazines and an air-sickness bag were found in the hotel room.  Magnotta used a false passport with the name “Kirk Trammel” at the hotel.  He had contacts in Paris from a previous visit in 2010, and police were following a large-framed man who had been in contact with Magnotta. Another man he stayed with for two nights did not realize who he was until he had left.  Magnotta then boarded a Eurolines bus at the Bagnolet coach station bound for Berlin, Germany.

Image result for luka magnotta arrested

On June 4, 2012, Magnotta was apprehended by Berlin Police at an Internet café in the Neukölln district while reading news stories about himself.  He tried giving fake names before admitting who he was.  His identity was confirmed through fingerprint evidence.

Image result for luka magnotta arrested

Magnotta appeared in a Berlin court on June 5, 2012. According to German officials, he did not oppose his extradition. There was sufficient evidence to keep him in custody until extradition,  and he agreed to a simplified process.

On June 18, 2012, Magnotta was delivered to Canadian authorities in Berlin and flown aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force CC-150 Polaris to Mirabel International Airport, north of Montreal. A military transport was necessary due to safety concerns with using a commercial flight and potential legal difficulties if the plane was diverted to another country.  He was placed into solitary confinement at the Rivière-des-Prairies detention centre.

Immediate aftermath

Reactions in China were highly critical, with some believing the murder was racially motivated. Some Chinese questioned public safety in Canada, as the killing was the second high-profile murder of a Chinese student there in slightly over a year.  Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called Chinese ambassador Zhang Junsai (章均赛) to convey his condolences.

On June 4, 2012, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was pleased that the suspect was arrested and congratulated the police forces on their good work in apprehending him.  Interim Liberal Party leader Bob Rae said that Canadians should mourn the victim rather than “in any way, shape or form” celebrate Magnotta’s notoriety.

Two days later, Lin Jun’s family arrived at Trudeau Airport in Montreal. The Chinese Students and Scholars Association of Concordia University established a fund to defray expenses incurred by Lin’s family while in Canada and an award was created in his honor.

A candlelight vigil was held in Montreal.

Magnotta was named Canadian Newsmaker of the Year by The Canadian Press, which caused controversy.

Image result for bestgore

On July 16, 2013, Edmonton police charged Bestgore.com owner Mark Marek with corrupting public morals, a rarely used obscenity charge, for posting the 1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick video online. On January 25, 2016, Marek changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced to a six-month conditional sentence after a joint submission from the Crown and defence. He had to serve half of the six-month sentence under house arrest.

Legal proceedings

Preliminary hearing

On June 19, Magnotta appeared in court by video link to plead not guilty to all charges through his lawyer.On June 21, Magnotta appeared in person at a high-security Montreal courtroom to request a trial by jury.

A preliminary hearing began on March 11, 2013. The evidence presented is subject to a publication ban. Magnotta’s defence team requested the media and the public be barred entirely from the hearing; this was declined the next day. Lin Jun’s father, Lin Diran, travelled from China to attend the hearing. On March 13, one of Magnotta’s lawyers resigned, due to a possible conflict of interest.

Expert witnesses testified, including a forensic pathologist, a forensic toxicologist, a forensic odontologist, a bloodstain analyst, data recovery specialists and an Internet investigations officer. The prosecution also displayed video evidence. Both Magnotta and Lin physically collapsed at separate times during the proceedings.

On April 12, 2013, Magnotta was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, offering indignities to a human body, distributing obscene materials, using the postal service to distribute obscene materials, and criminal harassment.

Trial

Magnotta elected to be tried by judge and jury.He pleaded not guilty, admitting to the acts of which he was accused but claiming diminished responsibility due to mental disorders. Crown Attorney Louis Bouthillier made his opening statement on September 29, 2014. Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer presided over the trial, which lasted 10 weeks.

On the opening day, he instructed jurors that Magnotta:

“admits the acts or the conducts underlying the crime for which he is charged. Your task will be to determine whether he committed the five offences with the required state of mind for each offence.”

Six tools (a pair of scissors, two knives, a screwdriver, an oscillating saw and a hammer) were recovered outside Magnotta’s apartment and analysed by ballistics expert Gilbert Desjardins. He said none could be definitively linked to the killing, and no skeletal marks suggested the screwdriver or scissors were used, but some were consistent with saw and knife or X-Acto blade injuries.

During the trial, defence attorney Luc Leclair argued that Magnotta was in a psychotic state at the time of the crimes and couldn’t be held responsible for his actions. The Crown prosecutor argued that the murder of Jun Lin was organized and premeditated and that Magnotta was “purposeful, mindful, ultra-organized and ultimately responsible for his actions.”

Magnotta chose not to testify during the trial.

After a 12-week trial which included 10 weeks of hearing testimony, the jury of eight women and four men received final instructions from the trial judge on December 15, 2014 and was sequestered before beginning its deliberations the next day. On their eighth day of deliberation, they returned a verdict of guilty on all charges.

Magnotta will serve a mandatory life sentence and will be eligible for parole in 25 years. He was also sentenced to 19 years for other charges, to be served concurrently.

Magnotta filed an appeal for the convictions to be annulled and new trial ordered. The appeal was filed with the Quebec Court of Appeal by Magnotta’s defence counsel Luc Leclair, citing judicial error in jury instruction. The appeal further claimed that the “verdicts are unreasonable and unsupported by the evidence and the instructions.” Magnotta withdrew his appeal on February 18, 2015.

Mental health

Image result for Magnotta found guilty

                                                         Trial Expert Testimony
Expert Diagnosis Crown/Defence
Dr. Roy Borderline personality disorder with histrionic traits Independent
Dr. Paris Borderline personality disorder Crown
Dr. Chamberland Antisocial personality disorder, Histrionic personality disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder Crown
Dr. Allard Paranoid schizophrenia Defence
Dr. Watts Schizophrenia, Histrionic personality disorder, Borderline personality traits, Paraphilia Defence
Dr. Barth Paranoid schizophrenia Defence

Related image

This drawing was found in an old asylum, its artist was a paranoid schizophrenic.

During his trial for murder, defence witnesses provided evidence that Luka Magnotta had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as a teenager.  Defence expert Dr. Joel Watts testified that Magnotta showed signs of episodic schizophrenia (undifferentiated type), histrionic personality disorder, borderline personality traits and paraphilia not otherwise specified.

The prosecution revealed that Magnotta had been using illegal drugs during his teenage years which led to symptoms that mimicked schizophrenia and that Magnotta has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder by Crown expert Dr. Joel Paris at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal in April 2012.

Dr. Renée Roy, the forensic psychiatrist who has been treating Magnotta at Rivières-des-Prairies Detention Centre since November 2012, through his preliminary hearing and right up to the murder trial, diagnosed Magnotta with borderline personality disorder with histrionic features.

Dr. Gilles Chamberland, another Crown expert who was not able to interview Magnotta, diagnosed Magnotta with anti-social, histrionic and narcissistic personality disorder.[105] A number of psychiatrists over the years noted that Magnotta displayed antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic traits. The prosecution accused Magnotta of pretending to be schizophrenic since his defence pleaded diminished responsibility due to alleged schizophrenia.

Investigation into other possible crimes

with kittens

Magnotta is alleged to be the person behind a series of videos of animal cruelty involving cats which were posted to YouTube beginning in 2010, including one titled “1 boy 2 kittens” which showed a man deliberately suffocating two kittens with a vacuum cleaner.  In January 2011 a private Facebook group identified Magnotta as the person in these videos; animal rights activist groups subsequently offered a $5,000 reward for bringing him to justice.

In February 2011, Toronto police began investigating Magnotta in connection with the videos after receiving a complaint from the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The OSPCA also contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in England, the FBI, and police in Montreal due to the suspect’s extensive travels.

Image result for alex west sun journalist

Alex West, a journalist for British tabloid newspaper The Sun, met Magnotta while he was living in London in 2011, following claims that he had made “Python Christmas”, an online video showing a kitten being eaten alive by a Burmese python. The Sun contacted Scotland Yard, which denied that the python video incident had occurred within its jurisdiction, stating that the video had been “posted from somewhere in North America”.

Following his meeting with Magnotta, Alex West said he received a threatening email, which he believed was sent by Magnotta.

See The Sun for more details

On June 8, the Los Angeles Police Department announced they were in contact with Montreal police to determine if Magnotta was involved in the then-unsolved murder and decapitation of Hervey Medellin, known as the “Hollywood Sign Murder”, but later announced that they did not believe he was involved in the crime.

The animal rights group Last Chance for Animals claimed responsibility for posting YouTube videos linking him to the Hollywood Sign Murder in an attempt to lure Magnotta into contacting them. LCA offered a $7500 reward for information leading to his arrest while he was on the run.  On November 16, 2015, Gabriel Campos-Martinez was sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder.

The case also drew comparisons across North America to Mark Twitchell, a convicted murderer inspired by Dexter, who used social media in his crimes and to self-promote his work.  Author Steve Lillebuen, who wrote a book on the case, described a new trend in crime where social media allows killers to become “online broadcasters” and have direct, instant access to a global audience they may crave.

——————-

Amazingly Magnotta has be allowed to join an online dating site for prisoners

online dating 2

For more details see:

Lin Jun killer Luka Magnotta’s life behind bars revealed in his prison …

Timeline: A look at the Luka Magnotta case and the grisly video …

Letters from a killer: Luka Magnotta appears to enjoy his hard time …

 

 

 

,,,,,,,,,

 

 

Bessbrook bomb kills four RUC men- 17th April 1979

Least we Forget – Over 300 members of the RUC were killed during the Troubles.

Belfast Child

Bessbrook

Booby Trap Van Bomb

17th April 1979

Four Protestant members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), were killed by a Provisional IRA remote-controlled bomb hidden in a parked van, and detonated when their mobile patrol drove past, Bessbrook.

The bomb was estimated at 1,000 pound and was believed to be the largest bomb used by the IRA up to that date.

———————————————–

Victims

———————————————–

17 April 1979


Paul Gray, (25)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb hidden in parked van, detonated when Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol drove past, Bessbrook, County Armagh.

See 17th April Deaths & Events

———————————————–

17 April 1979


Robert Lockhart,  (44)

Protestant
Status: Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC),

Killed by: Irish Republican Army (IRA)
Killed by remote controlled bomb hidden in parked van, detonated when Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) mobile patrol drove past, Bessbrook…

View original post 346 more words

The Battle of Vimy Ridge – four days of Hell.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge

vimy ridge harry and williamVimy Ridge: Royals commemorate defining WW1 battle

Prince Charles has paid tribute to the soldiers who paid the “unbearably high cost” of victory at one of the fiercest battles of World War One.

The four-day Battle of Vimy Ridge in northern France saw the deaths of 3,598 Canadian forces under British command in April 1917.

Events marking the centenary are taking place on the site of the battlefield.

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have joined their father for the service, and the Queen sent a message.

She told the people of Canada it was important to “remember and honour those who served so valiantly and who gave so much here at Vimy Ridge”.

The events began with a ceremony attended by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and French President Francois Hollande.

About 25,000 people, including relatives of those who fought in the battle, are attending the commemorations at the Canadian National Memorial on the battlefield near Arras.

See BBC News for full story

————————————————————————

The Battle of Vimy Ridge, 9-12 APRIL 1917

Many historians and writers consider the Canadian victory at Vimy a defining moment for Canada, when the country emerged from under the shadow of Britain and felt capable of greatness. Canadian troops also earned a reputation as formidable, effective troops because of the stunning success. But it was a victory at a terrible cost, with more than 10,000 killed and wounded.

The Canadian Corps was ordered to seize Vimy Ridge in April 1917. [Map] Situated in northern France, the heavily-fortified seven-kilometre ridge held a commanding view over the Allied lines. The Canadians would be assaulting over an open graveyard since previous French attacks had failed with over 100,000 casualties. Naval 12 inch howitzer in action

Naval 12 inch howitzer in action

To capture this difficult position, the Canadians would carefully plan and rehearse their attack. To provide greater flexibility and firepower in battle, the infantry were given specialist roles as machine-gunners, rifle-men and grenade-throwers. These same soldiers underwent weeks of training behind the lines using models to represent the battlefield, and new maps crafted from aerial photographs to guide their way. To bring men forward safely for the assault, engineers dug deep tunnels from the rear to the front. Despite this training and preparation, the key to victory would be a devastating artillery barrage that would not only isolate enemy trenches, but provide a moving wall of high explosives and shrapnel to force the Germans to stay in their deep dugouts and away from their machine-guns. “Chaps, you shall go over exactly like a railroad train, on time, or you shall be annihilated,” warned Canadian Corps commander Sir Julian Byng.

Canadians Returning from Vimy Ridge 1917, First World War

In the week leading up to the battle, Canadian and British artillery pounded the enemy positions on the ridge, killing and tormenting defenders. New artillery tactics allowed the gunners to first target, then destroy enemy positions. A nearly limitless supply of artillery shells and the new 106 fuse, which allowed shells to explode on contact, as opposed to burying themselves in ground, facilitated the destruction of hardened defences and barbed wire. The Canadian infantry would be well supported when it went into battle with over 1,000 artillery pieces laying down withering, supportive fire.

Taking Vimy Ridge, advancing with tank class=

Attacking together for the first time, the four Canadian divisions stormed the ridge at 5:30am on 9 April 1917. More than 15,000 Canadian infantry overran the Germans all along the front. Incredible bravery and discipline allowed the infantry to continue moving forward under heavy fire, even when their officers were killed.There were countless acts of sacrifice, as Canadians single-handedly charged machine-gun nests or forced the surrender of Germans in protective dugouts. Hill 145, the highest and most important feature of the Ridge, and where the Vimy monument now stands, was captured in a frontal bayonet charge against machine-gun positions. Three more days of costly battle delivered final victory. The Canadian operation was an important success, even if the larger British and French offensive, of which it had been a part, had failed. But it was victory at a heavy cost: 3,598 Canadians were killed and another 7,000 wounded.

The capture of Vimy was more than just an important battlefield victory. For the first time all four Canadian divisions attacked together: men from all regions of Canada were present at the battle. Brigadier-General A.E. Ross declared after the war, “in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation.” Canadians Returning from Vimy Ridge 1917, First World War

By Tim Cook

 

See:   www.Canadian War Museum for full story

canadian war museum

Battle of Vimy Ridge

Image result for Battle of Vimy Ridge

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a military engagement fought primarily as part of the Battle of Arras, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France, during the First World War. The main combatants were the Canadian Corps, of four divisions, against three divisions of the German Sixth Army. The battle, which took place from 9 to 12 April 1917, was part of the opening phase of the British-led Battle of Arras, a diversionary attack for the French Nivelle Offensive.

The objective of the Canadian Corps was to take control of the German-held high ground along an escarpment at the northernmost end of the Arras Offensive. This would ensure that the southern flank could advance without suffering German enfilade fire. Supported by a creeping barrage, the Canadian Corps captured most of the ridge during the first day of the attack. The town of Thélus fell during the second day of the attack, as did the crest of the ridge once the Canadian Corps overcame a salient against considerable German resistance. The final objective, a fortified knoll located outside the village of Givenchy-en-Gohelle, fell to the Canadian Corps on 12 April. The German forces then retreated to the OppyMéricourt line.

Historians attribute the success of the Canadian Corps in capturing the ridge to a mixture of technical and tactical innovation, meticulous planning, powerful artillery support and extensive training, as well as the failure of the German Sixth Army to properly apply the new German defensive doctrine. The battle was the first occasion when all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in a battle together and it was made a symbol of Canadian national achievement and sacrifice. Recent historical research[5] has called this patriotic narrative into question, showing that it developed in the latter part of the twentieth century. The nation-building story only emerged fully formed after most of those who experienced the Great War directly or indirectly had passed from the scene. A 100-hectare (250-acre) portion of the former battleground serves as a memorial park and site of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial

See Wikipedia for more details