Ulster Special Constabulary Begins Patrols at Brown’s Square

Belfast News-Letter, 28 February 1921

The Ulster Special Constabulary was established in December 1920, in response to increased violence across Ireland related to the War of Independence. The volunteers, also known as the B Specials, were recruited from Protestant communities as reinforcements for the Royal Irish Constabulary, and to defend against attacks by the IRA. Here, the Belfast News-Letter reported on recent patrols by the USC in Belfast, carried out with the support of local officials.

Special Constabulary: Patrols on Duty at Brown’s Square

The new scheme, Class B, has met with exceptional support, and proved most popular in the Shankill district, the entire area being now patrolled by the men of the locality in conjunction with the permanent members of the R.I.C., who have rendered great assistance in the formation of the new force. The applicants have been so numerous that the quota has been practically obtained, and the surplus in the meantime may be transferred to Class C.

Patrols are already working from Craven Street barracks and Shankill Road barracks, and the remaining station, Brown Square, sent out its first patrol on Saturday night at eight o’clock. This was inspected by Lieut-Colonel W.R. Goodwin, C.M.G., D.S.O., city commandant. Captain Gaussen, adjutant; David A. Fee, J.P., station commandant; Councillor W.J. Bickerstaff, station commandant (Brown Square). Commissioners Robert Scott, Martin Craig, assistant District Commandant Head-Constable Malseed, were in attendance. The High Sheriff of Belfast, Alderman Joseph Davison, J.P: (chairman of the Police Committee), and Mr Harry Taylor, J.P., addressed the men prior to going on duty.