Post feature RSS The Brick Lane Massacre

Small transcript from the Official History, 'District Echo 2' Published in 1987, two years after the exchange.

Posted by on

If there is one event that can be named as the catalyst of the the
Rebellion, then the Brick Lane Massacre is probably it. Brick Lane
connects Whitechapel Road with Bethnal Green Road and was, before the
war a major shopping district. A Large Trumans Brewery sits in the
middle, and further towards the River there is Shoreditch London
Underground Station (Despite the name, this is perched on a raised
railway track that offers Railway arches as commercial space). Bethnal
Green in itself, and especially an area of the green this close to the
city was probably the closest that survivors lived in PEG communities
before entering the contaminated area. It was designated as PEg ComEL02
or E2 (its postal code) For short.

On September the 15th 1985, a
civil disturbance was reported at the corner of Osborne Street and
Whitechapel Road. A Crowd of an estimated 300 survivors were marching
along From the hospital waving banners and protesting loudly against
the recent arrest and execution of Mary Alcott, a 12 year old girl who
had been convicted of looting. Despite the fact she had been so young,
starving, and on her own, the judicial magistrate of SE1 (She had been
caught in Bermondsey) Had seen to make an example of her and ordered
her to be hung. This had caused uproar in the communities, and there
had been several riots, all low key, and dealt with by the security
forces. The crowd was spotted moving north towards brick lane at 0815.
A Detachment of 4 Humber pigs and a Bedford truck containing a platoon
of Royal Green Jackets from the FOB at Jericho was ordered to approach
from the Whitechapel end, set up a road block to stop the riot spilling
back on itself, and to prevent anymore potential rioters entering from
the rear. At the same time a platoon from the Irish Guards FOB at Bank
was moved in Bedfords and Landrovers To the corner of Shoreditch High
Street and Bethnal Green Road, with orders to stand bye and if needed,
advance into the crowd using gas and batons to disperse them.

was then a lull in the rioting whilst speeches were given by various
community leaders, Security force commanders used this lull to advance
the Irish Guards onto Brick Lane itself and set up a secondary
defensive position facing (although well out of sight of) the RGJ
position. It was when the troops we're first spotted by the crowd that
the situation began to rapidly decrease. The crowd attacked the Irish
guards positions with bricks, wood, bottle and anything else that could
be hurled. Four Guardsman we're injured before they fell back to a
reserve position, that had two GPMG positions overlooking the road. The
crowd was less inclined to attack these positions and held back, still
throwing the odd missile. The RGJ we're ordered to advance from their
position and push the crowd towards the Guards, where they could be
channeled into the Brewery, and dispersed and/or arrested. It was then
that the crowd became really violent, and turned on the green jackets,
charging them with batons and sticks. Donning Respirators, the RGJ
fired gas into the crowd. The mob quickly turned around and stormed
toward the Irish guards and their GPMG position. It is not known
whether the shot came directly from the crowd, or from one of the
buildings, but Guardsman Peter Barrett was hit, and the word went round
that a firearm was spotted, the guardsmen started dropping likely
targets from within the mass, but the crowd still surged forward. They
pulled troops off of the barricade and beat them to death with bricks
and fists, and the guards dropped back. Picking up the discarded SLR's
of dead and wounded guardsmen, braver rioters fired at the GPMG's, and
they returned fire, panicking at the violent end they had just
witnessed, they expended their ammunition within minutes and continued
to fire into the retreating mass of bodies, only ceasing when their
barrels overheated.

The crowd dispersed quickly, and overran
the RGJ position by sheer numbers and panicked speed, injuring many of
the soldiers mounted on it. When the smoke had cleared there were 237
dead civilians and 86 wounded in the gap between the two Security
positions, and 12 soldiers were killed, and 26 wounded. E2 was secure,
but the seeds of dissent we're well and truly sewn. It wash shortly
after this that the Union proclamation was announced, and the first PEG
vehicle ambushes began to take place.


war is terrible

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.