Winter of '79, Early Days….
…Sergeant ‘Tosh’ Collins and the two SAS teams he was nominally in charge of had spent three days in the Evening News van, watching the farm. Their recce work had shown the most likely avenues of attack and they had gone over a suitable plan. The problem was, following the shocking assassination of the majority of the Royal Family by the previously derided Free Welsh Army, the hastily formed Neo Conservative Republic were wary of too much bad press overseas. The upshot was, this was still officially a police matter, meaning that the local plods had to be allowed to go in first and make the arrests. ‘Tosh’ wasn’t too worried about the local representatives of the Free Welsh Army or even the blokes from the Brixton Popular Front. It was Paddy O’Brien and his Provos that concerned him – they were armed with military grade weapons and had arrived with two heavily laden Mini vans full of cases of the same. ‘Tosh’ checked his watch in the light of the full moon overhead, counting down the seconds until the coppers were due to make their entrance….
…DI Dai Morgan of the Merthyr CID was not a happy man. He liked things to stay the way they were supposed to and, since the Conservative win in May’s elections, the whole world had turned upside down! The huge underground bombs that had demolished Windsor Castle in July had not only killed Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and most of the Royal Family in one fell swoop, but it had turned out that almost all the miners involved were Welsh and two were from the Merthyr district! The outrage created following this event meant, coupled with the sudden declaration by supporters of the Free Wales movement that Wales would secede from the United Kingdom following the rapid creation of what Plaid Cymru called an ‘illegimate government’, that the Neo Conservative Republic had begun to crack down on the people of Wales. At the moment, that involved increasing police powers and putting troops on the streets to enforce the law where needed. There’d been some rioting and the occasional car bomb, not only in Wales but across the North of England and even amongst those ‘oppressed’ minorities in Nottingham and London. For Dai and his uniformed officers, it meant being forced to arm up and take on members of the IRA, self-styled Black Power revolutionaries and, worst of all, members of the local population of Merthyr. Gun running, of all things, on HIS patch!? As a Welshman, he and the other members of the Constabulary had some sympathy with the Free Wales movement but they would do their duty, as always. He hoped it would all end quietly tonight, a few arrests and then home in time for tea and medals – but he knew, what with the SAS, IRA and wannabe revolutionary daft buggers in the mix, blood would be spilt this night….
Fat Elvis, or Kevin Jones as he was known to family and friends, was not happy about negotiations so far. First of all, the hatchet faced leader of the gun runners from the IRA was demanding more money for the weapons they had smuggled all the way from Northern Ireland. Fair enough, the cases contained not only pistols but also assault rifles and even rocket launchers, but the IRA man seemed to be asking for almost double what had been agreed. Problem was, given the state of the increasingly dis-United or ‘Untied’ Kingdom, it was a seller’s market. This ability to sell to anyone had resulted in the second thing that had his back up, the presence of this Afro Bob, some bloke from a dodgy part of London who seemed to have deep pockets full of cash to provide for the needs of what he called the ‘Brixton Popular Front’. God knew how he had learnt of the meeting here at old Jones’ Farm on the outskirts of Merthyr but Kevin suspected that O’Brien’s people had leaked the news of the supposedly clandestine meeting to hike up the price. They had just agreed to share the weapons from the IRA fellers on a 60 / 40 split in favour of the Free Welsh Army when they heard a shout in a broad Irish brogue. Kevin couldn’t quite make it out but O’Brien suddenly produced an automatic from beneath his jacket and hissed the word “Trouble, we better get out”. Kevin drew his Colt .45 revolver, a gift from the Methyr Tydfil Cowboy Club. Afro Bob pulled what looked like a small machine pistol from within his own jumpsuit. Then, suddenly, the barking report of what sounded like LMG fire was followed by the panicked shouting of Welsh voices. As one, the three leaders of the disparate factions began to make for the ladder back down to the ground floor, Kev slightly in the lead, his size perhaps serving to suggest he would move more slowly than the fit young Royal Welsh Fusilier he had once been. Time to get a little bit rowdy, he thought…
Merthyr Tydfil Police – Detain all the leaders, arrest their supporters, prevent vehicles leaving the locations and seize any and all weapons. Co-operate with the SAS but remember that you are in charge.
SAS – Capture / kill the IRA members, take O’Brien alive if possible. Take possession of the military grade weapons. Support the police but be aware that, as soon as large calibre bullets start to fly, it’s open season.
IRA – Get all the cases of weapons and O’Brien away. Do not get caught but, if arrested, keep quiet.
Free Welsh Army and Brixton Popular Front – Cover for Fat Elvis and Afro Bob so they can get away.
It's Wales. It's teatime. No-one has had their dinner and the game is on!
SAS advance after three days in their 'hide'
...the Evening News Transit
The barn where leaders of the IRA gun runners,
Free Welsh Army and Brixton Popular Front
As the leaders make a run for it, their respective
entourages hold back the SAS attack
Fat Elvis's Motor, blocking the main IRA vehicle in
As the Merthyr officers head for the rear gates,
a member of SAS Red Team takes out
Elvis' Granada with a LAW rocket!
View from the church tower as two members
of the SAS White Team engage the enemy
Fat Elvis, Afro Bob and O'Brien make a dash for
the Mini Cooper van as the SAS and police close in!
Then, roaring around the corner, comes the other mini
from the barn - O'Brien leaps into the back of the green
from the barn - O'Brien leaps into the back of the green
one and the other two leaders get into the white one,
both vehicles laden down already with cases of weapons!
The SAS members close in to take
prisoners as the leaders flee the table
All the leaders of the various factions got away, with the crates of weapons. This means that the Free Welsh Army in the Merthyr Tidfil area and the Brixton Popular Front have a quantity of modern military weapons.
Three Active Members of the Provisional IRA were captured by the SAS, as were one member of the Free Welsh and one member of the Brixton Popular Front. These have been handed over to the Intelligence Services for further questioning.
DI Dai Morgan was pronounced dead at the scene, as were a couple of other police officers. This has hardened the resolve of the Merthyr-based members of the South Wales Constabulary against the rebels and their associates. However, it is rumoured that some officers outside Merthyr have allied with the Free Wales Movement and are now actively supporting them with information, logistical support and possibly even weapons from those seized in evidence rooms.
Trooper ‘H’, 22nd SAS, was found to be MIA after the combat. He was last seen heading into the thick pall of smoke around the knocked out Ford Granada. It can only be assumed that he has been taken by either the IRA or Free Welsh Army. Needless to say, Sgt. ‘Tosh’ Collins and the remaining members of Red and White Teams have elected to stay in the field until they have either recovered him or avenged his death.
Classic! Thanks to Wayne and guys for such a fun first Winter of '79 action down at their club.