Royal wedding: The way we were in 1981

British soldier in Northern Ireland (left), RAF Harrier jump jet in Gerrmany

The UK's armed forces' main commitments in 1981 were to Cold War Nato and Northern Ireland. At the Maze prison, 10 Irish republican prisoners starved themselves to death during the 1981 hunger strike. The deaths sparked protests across nationalist areas and is said to have led to a significant rise in IRA membership and a renewed cycle of violence. The following year would see the start of the conflict with Argentina over the Falkland Islands.

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