Main content

Paras move into the Bogside on Bloody Sunday

Colonel Derek Wilford and two soldiers of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment recall events as the battalion move into the Bogside in pursuit of rioters on Bloody Sunday.

Journalist Peter Taylor's documentary on Bloody Sunday was made 20 years after the event.

This clip begins with archive footage of soldiers running through their own barricades on Great James Street in pursuit of the rioters.

The Company Sergeant Major of 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday remembers being given the order to move in, recalling one of the soldiers cocking his weapon – this was contrary to orders. He puts it down to tension and a fear of being fired at.

The Platoon Sergeant of 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday recalls moving through the Great James Street barrier in an army vehicle. He and his soldiers ended up in a car park by the Rossville flats. He recalls going in to make arrests. He claims the firing he heard from Rossville flats "was the highest concentration of fire I personally had heard in Northern Ireland."

Colonel Derek Wilford (Commanding Officer 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment on Bloody Sunday) states that when fired at his soldiers were trained to move forward and seek out the enemy.

Peter Taylor suggests that the soldiers may have mistaken one or two warning shots from their own side for offensive fire. This theory is dismissed by the Platoon Sergeant.

Helicopter footage is licenced under the Open Government License (C) UK MOD Crown Copyright [1972]

Release date:


5 minutes

Featured in...

More clips from Remember Bloody Sunday