31st January 1913
In January 1913, the Ulster Unionist Council decided to create the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and recruit men from the various groups who had been organising themselves to resist Home Rule. The UVF was to be limited to 100,000 men and was led by Sir George Richardson, a retired army general.
The volunteers drilled openly, though only with wooden rifles initially. Even though the numbers in the force grew to 90,000 by the end of the year, many nationalists still saw their actions as a bluff. They felt that unionists would not fight if Home Rule was introduced.