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24th-25th April 1914

UVF smuggles Guns into Ulster

Major Fred Crawford, British army officer and member of the Ulster Unionist Council came up with a plan to arm the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). He organised the purchase of arms in Germany and using various decoys, smuggled the arms into Ulster past the naval cordon set up by Winston Churchill.

On the night of the 24th April, 11,000 Männlicher rifles, 9,000 ex-German army Mausers; 4,600 Italian Vetterli-Vitali rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition were unloaded at Larne, Bangor and Donaghadee. The weapons were loaded on to motorcars and distributed to arms dumps throughout the province to be used by the UVF.

Military & Policing, Unionism
The Express article on the gun running in Larne, Bangor and Donaghadee.
Deputy Keeper of Records, PRONI D1239/8