22nd October 1920

Formation of the USC announced

The Ulster Special Constabulary (USC), was established to deal with Irish Republican Army attacks on the Royal Irish Constabulary and to reduce the commitment of troops in the North. It was formed from the remains of the old Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and armed by the British government. Whole units of UVF joined the constabulary, but Catholics were not encouraged to join up.

The USC was divided into three classes: the ‘A’ Specials, a full-time force; the ‘B’ Specials, a part-time force; and the ‘C’ Specials, a reserve force made up of older men. Due to limited supplies, new recruits were required to use civilian and army clothing and equipment.

Military & Policing, War of Independence
USC at a police checkpoint; the men are wearing police caps and coats over civilian clothes.
Police Museum, Belfast