Military history of Gibraltar during World War II
The military history of Gibraltar during World War II exemplifies Gibraltar's position as a British fortress since the early 18th century and as a vital factor in British military strategy, both as a foothold on the continent of Europe, as a bastion of British sea power. During World War II, Gibraltar served a vital role in both the Atlantic Theatre and the Mediterranean Theatre, controlling all naval traffic into and out of the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to its commanding position, Gibraltar provided a defended harbour from which ships could operate in both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Force H, under the command of Vice-Admiral James Somerville was based in Gibraltar and had the task of maintaining naval superiority and providing a strong escort for convoys to and from the besieged island of Malta. During the course of the war, Gibraltar came under aerial bombardment from Vichy French aircraft and from aircraft of the Italian Royal Air Force based on Sardinia.
Additionally, the fortress was the focus of underwater attacks by the Italian Royal Navy commando frogman unit and their human torpedoes. This Italian unit was based on the interned Italian ship SS Olterra in the nearby Spanish harbour of Algeciras. A number of attacks were carried out by Spanish and Gibraltarian agents acting on behalf of the German Abwehr. Inside the Rock of Gibraltar itself, miles of tunnels were excavated from the limestone. Masses of rock were blasted out to build an "underground city". In huge man-made caverns, offices, a equipped hospital were constructed, complete with an operating theatre and X-ray equipment. Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa in November 1942, was coordinated from the "Rock". General Dwight D. Eisenhower, given command of the operation, set up his headquarters in Gibraltar during the planning phases of the operation. Following the successful completion of the North African campaign and the surrender of Italy in 1943, Gibraltar's role shifted from a forward operating base to a rear-area supply position.
The harbour continued to operate dry docks and supply depots for the convoy routes through the Mediterranean until V-E Day in 1945. World War II changed the lives of Gibraltarians; the decision to enforce mass evacuation in order to increase the strength of the Rock with more military and naval personnel meant that most Gibraltarians had nowhere to call'home'. Only those civilians with essential jobs were allowed to stay but it gave the entire community a sense of being'British' by sharing in the war effort. In early June 1940, about 13,500 evacuees were shipped to Casablanca in French Morocco. However, following the capitulation of the French to the German armies in June 1940, the new Pro-German French Vichy Government found the presence of Gibraltarian evacuees in Casablanca an embarrassment and sought opportunities for their removal; the opportunity soon arose when 15 British cargo vessels arrived under Commodore Crichton, repatriating 15,000 French servicemen, rescued from Dunkirk. Once their own rescued servicemen had disembarked, the ships were interned until they agreed to take away all the evacuees.
Although Crichton was unable to obtain permission to clean and restock his ships, when he saw the mass of civilians pouring through the dockyards, he opened up his gangways for boarding. Just beforehand, the British fleet had destroyed a number of French warships at Mers el-Kebir in order to prevent them ending up in German hands; the attack, during which 1,297 French sailors died, led to high tensions, which were evident when families were forced at bayonet point by French troops to board taking only what they could carry, leaving many possessions behind. However, when they arrived at Gibraltar, the Governor would not allow them to land, fearing that once the evacuees were back on the Rock, it would be impossible to evacuate them a second time. Crowds gathered in John Mackintosh Square in the centre of Gibraltar as the news broke, speeches were made and two City Councillors accompanied by the Acting President of the Exchange and Commercial Library went to see the Governor to ask that the evacuees be allowed to land.
After receiving instructions from London, a landing was allowed as long as the evacuees returned when other ships arrived to take them away from the Rock, by 13 July the re-evacuation back to Gibraltar had been completed. British conservative politician Oliver Stanley agreed to accept the evacuees in the United Kingdom, but he argued with Gibraltar over the number of people involved; the Governor, he declared, had given the number of evacuees first as 13,000 as 14,000 and as 16,000. He asked for the situation to be clarified, stressing the shortage of accommodation in Britain and insisting that only 13,000 could be accepted, 2,000 of whom were to be sent to the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira; the situation, replied General Liddell on 19 July, "is that this is a fortress liable to heavy and immediate attack and there should be no civilians here whereas there are 22,000. The 13,000 was the number sent to Morocco, more would have been sent had the situation there not altered." In London the evacuees were placed in the hands of the Ministry of Health, many were housed in Kensington area.
Concern for them in Gibraltar mounted as the air raids against London intensified, coupled with the arrival of harrowing letters, describing the circumstances in which the evacuees were living. In September rumours were circulating among the evacuees, in Gibraltar, that the possibility of re-evacuating the Gibral
Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
The Gibraltar Botanic Gardens or La Alameda Gardens are a botanical garden in Gibraltar, spanning around 6 hectares. The Rock Hotel lies above the park. In 1816 the gardens were commissioned by the British Governor of Gibraltar General George Don, it was his intention that the soldiers stationed in the fortress would have a pleasant recreational area to enjoy when off duty, so inhabitants could enjoy the air protected from the extreme heat of the sun. The gardens were resurrected in 1991 by an external company when it was realised that since the 1970s they had fallen into a poor state. Three years the gardens had the addition of a zoo: the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park. In 2001 a bronze sculpture of James Joyce's Molly Bloom was installed in the gardens; this running figure was commissioned from Jon Searle to celebrate the bicentenary of the Gibraltar Chronicle in 2001. General Don had commissioned a memorial of George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield in 1815, which did not materialise in the form requested.
A colossal statue of General Eliot, carved from the bowsprit of the Spanish ship San Juan Nepomuceno, taken at the Battle of Trafalgar was first created. That statue was taken to the Governor's residence, The Convent, where it stands today, being replaced by the present bronze bust in 1858; this statue is guarded for four 18th-century howitzers. The plants of the Alameda Gardens are a combination of native species and others brought in from abroad: Dracaena draco, a subtropical Dragon Tree native to the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira and locally in western Morocco; the oldest dragon tree in the gardens is about 300 years old. Stone pine, a species of pine native of southern Europe the Iberian Peninsula. Wild Olive, a species of small tree in the family Oleaceae. Celtis australis, a deciduous tree that can be among 20 to 25 metres of height. Grevillea robusta, the largest species in the genus Grevillea. There is only one specimen of this tree in the gardens. Canary Island Date Palm, a large palm native to the Canary Islands off the Atlantic coast of north Africa.
Washingtonia filifera, a palm native to the desert oases of Central and southwestern Arizona, southern Nevada, extreme northwest Mexico and inland deserts of southern California. Howea forsteriana, endemic to Lord Howe Island. Solitaire Palm Ptychosperma elegans an evergreen shrub native to East Asia. Bougainvillea, a genus of flowering plants native to South America from Brazil west to Peru and south to southern Argentina. Asteraceae, the second largest family of flowering plants. Pelargonium, a genus of flowering plants. Succulent plant, water-retaining plants adapted to arid soil conditions; the Alameda Open Air Theatre was inaugurated once again on 12 April 1996 at four o'clock with three bands of music playing - the same number of bands as had attended 180 years before to the hour at the opening of the Alameda Gardens in 1816. In order to extend its use from just theatre to general use, a number of new features were introduced, like the waterfall and lake - the largest area of open fresh water on the Rock, with Koi Carp and a collection of exotic lilies.
Since its opening, this venue has been used for a variety of purposes, from beauty contests to band concerts weddings, dinner dances and variety shows. It is the main venue for the GIB Fringe; the theater is available for hire and all proceeds will go directly into continued improvements in the theatre and in the rest of Gibraltar's historic and improving Alameda Gardens. Useful information about the theater and its facilities: Seating Capacity: 435 Stage Area: 120 m2 Lighting Equipment: 34 Wide and Beams with colored filters if required. 3 stage and 3 public entrances. Bar, changing rooms and toilet facilities. Seating with table maximum capacity: 300 List of plants in the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens Gibraltar candytuft Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park Grove Poplar avenue "Gibraltar Botanical Gardens "The Alameda"". Government of Gibraltar. Retrieved 2007-11-27. Official website Alameda Gardens in the site of the Government of Gibraltar
George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield
George Augustus Eliott, 1st Baron Heathfield, PC, KB was a British Army officer who served in three major wars during the eighteenth century. He rose to distinction during the Seven Years' War when he fought in Germany and participated in the British attacks on Belle Île and Cuba. Eliott is most notable for his command of the Gibraltar garrison during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, which lasted from 1779 and 1783, during the American War of Independence, he was celebrated for his successful defence of the fortress. Eliott was born at Wells House, near Stobs Castle, the 10th son of Sir Gilbert Eliott, 3rd Baronet, of Stobs, by his distant cousin Eleanor Elliot of Brugh and Wells in Roxburghshire. Eleanor's brother was courtier William Elliot of Wells. One of his Eleanor's sisters, had married Roger Elliott, another Governor of Gibraltar. Eliott was educated at the University of Leiden in the Dutch Republic and studied artillery and other military subjects at the école militaire of La Fère in France.
He served with the Prussian Army between 1735 and 1736. In 1741 he transferred to the Engineers and joined the 2nd Troop of Horse Grenadier Guards, of which his maternal uncle, William Elliot of Wells, was Lieutenant-Colonel, of which Eliott was afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel, he served throughout the War of Austrian Succession between 1742 and 1748, fighting at the Battle of Dettingen, where he was wounded, again at the Battle of Fontenoy. He became an Engineer Extraordinary in 1744 and Engineer Ordinary in 1747 when he was stationed at Sheerness. Eliott resigned from the Engineers in 1757. Eliott served as ADC to King George II between 1756 and 1759 during which time he was raised to Colonel. Appointed Brigadier for the 1758 expedition to France, where he was placed in command of the Brigade of Light Cavalry, He was tasked to raise and was appointed colonel of the 1st Light Horse. Eliott distinguished himself in the German campaign during the Battle of Minden in 1759 when he was promoted to Major-General and the 1760 Battle of Emsdorf.
He took part in the Capture of Belle Île in 1761. He was 2nd-in-charge at the capture of Havana during the 1762 British expedition against Cuba for which he received a significant amount of prize money, he was promoted Lieutenant-General in 1765. On 6 March 1775 he was made a Privy Counsellor and temporarily appointed commander of Forces in Ireland. On 25 May 1777 Eliott was appointed Governor of Gibraltar, taking over from the acting Governor, Robert Boyd. Eliott was promoted to General in 1778. In July 1779, Gibraltar was besieged by the Spanish. Eliott using his engineering skills to good effect in improving the fortifications. By August, it was apparent that the Spanish intended to starve the garrison; the Great Siege of Gibraltar would last from 1779 to 1783. A notable letter from Eliott to the Misses Fuller survives, dated 21 September 1779 and delivered on 4 October, it said "Nothing new. G. A. E." Eliott was an abstemious man, his diet comprising vegetables and water. He rarely slept for more than four hours at a time.
On 13 September 1782, the French and Spanish initiated a grand attack, involving 100,000 men, 48 ships and 450 cannon. Under great duress, the Garrison held its position and, by 1783, the siege was finishing. On 8 January 1783, the British Parliament sent their official thanks to Eliott and he was nominated a Knight of the Bath. By 6 February 1783, the siege was over. Eliott was invested with his honour at Gibraltar on 23 April. A portrait from 1784, "The Siege of Gibraltar" by George Carter survives in the National Portrait Gallery. Eliott returned to England in 1787, he was created Lord Heathfield, Baron Heathfield of Gibraltar on 6 July 1787 and in addition many statues and coins were produced in his honour. A will exists dated 27 February 1788. On 19 May 1788 Eliott was formally installed as Knight of the Bath, and, in June 1788, a portrait "The Installation Supper" was painted by James Gillray and resides in the National Portrait Gallery. About this time, Eliott was making his way overland back to Gibraltar.
However, he stayed in the Aachen area to recuperate. During 1790, he stayed at: Grossen Hotel, Dubigk. In June 1790 he rented the Schloss Kalkofen, moved in his furniture but did not live long to enjoy the facilities. On 6 July 1790, Eliott died at the Schloss Kalkofen, Aachen, of palsy / stroke brought on by drinking too much of the local mineral water, was buried in the grounds of the Schloss, his personal estate was probated by 27 July and his furniture sold off by his heirs. In 1790, his body was reburied at Heathfield, East Sussex. Still, his body was again disinterred and reburied at St Andrew's Church, Buckland Monachorum, Devon in the church associated with his wife's Drake ancestry. On 8 September 1748 at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, George Augustus Eliott married Anne Pollexfen Drake, a collateral descendant of Sir Francis Drake, they had two children: Francis Augustus Eliott, 2nd and last Baron Heathfield Anne Pollexfen Eliott, who married John Trayton Fuller on 21 May 1777 General Eliott has been commemorated on a Gibraltar pound banknote.
In August and September 1787, George's portrait was painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds and now resides in the National Gallery. A painting entitled The Defeat of the Floating
Great Siege of Gibraltar
The Great Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence. The British garrison under George Augustus Eliott were blockaded from June 1779 by the Spanish alone, led by Martín Álvarez de Sotomayor; the blockade failed because two relief convoys entered unmolested—the first under Admiral George Rodney in 1780 and the second under Admiral George Darby in 1781—despite the presence of the Spanish fleets. The same year, a major assault was planned by the Spanish, but the Gibraltar garrison sortied in November and destroyed much of the forward batteries. With the siege going nowhere and constant Spanish failures, the besiegers were reinforced by French forces under de Crillon, who took over command in early 1782. After a lull in the siege, during which the allied force gathered more guns and troops, a "Grand Assault" was launched on 18 September 1782; this involved huge numbers—60,000 men, 49 ships of the line and ten specially designed, newly invented floating batteries—against the 5,000 defenders.
The assault was a disastrous failure. The siege settled down again to more of a blockade, but the final defeat for the allies came when a crucial British relief convoy under Admiral Richard Howe slipped through the blockading fleet and arrived at the garrison in October 1782; the siege was lifted on 7 February 1783 and was a decisive victory for the British forces, being a vital factor in the Peace of Paris, negotiated towards the end of the siege. This was the largest action fought during the war in terms of numbers the "Grand Assault". At three years and seven months, it is the longest siege endured by the British Armed Forces and one of the longest sieges in history. In 1738 a dispute between Spain and Great Britain arose over commerce between Europe and the Americas. Both sides intended to sign an agreement at the Spanish Royal Palace of El Pardo, but in January of the following year, the British Parliament rejected the advice of Foreign Minister Robert Walpole, a supporter of the agreement with Spain.
A short time the War of Jenkins' Ear began, both countries declared war on 23 October 1739, each side drawing up plans to establish trenches near Gibraltar. Seeing these first movements, Britain ordered Admiral Vernon to sail from Portobello and strengthen the squadron of Admiral Haddock, stationed in the Bay of Gibraltar; the passage of years failed to break the hostilities in the region. On 9 July 1746, King Philip V of Spain died in Madrid, his successor, Ferdinand VI, soon began negotiations with Britain on trade. The British Parliament was amenable to such negotiations, looked favourably upon lifting the British embargo on Spain and ceding Gibraltar; the neutrality adopted by Ferdinand VI ended with his death in 1759. The new king, Charles III, was less willing to negotiate with Great Britain. Instead, he signed a Family Compact with Louis XV of France on 15 August 1761. At that time France was at war with Britain, so Britain responded by declaring war on Spain and capturing the Spanish colonial capitals of Manila and Havana.
Two years after cessation of hostilities, Spain recovered Manila and Havana in exchange for Spanish holdings in Florida as part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. In the years of peace that followed both France and Spain hoped for an opportunity to launch a war against Britain on more favourable terms and recover their lost colonial possessions. Following the outbreak of the American War of Independence, both states supplied funding and arms to the American rebels, drew up a strategy to intervene on the American side and defeat Britain. In October 1778 France entered the war and on 12 April 1779, both France and Spain signed the Treaty of Aranjuez wherein they agreed to aid one another in recovering lost territory from Britain. France and Spain sought to secure Gibraltar, a key link in Britain's control of the Mediterranean Sea, expected its capture to be quick—a precursor to a Franco-Spanish invasion of Great Britain; the Spanish blockade was to be directed by Martín Álvarez de Sotomayor. Spanish ground forces were composed of 16 infantry battalions, which included the Royal Guards and the Walloon Guards, along with artillery and 12 squadrons of cavalry.
This yielded a total of about 14,000 men in all. The artillery was commanded by Rudesindo Tilly, while the cavalry and the French dragoons were headed by the Marquis of Arellano. Antonio Barceló commanded the maritime forces responsible for blockading the bay, he established his base with a fleet of several xebecs and gunboats. A fleet of 11 ships of the line and two frigates were placed in the Gulf of Cadiz under the command of Luis de Córdova y Córdova to block the passage of British reinforcements; the British garrison in 1778 consisted of 5,382 soldiers. All the defences were strengthened; the most prominent new work was the King's Bastion designed by Sir William Green and built by the Soldier Artificer Company on the main waterfront of the town in Gibraltar. The King's Bastion comprised a stone battery holding 26 heavy guns and mortars, with barracks and casemates to house a full battalion of foot; the Grand Battery protected the Land Port Gate, the main entrance to Gibraltar from the isthmus connecting to the Spanish mainland.
Other fortifications and batteries crowded on the Rock. Eliott began a programme of increasin
Neanderthals in Gibraltar
The Neanderthals in Gibraltar were among the first to be discovered by modern scientists and have been among the most well studied of their species according to a number of extinction studies which emphasize regional differences claiming the Iberian Peninsula acted as a “refuge” for the shrinking Neanderthal populations and the Gibraltar community of Neanderthals as having been one of many dwindling communities of archaic human populations, existing just until around 42,000 years ago. Many other Neanderthal communities went extinct around the same time; the skull of a Neanderthal woman, discovered in a quarry in 1848, was only the second Neanderthal skull found and the first adult Neanderthal skull to be discovered, eight years before the discovery of the skull for which the species was named in Neandertal, Germany. The skull of a Neanderthal child was discovered nearby in 1926; the Neanderthals are known to have occupied ten sites on the Gibraltar peninsula at the southern tip of Iberia, which may have had one of the densest areas of Neanderthal settlement of anywhere in Europe, although not the last place of possible habitation.
The caves in the Rock of Gibraltar that the Neanderthals inhabited have been excavated and have revealed a wealth of information about their lifestyle and the prehistoric landscape of the area. The peninsula stood on the edge of a fertile coastal plain, now submerged, that supported a wide variety of animals and plants which the Neanderthals exploited to provide a varied diet. Unlike northern Europe, which underwent massive swings in its climate and was uninhabitable for long periods, the far south of Iberia enjoyed a stable and mild climate for over 125,000 years, it became a refuge from the ice ages for animals and Neanderthals, the latter of which most did not survive there for thousand years longer than any other habitation site. Around 42,000 years ago, the climate underwent cycles of abrupt change which would have disrupt the Gibraltar Neanderthals' food supply and may have stressed their population beyond recovery, leading to their aggregated extinction in areas of Europe with similar climates.
In Gibraltar, but in other less well studied areas, did the Homo Neanderthalensis leave its last footprint of existence circa 40,000 BCE. The Gibraltar Neanderthals first came to light in 1848 during excavations in the course of the construction of a fortification called Forbes' Barrier at the northern end of the Rock of Gibraltar; the skull of a Neanderthal was discovered in Forbes' Quarry by Lieutenant Edmund Flint, though its exact provenance is unknown, was the subject of a presentation to the Gibraltar Scientific Society by Lieutenant Flint in March 1848. It was not realised at the time that the skull, now known as Gibraltar 1, was of a separate species and it was not until 1862 that it was studied by palaeontologists George Busk and Hugh Falconer during a visit to Gibraltar, they gave a report on it to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1864 and proposed that the species be called Homo calpicus after Mons Calpe, the ancient name for Gibraltar. It was only realised that the skull was a specimen of Homo neanderthalensis, named for the Neanderthal 1 skull found in Germany in 1856.
Busk described it as "characteristic of a race extending from the Rhine to the Pillars of Hercules", highlighting its importance as confirmation that the Neanderthal 1 specimen was genuinely a member of a distinct species and not a deformed Homo sapiens. The skull was the first Neanderthal adult cranium to be discovered and, although small, is nearly complete. In 1926, a second Neanderthal skull was found by Dorothy Garrod at a rock shelter named Devil's Tower close to Forbes' Quarry; this fossil, known as Gibraltar 2, is much less complete than the Gibraltar 1 skull and has been identified as that of a four-year-old child. Further excavations at the two sites are infeasible. Quarrying at Forbes' Quarry has meant that it has been denuded of Pleistocene sediments while Devil's Tower is directly under the North Front of the Rock of Gibraltar and is one of the most dangerous places on the entire peninsula due to frequent rockfalls; the limestone massif of the Rock of Gibraltar is riddled with caves – its ancient name, means "hollow" – and it was here that archaeologists focused their efforts to find sites of Neanderthal occupation.
Ten such sites have been discovered so far, of which the most important are five caves on the eastern side of the Rock: Ibex Cave, high up on the east side, only discovered in 1975 due to being buried under the wind-blown sands of the Great Gibraltar Sand Dune, four sea caves near sea level on the south-eastern flank, Boathoist Cave, Vanguard Cave, Gorham's Cave and Bennett's Cave. Large-scale excavations in 1947–54 by John d'Arcy Waechter showed that Gorham's Cave had been occupied for over 100,000 years during the Middle Palaeolithic, Upper Palaeolithic and Holocene epochs. Further excavations have been carried out in Gorham's, Vanguard and Ibex Caves since 1994 as part of the Gibraltar Museum's Gibraltar Caves Project; the excavations have revealed the best evidence of a Neanderthal landscape found anywhere, buried under many metres of sand, fallen stalactites, bat guano and other debris that has fortuitously preserved an abundance of palaeontological evidence on the cave floors. The finds have enabled palaeontologists to reconstruct the lifestyles of the occupants and their environment in considerable detail.
The finds in Gorham's Cave include charcoal, stone tools and burnt
Operation Flavius was a military operation in which three members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army were shot dead by the British Special Air Service in Gibraltar on 6 March 1988. The three—Seán Savage, Daniel McCann, Mairéad Farrell —were believed to be mounting a car bomb attack on British military personnel in Gibraltar. Plain-clothed SAS soldiers approached them in the forecourt of a petrol station opened fire, killing them. All three were found to be unarmed, no bomb was discovered in Savage's car, leading to accusations that the British government had conspired to murder them. An inquest in Gibraltar ruled that the SAS had acted lawfully, while the European Court of Human Rights held that, although there had been no conspiracy, the planning and control of the operation was so flawed as to make the use of lethal force inevitable; the deaths were the first in a chain of violent events in a fourteen-day period. On 16 March, the funeral of the three IRA members was attacked by a loyalist wielding pistols and grenades, leaving three mourners dead.
At the funeral of one of the mourners, the IRA shot two undercover British soldiers who had driven into the procession. From late 1987, the British authorities were aware that the IRA was planning to detonate a bomb at the changing of the guard ceremony outside the governor's residence in the British Dependent Territory of Gibraltar; when Savage, McCann and Farrell travelled to Spain in preparation for the attack, they were tracked at the request of the British government. On the day of the shootings, Savage was seen parking a white Renault in the car park used as the assembly area for the parade. After a military bomb disposal officer reported that Savage's car should be treated as a suspected bomb, the police handed over control of the operation to the SAS; as soldiers were moving into position to intercept the trio, Savage split from McCann and Farrell and began running south. Two soldiers pursued Savage while two approached Farrell; as soldiers caught up with Savage, he was alleged to have turned around to face them while reaching into his jacket.
All three were subsequently found to be unarmed, Savage's car was found to contain no explosives. Two months after the shootings, the documentary "Death on the Rock" was broadcast on British television. Using reconstructions and eyewitness accounts, it presented the possibility that the three IRA members had been unlawfully killed; the documentary proved controversial. The inquest into the deaths began in September 1988, it heard from British and Gibraltar authorities that the IRA team had been tracked to Málaga Airport, where they were lost by the Spanish police, that the three did not re-emerge until Savage was sighted parking his car in Gibraltar. The soldiers each testified that they had opened fire in the belief that the suspected bombers were reaching for weapons or a remote detonator. Among the civilians who gave evidence were the eyewitnesses discovered by "Death on the Rock", who gave accounts of seeing the three shot without warning, with their hands up, or while they were on the ground.
Kenneth Asquez, who told the documentary that he had seen a soldier fire at Savage while the latter was on the ground, retracted his statement at the inquest, claiming that he had been pressured into giving it. On 30 September, the inquest jury returned a verdict of "lawful killing". Dissatisfied, the families took the case to the European Court of Human Rights. Delivering its judgement in 1995, the court found that the operation had been in violation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights as the authorities' failure to arrest the suspects at the border, combined with the information given to the soldiers, rendered the use of lethal force inevitable; the decision is cited as a landmark case in the use of force by the state. The Provisional Irish Republican Army aimed to establish a united Ireland and end the British administration of Northern Ireland through the use of force; the organisation was the result of a 1969 split in the Irish Republican Army. The IRA killed civilians, members of the armed forces, police and prison service, including off-duty and retired members, bombed businesses and military targets in both Northern Ireland and England, with the aim of making Northern Ireland ungovernable.
Daniel McCann, Seán Savage, Mairéad Farrell were, according to journalist Brendan O'Brien, "three of the IRA's most senior activists". Savage was an explosives expert and McCann was "a high-ranking intelligence operative"; the Special Air Service is a regiment of the British Army and part of the United Kingdom's special forces. The SAS was first assigned to operations in Northern Ireland in the early stages of the British Army's deployment there, but were confined to South Armagh; the first large-scale deployment of SAS soldiers there was in 1976, when the regiment's D Squadron was committed. The SAS specialised in covert, intelligence-based operations against the IRA, using more aggressive tactics than regular army and police units operating in Northern Ireland. From late 1987, the British authorities we
Royal Gibraltar Post Office
The Royal Gibraltar Post Office is the postal services in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It is a department within the Government of Gibraltar; the Gibraltar Post Office has been running for over 150 years, as in 1857 the Overland Post Office merged with the Packet Agency. The first stamps went on sale in September and a year a new building was completed and opened at 104 Main Street; this remains the main post office in Gibraltar today. In 1886 the local colonial authorities took over control of the Gibraltar Post Office and were able to issue their own stamps, they overprinted Bermuda stamps but by December they had their own design. However, they still sold Spanish stamps if required and between 1889 and 1898 the post office sold Gibraltar stamps valued in pesetas as this was the currency in circulation. For the first fifty years, the Gibraltar Post Office had responsibility for the post office not only in Gibraltar but for the British postal service in Morocco; this ended in 1907.
In 2005 the Gibraltar Post Office was granted the title of "Royal" by Her Majesty the Queen. Gibraltar is the only Commonwealth or British Overseas Territory post office outside the United Kingdom that bears this title. Gibraltar has traditional red pillar boxes and the tops are frequently painted black; the Post Office continues to provide some traditional services and was still using benefit books after they were abandoned in the United Kingdom, while there is a special philatelic counter to sell the commemorative stamps. Despite the small size of the territory, delays in the sorting and delivery of local items of mail have resulted in letters taking up to a week to be delivered; the Royal Gibraltar Post Office provides the following services: Letter post Parcel post Airmail Express mail services Poste restante Post office boxes Registration services British postal ordersBanking facilities are provided through the Gibraltar Savings Bank, part of the Gibraltar Government services. The Royal Gibraltar Post Office has a number of offices around Gibraltar: Main Office - A Victorian building which sits in Main Street.
P. O. Boxes Unit - Irish Town Mail Operations Centre and Parcel Post - 45 North Mole RoadThe North District Post Office in Glacis Road and the South District Post Office in Scud Hill were closed in late 2014 for refurbishment, but in February 2016 had still not reopened. In September of that year, the Government stated that there were no plans to reopen either Post Office. Postage stamps and postal history of Gibraltar Postal Orders of Gibraltar Postal addresses in Gibraltar Official website