It has been a while since we looked at a commemorative British Army T-shirt, but tonight we have another one from Britain’s peacekeeping duties in the former Yugoslavia back in the 1990s:This T-shirt is made of green cotton and has the United Nations logo embroidered in gold on the chest along with ‘Britfor’ and ‘Op Grapple’:Britfor is short for ‘British Forces and Operation Grapple was the codeword used to cover UK defence operations in support of the UN peacekeeping missions in the former Yugoslavia from October 1992 until December 1995. Although ostensibly a peacekeeping mission, British troops did lose their lives from both enemy action and the high number of road accidents that occurred on the atrocious highways of the region. In 1994 The Independent reported:
A BRITISH soldier with the United Nations in Bosnia was killed by a sniper near the besieged, Muslim- held town of Gorazde on Sunday night.
He was named as Private Shaun Richard Taylor, 20, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. Pte Taylor, a single man from Cleveland, was the sixth British soldier to die in Bosnia since Operation Grapple began in October 1992. There are 3,500 British troops in the Bosnia peace- keeping force.
Pte Taylor was in an observation post one kilometre north-east of Gorazde when he was hit by a single bullet – apparently fired from a Serb position up to two kilometres (1.2 miles) away. The range, according to Army sources, suggests that a sniper’s rifle with a calibre of as much as 0.5in (12.7mm) may have been used. Such rounds will smash through flak jackets.
The UN in Sarajevo said Pte Taylor was hit in the shoulder after the observation post he was manning with five other Britons came under heavy fire at 8.20pm local time on Sunday night. British troops returned fire as he was evacuated to the Norwegian UN hospital in Gorazde. He was dead on arrival at 8.50pm. It was the fifth attack on UN troops during the day.