Eric Brown initially describes his working-class family background in Fermanagh. He joined the UDR in 1970 and was stationed in Londonderry at a very difficult time in Northern Ireland. His first encounter with violence occurred in March 1972 when, while on duty, he spotted a bomb in the back seat of a parked car. He quickly cleared the area but was unable to escape himself before the device exploded, causing him minor injuries. This was the first car bomb to be set in Londonderry. On another occasion, while driving on Victoria Road, a car drove up beside his and shots were fired at him. He escaped injury but was badly shaken and he makes the point that there was very little support provided by the authorities in the aftermath. He served for some time in Springfield in West Belfast, and in 1975 he made the decision to retire from his full-time post in the RUC, due to his fears for the safety of his family. He joined the UDR in 1977 and served as a Platoon Commander of the local part-time UDR force in Lisnaskea, to where the family had relocated and where he and his wife opened a rehabilitation centre. He describes an occasion when a former patient at the rehabilitation centre, a local Catholic, warned him that an explosive device was to be placed under his car that night. He also describes a day when he and his wife went to nearby Kylemore Point to walk their dogs, as they had done on many previous occasions. An ambush had been set up for him there, and he provides details of the arrival just minutes later of an army patrol which probably saved their lives. Eric Brown is one of the founder members of SEFF (South East Fermanagh Foundation), an organisation dedicated to caring for those whose lives were adversely affected by the Troubles.
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