On 18 August came the British Army response to reborn Free Derry. Over 1,300 troops, with helicopters and armoured cars, began dismantling barricades. IRA Volunteer Eamonn Lafferty (19) was killed in a gun battle during this operation. Barricades were replaced as quickly as they were dismantled.

John Hume and two other SDLP leaders were arrested during a protest against the British incursions. Annette McGavigan (14) was shot dead by the British Army on 6 September, the day the SDLP three appeared in court.

In early September, the British Army embarked on large scale incursions into Free Derry. Gary Gormley (3) was crushed to death in his pram by an armoured car on 9 September. His death is officially recorded as a traffic accident. On 14 September, William McGreanery (41) was shot dead by British soldiers stationed in the army observation post in Bligh’s Lane. On 6 November, mother-of-six Kathleen Thompson (47) was shot dead by a British soldier as she stood in her own back garden in Rathlin Drive, Creggan.

By the end of 1971 seven British soldiers had been killed in Free Derry. One IRA volunteer had been killed in action. British soldiers had killed eight civilians.