Thursday, 26 December 2013

Revolution in Dublin by Liz Gillis

Got a copy of "Revolution in Dublin A Photographic History 1913-1923" by Liz Gillis for Christmas. 

Some really nice photos and snippets of information in this book. A good addition to the library.

Nice to see a photo of Thomas William Murphy (page 46), author of a photographic booklet "Dublin after the Six Days Insurrection". This picture appears on the Mercier Press blog.

2 minor errors  :

1. a reference to Hodgkins and Hodgkins that should be Hopkins and Hopkins (jewellers on the end of what is now O'Connell St leading onto Eden Quay and the White Star Line offices).

2. a reference to the Helga firing on O'Connell St and her guns "having a devastating effect on the city". HMY Helga had a very limited impact during the Rising - firing on the Boland's garrison and later Liberty Hall and the building next door. The artillery brought from Athlone had a much bigger impact, contributing to the start of some building fires (not the only source of fires though).

Monday, 23 December 2013

Trooper Hugh McCabe

When referring to the death of the first soldier in the Troubles, most books and websites will refer to Gunner Robert Curtis and will avoid any mention of Trooper Hugh McCabe killed by the RUC in August 1969. Trooper McCabe was a Catholic serving in the British Army and from the Divis Flats, Belfast.

Home on leave from Germany, Trooper McCabe was killed by indiscriminate fire by members of the RUC armed with a heavy calibre machine gun. He left a wife and 2 young children.,_Belfast,_May_2011_(04).JPG

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Munitions Factories in Ireland during the Great War

A while ago I posted a link to a National Archives photo on the now defunct forum re munition workers at a shell factory in Dublin

There seems to have been a Shell Factory and a Fuse Factory on the Parkgate site in Dublin. There also appear to have been shell/cartridge factories in Cork, Waterford and Galway. The Dublin site was expected to be in "full swing" 1st March 1916; the first shell was produced in Galway in February 1917.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

ex-soldier James McAlorum

Reading up on the various death of ex-soldiers in Ireland during the period 1919-1923, one ex-soldier appears to have been subjected to a whipping/flogging under the term of the "Flogging Act".

James McAlorum (there appear to be various spellings of the surname) served with the Royal Irish Rifles through WW1. The following is part of a letter he sent to his wife having been arrested and imprisoned on trumped up charges.

Dear Wife,

After consideration, I feel absolutely compelled to place before you a truthful account of the degradation which I was subjected to in this prison on Thursday night, the 22nd June, by order of the Northern Parliament.

On the night in question I had just finished my supper when four warders entered my cell and took
me to an underground dungeon where the officials had erected what they call a flogging triangle.

Gathered in a cluster around this instrument of torture were the prison doctor, governor, a dozen or
so of prison warders and a number of Special Constabulary, all eager to witness the savagery that was
to be enacted there, and of which myself and a few other unfortunate prisoners, some of them mere
children in their early 'teens, were to be the victims.

I was stripped to the skin and the warders tied me hand and foot to the triangle, and when they had
me secured, the Englishman, who was sent over here specially to administer torture, commenced the barbarity.

When I had received the fifteen lashes, and while the officials were bandaging my back, I had a look at
the man who had flogged me and the sweat was running down his face.

This man, who was almost six feet in height, had exerted all his strength and energy in inflicting
this savage operation and left my back in such a state that a whole piece of my skin could not have
been touched from my waist to my neck with the point of a needle. One of the victims who was led
to the chamber of torture after I had received my flogging was a mere boy of seventeen years of age,
named Edward O'Neill, and when they had this boy stripped and tied up, and when the administerer of
the torture commenced his foul work, the agonising cry of this child-prisoner pleading to the prison
doctor to intervene and save him from the cruel and unmerciful punishment could be heard all over the
prison. It was the yelling of the boy which was the first warning to the other prisoners located in the
prison that some of the prison inmates were being maltreated and they gave vent to their feelings by an
outburst of protest, shouting and kicking their cell doors, which could have been heard a great distance
from the prison and sent consternation into the hearts of the officials, who, for the moment, thought that
the civilian populace had broken into the prison.

ex-soldiers killed in Ireland

Following on from the earlier posts re Joseph Walsh and Malachy Halfpenny, a number of ex-soldiers were killed in Ireland during the War of Independence/Civil War.

From The War of Independence in Limerick 1912-1921 by Thomas Toomey

20th March 1920 ex-soldier Denis Crowley executed as spy

20th May 1920 ex-soldier James Saunders shot by RIC/Black & Tans firing indiscriminately

24th July 1920 B&T Walter Oakley killed. 2 ex-soldiers arrested and tried - Michael Blake and James O'Neill. Both found not guilty but killed by Black & Tans/Auxiliaries(?) on return journey from court

15th Aug 1920 ex-soldier Edward Paget beaten by Black & Tans and dies

20th December 1920 ex-soldier James Hynan shot dead by Black & Tans

31st December 1920 ex-soldier Michael O'Mera executed as spy

18th March 1921 ex-soldier John O'Grady executed as spy

22nd May 1921 ex Canadian soldier Patrick Creamer shot by RIC/Black & Tans. Died of wounds.

27th June 1921 ex-soldier John Creminns shot dead by Auxiliaries

28th June 1921 ex-soldier Michael Boland executed as spy

29th June 1921 ex-soldiers Patrick Sheahan and John Sullivan executed as spies

7th July 1921 ex-soldier Jack Moloney shot dead by unspecified

From the Internet, Catholic ex-soldier Bernard Doherty was shot by a rifle wielding rioter in Derry on the 16th May 1920. His brother William John Doherty had been killed during the war. Bernard Doherty appears to have joined up when underage and was "claimed" by his parents, discharged 25/10/1915.

Quite a few appear to have been killed in Belfast. To be listed on another post.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Colonel Allatt

Colonel Henry Thomas Ward Allat is another person of interest. Involved in the construction of the improvised armoured lorries used during the Easter Rising and also involved with Captain Bowen Colthurst on a raid on the Sheehy Skeffington house. He died just after the Rising but there are conflicting reports re his death.

He was Mentioned in Despatches in Jan 1917 for his work during the Easter Rising.

The 1916 Rebellion Handbook has him as Killed in Action near the South Dublin Union. Forums have him as died of wounds in Belfast. Soldiers Died in the Great War has him as Died which normally means died of natural causes/disease.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website has him attached to the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (his previous regiment); his medal index card has him attached to the 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. He was a Draft Conducting Officer, tasked with bringing drafts of reinforcements of the Royal Irish Rifles to the theatre of operations. France in his case; his first entry to this theatre being 3rd August 1915. 3rd Royal Irish Rifles were based at Portobello Barracks at the time of the rising.

The British Medical Journal has him as died of heart failure in Belfast following his exertions during the rebellion

His death registration in Belfast gives year of birth as 1839.

He was born in Feb 1847. Baptised in London in Feb 1848. English census records have him born in France. His father was a Physician with a practice in Boulogne (and then later in Dover).

He was an Ensign in October 1866 in the 46th Regiment of Foot, a Lt in the 1871 census, a Captain in the 1881 census, a Major in the 1891 census and a Colonel in the 1901 census. In the 1911 census he was a "retired Colonel of HM Land Forces".

Allatt (written as Allett) is recorded in the 1916 Rebellion Handbook as being involved in the raid on Francis Sheehy-Skeffington's house on the Friday evening with Captain Bowen-Colthurst.

An odd phrase appears in connection with Allatt :

The Military refused to produce others, Colonel Allett had died mysteriously in the interval, according to some he committed suicide in Belfast when Colthurst was condemned, saying, "The game is up."

1966 Insurrection

My aunt Molly (Mary Niland) gave me her copy of the 1966 RTV Guide, a publication listing the various radio and television shows being show in 1966 to mark the 1916 Easter Rising.

A nice write up of the planning and production that took place and a photo of the cover of the RTV Guide can be found at :

The armoured car depicted on the page is a Rolls Royce armoured car which weren't the type used on the streets of Dublin during the Rising  - 7 were ferried across just after the Rising and used in post Rising mop up and Police work. It was one of the improvised armoured lorries built using Guinness lorries and railway smokeboxes that came under attack outside the GPO.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Louis Barron

While researching some Kavanagh's recorded killed during the Easter Rising, I came across an article re Seamus Kavanagh who seemed to have an interesting career with the Fianna and then the Irish Volunteers :

Looking at one of his 2 witness statements, Seamus Kavanagh made reference to a Jewish officer by the name of Lt Barron. Not having come across the name before, it was another tangent to trek off upon....

It would appear that Lt Barron was Lt Louis Barron, a Dublin solicitor from 38 South Circular Road who appears in the witness statements of 2 others :

Gerald Doyle (of interest as Michael Sweeney appears in this witness statement)

Robert Barton

1901 Census

1911 Census

Lt Barron's Medal Index Card shows that he entered France a short time afterwards, 28th June 1916. He appears to have been killed soon after this in July 1916 and is commemorated at The High School and Terenure Synagogue. The Medal Index Card indicates he was commissioned in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in November 1914, transferred to the Border Regiment and attached to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment at the time of his death.

He has no known grave but is a name that appears on the Fromelles list where the authorities are looking for DNA samples from relatives :

Herald newspaper 

Western Front Association

From the Internet :

Louis Barron (born on 24th December 1888) was the eldest of six children of Hyman Elias Barron, originally from Lithuania (1861-1915) and Esther Greenberg (1869-1948) from Russia. The family initially lived in Limerick where Louis was born. About 1893 the family moved to Dublin, where his father owned the Munster Furniture Co., at 24 Camden Street. He was a pupil at the High School. They lived on the South Circular Road. He was apprenticed to Michael Noyk, a well-known Republican Solicitor.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Motor Directory

A document I was hoping to see at the National Library in Dublin is a Dublin motor directory from just before WW1, to cross check some Easter Rising/War of Independence photos where a car registration plate is visible.

A copy now appears to be online.

The Guinness lorries with the registration RI 2585, RI 2588 and RI 2589 do not appear to be there (they are in the 1914/15 directory though - click here to view page).

Easter Rising - a coloured soldier?

There have been a number of threads on the Great War Forum re coloured soldiers in the British Army during WW1, e.g the West Indies Regiment. Up until now, I've not seen any mention of any coloured soldiers in Ireland.

Researching Cadet MacKay, Boland's Mill, de Valera and Captain Hitzen, the witness statement of Andrew McDonnell makes mention of a coloured soldier. No more information is given e.g regiment (possibly the Lincolnshire Regiment?).

Dr Carew and Captain Stanley

In a list of wounded soldiers treated at the Red Cross Hospital in Dublin Castle, mention is made of a Dr W K Carew. 

This is Dr William King Carew (1872-1956). He was later an Honorary Major, RAMC to July 1919. Dr Carew was in charge of the Red Cross Hospital in Dublin Castle during the Easter Rising. He emigrated to New Zealand about 1920 to set up a medical practice and then later worked for many years on the Fijian island of Rotuma.

Dr Carew was relieved at Dublin Castle Red Cross Hospital on the 30th April 1916 by Captain H V Stanley MBE MC, RAMC suffering exhaustion and lack of sleep. Captain Herbert Vernon Stanley was the Medical Officer at some of the executions that followed the Easter Rising.

Both were dental surgeons. Captain Stanley was born in Dublin. Dr Carew was either born in Waterford (based on the 1911 census for England where he was a visitor to a house in Wimbledon) or Kilkenny (based on some websites where he has a mention).

Captain Stanley was awarded the Military Cross. His entry in the London Gazette is on the same page as Louisa Nolan and Florence Williams Military Medals and awards for other participants in the Easter Rising. He received an MBE in 1941 and was given another award in 1948 for unknown services, having risen to the rank of Lt Colonel.

A brief mention in the British Medical Journal indicates that Dr Carew died in Jersey in 1956. The address listed ties in with medical directories on

Speaking to Captain Gerard (another participant in the British Army's quelling of the Easter Rising) in the 1930's, Captain Stanley indicated that the executed rebel leaders "died like Lions". Both Captain Gerard and Captain Stanley appear to have thought well of the rebel Irish Volunteers.

Friday, 13 September 2013

No 7 Officer Training Battalion

In February 1916 Officer Training Battalions were introduced to improve the training of new officers going to the frontline.

Cadets entering the battalions were either from the ranks with experience or from the Officer Training Corps.

Cadet George MacKay had been with the Inns of Court OTC before joining with No 7 Officer Training Battalion based at Moore Park, Fermoy, Co Cork (though MacKay looks to have been at the Curragh for his training).

Problems appear to have arisen early on with Fermoy being declared out of bounds for a while, with a question being raised at Westminster.

The Imperial War Museum appears to have some publications produced by the unit. There is also a video interview.

Some links re soldiers identified as No 7 OTB and the unit in general collected so far :

Lt Michael O'Donnell

2nd Lt Charles Cooney

Frank Laird

W F H Fullerton

2nd Lt James Kennedy

Lt R A Whittle

2nd Lt H M Hughes

2nd Lt James Furniss

2nd Lt A K Chesterton (Journalist, later worked with Oswald Mosley and British Union of Fascists)

Cadet Company, 1915

(Cadets from the unit appear to have been involved in the arrest of Thomas Kent and the shooting of his brothers after the Easter Rising : )

Arrest of Kent Family, Co Cork

London Gazette 27th July 1916

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Surrender

In the Irish Times 1916 Irish Rebellion Handbook, the surrender of Eamon De Valera is mentioned as follows :

Dr. Myles Keogh, who, in company with Mr. 
L. G. Redmond Howard and others, acted so 
bravely in rescuing the wounded, tells of the 
actual incident of the surrender of De Valera 
near Ringsend. Dr. Keogh had just returned 
at half-past twelve from Glasnevin Cemetery, 
where he conveyed under the Red Cross flag 
the remains of a civilian who had been fatally 
wounded at Mount street Bridge. Dr. Keogh 
had dismounted from the hearse and entered 
the hall of Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, when 
two men came out of the Poor Law Dispensary 
opposite, in which the Sinn Feiners were 
installed. One was a military cadet who 
had been captured by the Sinn 
Feiners, the other was the Sinn Fein leader 
De Valera. "Hullo!'' cried De Valera. 
"Who are you?" replied Dr. Myles Keogh. 
The response was, " I am De Valera," from 
one, and from the ether it was; "I am a 
prisoner for the last five days. They want to 
surrender." De Valera asked permission to use 
the hospital telephone, in order to communi- 
cate with the military authorities. Dr. 
Keogh sent for Sir Arthur Ball, M.D., who 
informed De Valera that the telephone com- 
munication had been cut off, and suggested 
that he should proceed to the nearest mili- 
tary position, at the head of Grattan street, 
off Lower Mount street. 

The military cadet mentioned is George Frederick MacKay from the previous blog post.

After the surrender, MacKay was arrested and taken with the Volunteers to the Royal Dublin Society showground and held for a short while as a prisoner once again.

The Dr Myles Keogh mentioned in the surrender text above speaking with De Valera and Cadet MacKay was a Dental Surgeon who helped with the wounded of all sides at the fighting at Mount St. He was a Justice of the Peace and witnessed Kevin Barry's statement in Mountjoy Prison and campaigned for clemency for Barry. Keogh was later a TD.

The L G Redmond Howard mentioned in the surrender is Louis George Redmond-Howard, nephew/biographer of Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond and author of "Six Days of the Irish Republic" amongst other books.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Cadet G F Mackay

A number of Easter Rising books/documents touch on a British Army Cadet G F Mackay as being captured at the start of the Easter Rising and held at Boland' Mill until the end of the Rising :

Max Caulfield's The Easter Rebellion

There is an actors voiceover providing a recording of Cadet Mackays' experiences (based on an account in the Ampleforth Journal of 1916)

In an educational resource pack, he appears to have written to Eamon De Valera congratulating his former captor on becoming President in Ireland; he appears to have become a Lt Colonel

He stated he was 18 in 1916.

The nearest name that matches is George F(rederick) Mackay in the 1901 census for Ireland

This chap and his brother Charles (Joseph) MacKay are at Ampleforth school in the 1911 census and are then referenced in the Ampleforth Journal re war service, both in the Leinster Regt and then RFC (G F Mackay is also referenced as RAF). In the 1911 census, George is listed as born Co Cork and Charles born in Co Westmeath.

A digitised record for George Frederick MacKay from the UK National Archives gives his date of birth as 7th June 1897, Mitchelstown, Cork/Limerick. Shows addresses in  Hove, Sussex and Accra, Gold Coast, West Africa.

His RFC record has not been digitised yet.

There is a WW2 war grave that mentions a Lt Col G F Mackay living in Jersey.

and this appears to be George Frederick MacKay.

George Frederick MacKay died in Brighton, England in 1968 aged 71. His wife Sonia Mary MacKay died in 1978 aged 76.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Books re Naval activity in Ireland during WW1

I managed to pick up a copy of Secret Victory by Liam Nolan and John Nolan on a visit to Dublin last year. While I had a vague awareness of the role of the Helga and other ships in the Easter Rising, the sinking of the Lusitania and RMS Leinster and a passing awareness of anti submarine operations by air ships I didn't have a good grasp of naval activity in Ireland, either British or American.

The following books have now been acquired and read :

Pull Together by Admiral Lewis Bayly
Danger Zone by Edward Chatterton
My Mystery Ships by ADmiral Campbell
Liffey Ships and Shipbuilding by Pat Sweeney (the Helga claimed to have sunk a U boat off the Isle of Man on 4th April 1918)
The Sea Hound by Daire Brunicardi
RAF and US Naval Air Service in Ireland 1913-1923 by Karl Hayes

All good reads offering different insights into naval issues in Ireland during WW1 (and beyond in the case of The Sea Hound and Liffey Ships and Shipbuilding).

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Kevin Barry, Dublin, 1920

Kevin Barry was just 18 when he was hung by executioner John Ellis in Dublin in November 1920.

The 3 British soldiers who died as a result of the raid on Monk's Bakery where Kevin Barry was captured after being abandoned by his colleagues were :

Private Harold Washington, aged 16 (born Salford, Lancashire in September 1904). Died at the scene of the raid.,%20H


Private Marshall Whitehead, aged 20, born 3rd quarter (July to September) 1900. Died of wounds.,%20MARSHALL


Private Thomas Humphries, aged 19. Died of wounds.,%20T


A wide range of propaganda was generated re the young age of Kevin Barry. The British don't appear to have countered this propaganda very well.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Children killed during the Easter Rising

Links to a couple of articles by Joe Duffy at RTE re the children killed during the Easter Rising

30 children :

30 children

38 children

There is an entry above mentioning George Playfair. George wasn't a reservist (reservists were called up in 1914 to become regulars) but he was a Civil Servant. I did an earlier blog re his father.

Missing from the list was 16year old Neville Fryday who was a member of the Canadian Army and on leave in Dublin at the time of the Rising. Neville had lied about his age when enlisting. Joe Duffy had now added Neville to his list but John Jessop has dropped off (he was older than originally thought) so the list is still at 38.

An old document listing the members of the Fianna killed during the Rising can be found here :

Hugh Coffey Love

In October 1916 (Reverend?) Hugh Coffey Love (5th December 1871 to 31st May 1948) was appointed Secretary of the Rebellion (Victims) Committee following the Easter Rising. The address given for correspondence was 13 St Stephen's Green, Dublin.

He also gets a mention in James Joyce's book Ulysses as a priggish clergyman. He also appears to have won a Royal Humane Society Bronze Medal in 1917 for rescuing a woman who had thrown herself into the River Liffey.

1871 Born in Belfast, father John Love (1836-1887), mother Mary Jane Love, nee Coffey, (1840 - 1920)

April 1888 exam in Belfast

April 1888 Boy Clerk in the London Gazette

May 1888 Post Office appointment in te London Gazette

December 1890  exam in Belfast

1899 Baptism of his son where he is listed as a Civil Servant

January 1891 posting in the London Gazette

1901 Census for Hugh Love and family

1911 Census for Hugh Love and family

1916 National Archives Procedure of the Rebellion (Victims) Committee

1925 appointment to Ministry of Education in Northern Ireland

1948 Died in Belfast

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Irish American soldiers repatriated to Ireland

In 1922, 64 soldiers in the American Expeditionary Force killed during WW1 who originated from Ireland were repatriated to Ireland.

A list of the soldiers can be found at :

Researcher and author Tom Burnell recently had a query on the Great War Forum re Edmond Brunick/Brunnock who died of wounds 1st October 1918. A short while ago the grave of Edmond Brunnock was rediscovered and a ceremony took place in 2012 at his grave to recognise his service in WW1.

News article can be found on the web re some of these soldiers e.g.

George Crefin

The American Legion have a couple of branches in Ireland and contribute to the upkeep the graves of US personnel buried in Ireland.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Major George Robert Playfair MC

George Robert Playfair was born in Hampshire (Southsea or Portsea) in 1869, the son of John and Sarah Playfair. John was born in Ireland and had served as a soldier.

George enlisted in the Garrison Artillery in 1887 and rose to the rank of SQMS. He transferred to the Ordnance Corps in 1900 with the rank of Sub-Conductor (Warrant Officer).

In the 1901 census, he is listed as a Sub-Conductor. The 3 eldest children (ages 7, 6 and 4) all listed as born in Nova Scotia; the youngest child (aged 2) is listed as born in Devonport.

George appears to have been a Conductor in 1902

In 1908, he moves from Conductor to Assistant Commissary of Ordnance/Lt :

In 1911, he is in Dublin, with 2 additional children (1 born England aged 9, 1 born Dublin age 1). He appears to have been the Superintendent at the Royal Magazine Fort in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

His Medal Index Card, shows he entered a theatre of war (presume France) 13th August 1914. Ranks are listed as Hon Lt, Hon Capt, Hon Maj and then Capt. Address is shown as Room 169, War Office, London SW1

In June 1916 he appears in the London Gazette as Honorary Captain for the award of a Military Cross but no information so far about what the MC was awarded for. While George was in France, his eldest son George Alexander Playfair (aged 23) was shot during the Easter Rising and died of his wounds, 29th April 1916.

In August 1918, he is DCO (Deputy Commissary of Ordnance) and Captain; steps down from Honorary Major and role of C of O (Commissary of Ordnance?)

In May 1922, he is a C of O and Major once again

George was posted to Sierra Leone in July 1922 but appears to have died of heart failure in August 1922. He is buried in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Number 2 Squadron

This is a garbled attempt to trace some information re the RFC pilots who flew from Scotland to Ireland in 1913.

The first serving officer of the British Army to be awarded a Pilot's Certificate in England
was Captain George William Patrick Dawes who was awarded Certificate No. 17 for qualification on a Humber monoplane at Wolverhampton on 26th July 1910.

Dublin born Captain Dawes died on 17th March 1960 aged eighty. He had served in South Africa between 1900 and 1902 when he was awarded the Queen's Medal with three clasps, and the King's Medal with two clasps. He took up flying privately in 1909 and was posted to the R.F.C. on its formation in 1912. He commanded the Corps in the Balkans from 1916 to 1918, during which time he was awarded the D.S.O. and the A.F.C., was mentioned in despatches seven times, and awarded the Croix de Guerre with three palms, the Serbian Order of the White Eagle, the Order of the Redeemer of Greece and created Officer of the Legion d'Honncur.

He served with the Royal Air Force in the Second World War as a Wing Commander, retiring in 1946 with the M.B.E. He thus was one of the very few officers who served actively in the Boer War and both world wars.


Becke at 17000ft in an RE8



Friday, 1 March 2013

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Colonel Portal

In command of the troops that travelled to Dublin from the Curragh was Colonel B P Portal (later Brigadier General Sir Bertram Percy Portal). Colonel Portal was listed in the despatch from Sir John French. He also gets a mention in a Sherwood Forester diary.

He is one of the officers credited with the idea for the improvised armoured cars using lorries from Guinness with smoke boxes and metal plates from the railway works at Inchicore.

29th August 1885, Lt in the 17th Lancers from Royal Military College

19th February 1895, Captain in the 17th Lancers

18th March 1896, seconded for service on the Staff

4th April 1899, Supernumerary Captain to Captain

29th May 1900, Major in the 17th Lancers

1900-1902, Boer War

5th February 1904, Lt Col in the 17th Lancers. Has a DSO

2nd November 1906, Colonel in the 17th Lancers

30th October 1907, retired pay

13th December 1912, Deputy Lt in Southampton

1st May 1916, Major Salt, Staff Officer to BPP

24th January 1917, retired pay Reserve of Officers, temp Brigadier General

16th March 1932, Vice Lt Southampton

A Terrible Beauty is Born

A new docudrama titled "A Terrible Beauty is Born" is due out shortly.

Having watched the trailer I'm not too sure about this production. Sloppy saluting and uniforms, trying to link the events at Mount St Bridge to the murders at North King St, making it look as though Capt Dietrichsen's wife was close enough to see him shot...... Hopefully the final production will be better.

In 1966, Radio Eireann commissioned Brian Boydell to compose a piece of music for the 50th Anniversary events. Boydell called the piece "A Terrible Beauty is Born".

Both these productions link back to the poem Easter 1916 by William Butler Yeats.

Henry Hugh Peter Deasy

On Wednesday 26th April 1916, a Major Deasy contacted Guinness to see under what terms Guinness would allow the lorries requisitioned on the Monday to be converted to improvised armoured cars for use during the Easter Rising.

The only Major Deasy I can find is an Irishman by the name Henry Hugh Peter Deasy.

29th June 1866, born in Dublin.

20th April 1886, Lt in the 4th Royal Munster Fusiliers

10th November 1888, 2nd Lt in the 6th Lancers

29th January 1890, Lt in the 16th Lancers

17th February 1894, Captain in the 16th Lancers

1894, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

1896, exploration of Tibet

24th March 1897, resigns his Captaincy in the 16th Lancers

10th August 1897, Reserve of Officers

May 1900, note re his exploration work

August 1900, wrote article "Journeys in Central Asia"

1901, wrote "In Tibet and Chinese Turkistan" following 3 years of exploration work

1903, founded H H P Deasy and Company Ltd, importing cars

1905, completed a 1000 mile motor trial around Ireland

1905, shareholder of the London Power Omnibus Company Limited

1906, founded Deasy Motor Car Manufacturing Company Limited (in 1912 it was to become Siddeley-Deasy Motor Company Limited having been taken over by John Davenport Siddeley)

11th October 1906, resigns as Chairman of London Power Omnibus Company Limited

22nd February 1907, winding up of H H P Deasy and Company Limited

24th June 1910, H P P Deasy and Company Limited accounts/liquidation

14th March 1911, Deasy Motor Car Manufacturing Company Limited

5th May 1915, Temporary Major, 8th Reserve Regiment  of Cavalry

The 8th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry was formed in August 1914 and based in the Curragh. Affiliated to 16th and 17th Lancers

18th May 1915, Temporary Major 8th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry, Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General

25th July 1916, relinquishes rank of Temporary Major.

4th July 1919, ceases to be employed with the Labour Corps (his Medal Index Card shows Labour Corps and makes no mention of 16th Lancers or 8th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry ie he served in a theatre of war with the Labour Corps. He entered France in the last days of the war - 17th October 1918).

12th September 1919, placed on the Retired list as a result of ill health

A summary of his life can be found online in a Grace's Guide relating to his work with motor cars.

26th January 1947. Died.

So far, I've found no official documentation or any publication to show that Henry Deasy was the Major Deasy who called Guinness. The idea for the improvised armoured cars originated with Colonel Portal, one of the officers in charge of the troops coming from the Curragh (including 8th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry) to which Deasy was attached in a Quartermaster role.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

ex-soldier Malachy Halfpenny

Malachy Halpenny served with the Royal Field Artillery during the Great War, number 120000.

After his return to Belfast, he was to fall victim of the B Special/RIC Cromwell Gang reputed to be under the command of District Inspector Nixon. In June 1921, he was dragged from his bed and beaten. Halfpenny's feet were pierced by a bayonet to prevent any chance of escape. He was shot several times and his bullet riddled body was found in a field having been thrown on a barbed wired fence. 17 bullet wounds were counted.

According to a debate at Westminster, one brother had died during the Great War and 3 others had served.

James Halfpenny from Belfast was killed in June 1917 with the Royal Irish Fusiliers having been in the Connaught Rangers

A short while before his death, Malachy Halfpenny had appeared in the London/Edinburgh Gazettes
making progress in his job as a Postman

District Inspector John William Nixon was dismissed from the RUC in 1924. He went on to become a politician in Belfast Council and later an MP at Stormont.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

ex-soldier Joseph Walsh

Having survived the Great War, former soldier Joseph Walsh died in Belfast in April 1922.

The forces of Law and Order in Belfast killed Walsh in his own home, 18 Arnon Street, by crushing his skull with a sledgehammer that they had used to smash open the door of his house. His 7 year old son Michael was shot and died the next day. His 2year old daughter Brigid survived; 14 year old Frank Walsh received a shot to the thigh having been beaten by the Police.

Joseph Walsh's 3 month old nephew, Robert James Walsh, was shot in the arms of a woman standing outside the door of 22 Arnon Street.

Joseph Walsh was 22 in the 1911 census and 11 in the 1901 census. His mother is recorded in both census returns as born in America.

A Thomas O'Hagan, number 6686 Connaught Rangers, gave his and his mothers' address as 18 Arnon St, Belfast when he enlisted 6th January 1917.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

D'Oyly Carte Opera Company - Easter 1916

The D'Olyly Carte Opera Company was in Dublin in 1916 and due to open at the Gaiety Theatre on the Bank Holiday Monday, 24th April 1916. A programme at the National Library of Ireland indicates that they were due to perform The Gondoliers, Iolanthe, The Mikado The Pirates of Penzance, Patience and the Yeomen of the Guard.

Amongst the group was Sir Henry Lytton and some of his experiences during the Rising appears in an online book.

Lytton was to later receive an award for his services by former Prime Minister Lloyd George (who interfered so much in Ireland).

Lytton's last performance with the D'Oyly Carte was in 1934, ironically at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Dublin after the Six Days' Insurrection

A small publication of photographs that appeared after the Easter Rising was entitled "Dublin after the Six Days' Insurrection'. The 31 photographs from the publication can be viewed online via the Dublin City Library and Archives pages and Villanova University.

The photographer/author of this booklet was Mr T W Murphy, editor/sub-editor of The Motor News publication.

A couple of the photographs contain images of "Loyal Dublin Volunteers". These are members of the Irish Association of Volunteer Training Corps (IAVTC). Thomas William Murphy was himself a member of this civilian organisation and was the organiser/Honorary Secretary of the Dublin Motorcyclists' VTC with an address at 34, Lower Abbey St, Dublin. The Commander of the Motorcyclists VTC is given as Pack-Beresford but I've yet to find out his forename.

In a couple of Easter Rising photos, members of the VTC are wearing a Police duty band on the sleeve of their left arm. This type of band can be seen more clearly in the following photograph of DMP constables. The VTC had been sworn in as Special Constables by Sir Horace Plunkett at Beggar's Bush Barracks. The VTC were stood down on May 12th  1916 (based on a letter appearing in the Irish Times addressed to R A Anderson, Hon Secretary of the IAVTC, by Colonel Edgeworth-Johnson, DMP Commissioner).

In the 1901 census and the  1911 census T W Murphy  is recorded as a journalist.

George Parker and 10 Rutland Square, Dublin 1916

In looking for information re Pte T Parker, 2nd Battalion Leinster Regiment, and his activities during the Easter Rising, fellow Easter Rising researcher Robus from flagged up the arrest of George Parker from 10 Rutland Square.

The address is of interest personally as my Gt Gt Grandmother gave this as her address when she married in 1877.

10 Rutland Square, also called Fowlers Hall, was a base for various Orange Lodges in the Dublin area and from approximately 1913 onwards was the HQ for an Ulster Volunteer Force spin off group called the Loyal Dublin Volunteers. In the 1930's an arms cache was found in the basement of 10 Rutland Square that has been attributed to the Loyal Dublin Volunteers.

In August 1915, 200 members of the Loyal Dublin Volunteers enrolled in the Volunteer Training Corps (a civilian, non-political organisation formed for home defence and support work who were to have a role in the Easter Rising).

It would be interesting to understand under what circumstances George Parker was arrested and how he fared being interned with Irish Volunteers.

George and family were at 10 Rutland Square in the 1901 and 1911 census.

Rutland Square gets a mention in the witness statement of Sean McLoughlin and in the difficult to read diary of J R Clark.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Conscripted Irish Volunteers

Following the Easter Rising and the imprisonment of Irish Volunteers in Fron Goch and prisons around the UK (Wakefield, Stafford, Dartmoor), attempts were made by the authorities to find out who was eligible for conscription into the Army.

In his witness statementSeamus Ua Caomhanaigh mentions the Nunan brothers being conscripted along with Pat and George King and Hughie Thornton. Mention is made of them being treated as Conscientious Objectors.

The Conscientious Objector label gets a mention in Ernest Nunans' army file (number 11/6151, 9th Battn London Regiment) but not in the file of his brother John/Sean (number 6256/323184, 6th Battn London Regt). Both appear to have refused to sign attestation papers or to have had medicals; both sentenced to terms in military prisons for refusing to obey lawful orders. Both released 1917. Ernest was charged at Marylebone Police Court under Section 15 of the Reserve Forces Act.

Hugh Thornton (number 32285, 65th Training Battalion) received a military prison sentence for refusing to obey a lawful order. He refused to sign forms and also refused to wear khaki uniform. Conscripted 13/9/1916; discharged 21/12/1916. Thornton gave his home address as that of the Kimmage Garrison while his fathers address was Edgehill. Liverpool. He became Vice O/C 3rd Cork Brigade and was killed in the Civil War. His brother Frank served with Michael Collin's Squad.