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 Ancestry.co.uk.

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.