Irish War of Independence centenary

18 June 1921

Following the killing of Constable William Campbell the previous evening, the three Watters brothers, Patrick, John and Bernard, who lived at The Windmill Bar in Dundalk were taken from their home by members of the RIC. Patrick, aged 18, and John, 21, were shot dead on Quay Street, while Bernard managed to escape. All three Watters brothers were members of the IRA.

In Offaly, the IRA shot two men for spying. Coincidentally both men were ex-soldiers.

Thomas Cunningham, age 45, was shot outside his home at Cush East near Belmont at 2.40 am.

Michael Reilly was killed at Cloghan. Reilly had been wounded while serving in the Boer War and had also served in France where he was gassed. He was married with four children and because he was in poor health, the family survived on his pension and the washing Mrs Reilly did for the soldiers in Hunston Camp. The loss of the pension left the family destitute and in December two of the children were in the process of being enrolled in the Hibernian Military School.

In Dublin, Robert Pike was shot dead by an IRA gunman as he stood with his wife and another woman At Fagan’s Corner. Pike was 38 years old and had six children. He joined the RE in 1917. He was suspected of being involved in intelligence work and his wife subsequently secured a pension so it may have been true.

A badly planned ambush in Co. Kilkenny led to the deaths of two members of the ambush party. The plan was to ambush a load of dynamite being escorted by the military from Castlecomer Barracks to the coalmine nearby. The ambush site was on the main road about a mile from the town and because it was market day the whole parish knew about it as soon as the men were in position. About 10 am, with the military and RIC closing in on them the IRA withdrew. As they did so two men were hit;

John Hartley, aged 22 from Glenmore, was killed instantly.

Nicholas Mullins, aged 27 from Thomastown, was wounded and died later in the day in Castlecomer Barracks.

George O’Dwyer, the leader of the ambush party was subsequently relieved of command of the ASU and replaced by Garrett Brennan. O’Dwyer, at an earlier time in his life, a member of the RIC before emigrating, did not suffer for long however. He bought a farm in September with £1,000 he produced from thin air and went on to become a Garda Superintendent.

The home of the Dreaper family was later burned out because one of the women of the family was alleged to have rode to Castlecomer to inform the military of the ambush.

Further south in Co. Kilkenny, the 9th Bn, Kilkenny Bde ambushed a RIC cycle patrol and killed Constable Albert Bradford. Bradford was 21, from Essex and had joined the RIC in August 1920. As his body was being moved to Waterford the following evening, poor Bradford was ambushed again.
19 June 1921

Three officers from Fethard Barracks , Co. Tipperary were captured by the IRA and shot at Woodroffe on the road between Clonmel and Cahir. The three were in civilian clothes and the RIC said they had gone to look at a horse, while the IRA claimed they were on a reconnaissance mission. The three dead officers were;

Lieutenant Robert Bettridge, 136th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Bettridge was 21 and from Totnes, Devon.

Lieutenant Walter Glossop, 136th Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Aged 21, from Shoreham, Sussex.

Lieutenant Alexander Toogood, 1st Bn Lincolnshire Regiment. Toogood, the son of the CO of the Lincoln’s 2nd Bn, then in India, was 20 years old and is buried in the RMA Cemetery in Sandhurst.

Coincidentally, in Dublin, a similar fate befell Lieutenant Alfred Breeze of the Worcestershire Regiment. Breeze was out for a day with some lady friends when they ran into an IRA roadblock. Breeze was captured after a struggle in which he was wounded, taken into the mountains and killed. Lieutenant Breeze was 20 and from Plymouth, Devon.

A bad day for Plymouth men. A patrol of the 1st Devonshires, escorting the body of Constable Bradford who had been killed the previous day at Sinnott’s Cross, was ambushed as it crossed the New Bridge at Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary about 7 pm. 5610297 Private William Smith, age 28, was killed. Soldiers in the patrol said he was hit in the head by a bullet while one IRA account says he was killed by his own grenade. Smith and Lieutenant Breeze are both buried in Ford Park Cemetery in Plymouth.

A few miles outside Carrick-on-Suir, in Rathgormac, Co, Waterford, at about 10.30 pm, a mixed patrol of Devonshires and police raided a pub. Two of the customers fled the scene with one of them, Patrick Walsh aged 65, being shot dead.

In Drumlish, Co. Longford, two IRA men carrying messages ran into an Auxiliary patrol. In an exchange of gunfire, Thomas Kelleher was shot dead. Peadar Conlon escaped with a wound in the leg.

The Westmeath IRA pulled off a big hit. Colonel Thomas Lambert, OC 13th Bde in Athlone was returning from a tennis party at Killinure House, along with Colonel Challoner, their wives and Challoner’s niece. The party ran into an IRA ambush at Glasson, with Colonel Lambert and Mrs Challoner being wounded. Lambert, aged 50, died a couple of hours later in Athlone Military Hospital. Originally from Wiltshire, he had been commissioned in the East Lancashire Regiment in 1891. During the war, Lambert was seriously wounded in 1914 but went on to successful commands in Italy and France, notably in command of 32nd Division at the end of the war.

Leo Corby, a 26 year old dentist from Cork who practiced in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, came to the attention of the IRA due to his hobby of riding his motor cycle about the countryside. He left Clonmel for Cork on this date, riding past the place where the three officers at the start of this post would meet their fates a few hours afterwards. The IRA contacted his father on 12th July to inform him they’d killed his son. Leo must have been a popular bloke as this appears to have been the first indication to anyone that he was missing. His body turned up in a graveyard in Ballyhooley, Co. Cork.

Constable Albert Moore died in Dr Steeven’s Hospital in Dublin. He had been accidentally shot by Constable Russell in Kilnaleck, Co. Cavan the previous day. Moore was 20, from Middlesex and had almost six months service in the RIC.

Michael Martin died in Dublin, at the age of 4, from injuries received during an attack on a police/military patrol the previous day.
I think that was Michael Collin's originally.

Yeah, careful which way you turn?

(Yeah, I know it's an old joke).
12 June 1921

The police in Belfast called to several homes around the city at about 1 am to carry out arrests. Most men were wisely not at home but the following three men were taken away and shot dead.

Alexander McBride, age 30 originally from Ballycastle, Co. Antrim. His body was found on Ballysillan Road.

Malachy Halfpenny, age 22 from Herbert Street. Malachy was one of six brothers who served in the army in WW1, one of whom was killed and all of whom were wounded. His body was found on Ligoniel Road

William Kerr, age 26 from Old Lodge Road. His body was found on Springfield Road at 6.30 am.

Rioting, accompanied by gunfire, continued in the evening. Special Constable Michael Sturdy from Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, was hit by gunfire on Garmoyle Street and died shortly afterwards in the Royal Victoria Hospital. In retaliation the police shot two men in their homes nearby.

Patrick Milligan was shot dead in the back yard of his home. He was 24, married with one child.

Joseph Millar, aged 25 and also married with one child, was shout outside his home on Coates Street. He died at 2.15 am on June 13th.

Hugh Jenkins, a 19 year old Protestant was shot by rioters on Kashmir Road.

A 78 year old Protestant retired clergyman was killed during the burning of his home, Brackley House, at Bawnboy, Co. Cavan. John Finlay was probably killed by a blow to the head from an iron bar one of the IRA men was carrying. The staff of the house knew the men who killed Finlay and eight of them were arrested but never tried. All were released in early 1922.

Petty Officer William Kennington was killed in an attack on Teelin Coastguard Station, Co. Donegal. Kennington was 40 years of age and from Devon.

Head Constable James McElhill was shot and fatally wounded as he made his way to Mass in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath. McElhill was from Castlederg, Co. Tyrone, aged 53 and had joined the RIC in 1888.

Thomas Rush, a 29 year old US Army veteran, was shot dead by a patrol of the Leicestershire Regiment near Castlerea, Co. Roscommon. The patrol surprised a group of men drilling in a field who fled when challenged. Rush’s death was taken up by the US Consul at the time.

Two Black and Tan recruits who went for a drink in Ryan’s pub in Parkgate Street, Dublin were taken by the IRA and shot dead on Rainsford Street.

Michael Brennan, age 27 from Durham, was ex Royal Navy.

John Smith was 25 years old. Both men had joined the RIC on 20th May.

5373689 Lance Corporal Mark Hudson of the Ox & Bucks LI was shot dead by a sentry in Tulla RIC barracks, Co. Clare while on cycle patrol. Hudson was 24 and from London.
Edited to add that Dan Breen took a day off from being a psychopath to get married. The lucky woman was Bridget Malone from Dublin and the nuptials took place near New Inn, Co. Tipperary.
Meant to catch up on this, been a bit busy. The information on Thomas Rush and the US Consul led me to this site:

The correspondence between the Consul and Dublin Castle are provided on the above link and some other details such as service etc. I don't know much about the website however.

Joshua Slocum

Book Reviewer
aha here you are
I gave the wrong linky
1919 to 1921 the Irish War of Independance

and Easter 1916 the Uprising

I thought that the Free State bought them. They weren't handed over for nothing.
The Haynes manual claims that ultimately over 1000 vehicles were handed over to the Free State, including 13 RR armoured cars. Not sure of the intimate details of the Truce regarding the handover of equipment to be honest.
The Haynes manual claims that ultimately over 1000 vehicles were handed over to the Free State, including 13 RR armoured cars. Not sure of the intimate details of the Truce regarding the handover of equipment to be honest.

Don’t forget the Lancia's & Peerless cars that helped defeat the anti treaty forces

Although this picture won’t be taken chust yet ;)

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