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nr369

Did you have an Irish relative in the British Army during Easter Risin

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nr369

Hello all,

My name is Neil Richardson. I'm a military history writer (you can Google "A Coward If I Return, A Hero If I Fall: Stories of Irishmen in WW1" if you want to check me out) and I'm currently working on a new project about Irishmen in the British Army during the Easter Rising. I'm hoping that people out there might have relatives who served during the Rising, or might have stories concerning Irishmen that were there. Even people who have stories of the Rising that concern nationalists/rebels might still get in touch especially if those stories include a mention of a British soldier. You might not know who he was, but it might allow me to piece that information together with other details to tell the full story.

I'm looking for stories of Irishmen from both north and south all religions, all ranks, all social backgrounds and I really would like to stress that no detail is unimportant. Obviously, as well as hearing about why they went through and experienced during the Rising, I'd love to know anything else about the men what they did for a living before/after their military service, any important events that happened to them in their lives (for example, if they had previously, or went on to, fight in the trenches of WW1), and basically anything else interesting that you might know about them.

I strongly feel that the story of a forgotten group of Irishmen who happened to find themselves caught up in the Easter Rising should be told and remembered. Perhaps you might be able to help me out? Thank you.

You can either PM me or email me at neilrichardson6@yahoo.ie. I look forward to hearing from you.

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corisande

Neil

My grandfather was in 10th RDF in Royal Barracks when they heard the sounds of gunfire just after noon.

http://www.grantonline.com/grant-family-individuals/grant-charles-1881/CW-Grant.htm

This web page has a transcription of his notes on the happenings that day (I have also the story of one of the men in the Mendicity Institute who fired at them)

I have had your current book on order for some time at Amazon, when is it due out?

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johnny_doyle

welcome Neil.

Is the title “A Coward If I Return, A Hero If I Fall" a play on the Spartan phrase “Come home with your shield or upon it”?

Saw your post on the Boards.ie forum too. Like the subject matter as I find the Easter Rising a fascinating/complicated subject with so many contradictions.

While George Sweeney was in the BA in 1916 his brother Michael served at the South Dublin Union in 1916 aged 15. George died in 1917 :

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=826871

Michael died in April 1922, killed whilst escaping from Free State troops in Grafton St having served thru the Tan War and then taken the anti-treaty side.

Tipperary born Neville Fryday killed during the Easter Rising whilst a 16year old in the Canadian Army.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=fryday&GSfn=neville&GSbyrel=in&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=38945409&df=all&

The odds against this must have been huge.

Lt Neilan killed with the RDF whilst his brother was with the rebel forces

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=899716

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=neilan&GSbyrel=in&GSdyrel=in&GScntry=35&GSob=n&GRid=37603704&df=all&

Ditto the odds against this.

My gran and her sister were youngsters caught up during the Easter Rising and escorted to safety by BA troops. Their father was in France with 179th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers at the time

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Niland&GSfn=Joseph&GSbyrel=in&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=12481935&df=all&

One grandson later served with "Stores And Supplies". One great grandson enlisted Parachute Regt and married to a C of I lass whose grandfather and great uncle were IRB, volunteers (out in 1916) and then old IRA; one great uncle detained and deported in 1916 who died shortly after release.

If you get enough material to publish it'll be on my list of books to buy.

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nr369

Dear Johnny Doyle,

Thanks for getting in touch with that info. I've heard of most of the men you mentioned but the Sweeney's are new to me. The title "A Coward If I Return, A Hero If I Fall" is actually from the poem "A Lament" by Donegal war poet Patrick MacGill (1/18 London Irish Rifles):

"I wish the sea were not so wide

That parts me from my love

I wish the things men do below

Were known to God above

I wish that I were back again

In the Glens of Donegal

They'll call me coward if I return

But a hero if i fall"

It seemed fitting to use as my title.

All the best,

Neil

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johnny_doyle

thanks for explaining the title Neil. Not heard that poem before.

The Sweeney's were from Harold's Cross and had a grocery shop by Emmet Bridge (better known as Harold's Cross Bridge) and then later had a shop further up the road near St Clare's/Harold's Cross Park (not too far from there Lt Neilan's family were living)

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Dublin/Rathmines/Emmet_Street/1295401/

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Dublin/Rathmines___Rathgar_West/Harold_s_Cross_Road/66656/

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corisande

I have a page on my Dublin Fusiliers site where I am trying to put together what the 3 battalions of RDF wdid in the Rising

http://www.dublin-fusiliers.com/easter-1916/easter-rising-1916.html

You can follow link to 10th, 5th and 4th.

I have made no effort to separate Irish from English RDF soldiers, but gives you names to work on

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nr369

It's an excellent site that I'm already very familiar with! It's given me plenty of RDF names to begin researching.

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Ciaran Byrne

I have some information on the initial actions of the 5th Lancers who were the first on the scene of the uprising in Dublin. YOu can email me if you need any specific details regarding this action.

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nr369

Thank you for that, Ciaran. I will take you up on that offer when the time comes. Neil

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