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corisande

Bryan Fergus Molloy, ES/59087 ASC, shot Dublin 1920

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corisande

This man should be easy to research, I have his name and service no.from CWGC and newspapers at his death:-

Bryan Fergus Molloy, ES/59087

I have a write up link here with newspaper articles on his death

He was shot in Dublin 25 March 1920. There are a number of odd things about him

1. He was a Private, but appears to have been given very high level intelligence work (see extract from Coogan's book)

2. He has a CWGC grave at Grangegorman in this name, and has a death entry in Irish State Registers

3. I cannot get a MIC, I would have expected one. I cannot find in Ireland or England a Birth or census. I think I have tried all possible name combinations but one can never be sure that one has!

4. He was not in uniform when shot, and must have been targeted, Tobin knew who he was and he appears to have thought that Tobin would try to kill him

It appears odd to me that they would give a Private that amount of intelligence responsibility. Either he is genuinely Private Bryan Fergus Molloy and I have got his name slightly wrong so cannot get his birth or census, or he is a Basil Thomson plant (bit like Angliss on Bloody Sunday was known as McMahon) and Thomson just kept the trail obscure after the man died

Any thought?

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johnny_doyle

the soldier who identified his body, Staff Sgt James Lynn Hull, appears to exist with 2 MICs on Ancestry and a death record (dob 29th Nov 1891; died 1976, Worthing, Sussex). One MIC gives award of British War Medal (no Stars or VM); other for Meritorious Service Medal showing Home on the card.

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/31198/supplements/2699

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corisande

Thanks, that is a good piece of lateral thinking. I hadn't thought of checking out Staff Sgt Hull

I'll do a bit of digging into his MSM.

The man shot Molloy, and Hull are both given as RASC. Molloy certainly was in Intelligence and was shot for that reason

Hull's real existence confirms the death of "Molloy". I am reluctant to believe that the army would bury a man under an assumed name if they knew his real one. But I suppose if the man had no next of kin, then he was buried under whatever name the local army knew him as. As I said Angliss would have been buried as Mahon, if there had been no family.

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johnny_doyle

found a birth record for Hull in Belfast, Q4 1891. There's something not right about his medal awards. No VM yet an MSM.

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headgardener
There's something not right about his medal awards. No VM yet an MSM.

I don't have Ancestry, so I can't see the MIC's, but a quick check on TNA shows that Hull had 2 cards; one would be the MSM award card while the other would be his campaign medals. If you're saying that he had a BWM and no VM then it would simply indicate that he served overseas in a 'non-theatre' such as India. Also, it's not unusual to find someone with an MSM and no campaign medals.

Also, regards Molloy/Mulloy's absence from the census, and the issue of his next-of-kin, he evidently had a sister in the US, so maybe that's where you'll find him?

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Carmania

According to a report of the inquest in The Manchester Guardian of 29th October, Hull was based at the Royal Barracks, Dublin.

Aled

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corisande

Sometimes I despair with the Irish BMD Register as on the Mormon site.

I have now tracked down an Adrienne Molloy who has a Bryan Molloy on her tree on GenesReunited, born 1896 in Cork

She tells me he disappeared from home sometime before the 1911 census and they have no idea what happened to him. And no idea therefore whether he could have been the body on the Dublin street.

Now I cannot find any Bryan Molloy born in Cork in 1896, or born anywhere else in Ireland.

The sister in USA troubles me too, one wonders how "after his death it became known that he had written to his sister in America". Could be true, or could be put out by Castle propaganda dept - the lads that gave us the Battle of Tralee on the streets of Dalkey. In order to point the finger at Tobin.

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corisande

Both Murphy and Coogan in their respective works on Collins, are using the same (IRA) source. They differ from British Army version in

1. Army has Bryan Fergus Molloy and IRA have Fergus Brian Mulloy. The Army version is on his death registration

2. IRA say Sgt in Pay Corps, Army & CWGC say Private in RASC

I have not been able to find his past with either version of his name

The other odd thing is that I cannot find his grave at Grangegorman in the online records, CWGC say he was buried there, but the records that exist online (which they admit are probably incomplete) do not have him listed there. I have put a post on Rootschat to see if anyone in Dublin can help ascertain if his grave is still there.

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IPT

Sorry. I deleted that article when I realised it was just duplication but you had already replied.

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johnny_doyle

Richard Bennett in "The Black and Tans" has Fergus Brian Molloy - "a soldier with an English accent who professed to be a patriotic Irishman". No reference to indicate where he got this information from.

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Carmania

This is from T Ryle Dwyer's 'Michael Collins:The Man Who Won The War':

'After Byrne another British agent also managed to meet Collins at O'Connor's home [batt O'Connor, Collins' driver]. Fergus Bryan Molloy was also offering to procure arms. He was a soldier working for the Secret Service, but his fate was sealed when Collins' people in Dublin Castle warned him of Molloy's true purpose. He was gunned down by the Squad in broad daylight on South William Street three weeks to the day after Byrne.'

Aled

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chrisharley9

Both Murphy and Coogan in their respective works on Collins, are using the same (IRA) source. They differ from British Army version in

1. Army has Bryan Fergus Molloy and IRA have Fergus Brian Mulloy. The Army version is on his death registration

2. IRA say Sgt in Pay Corps, Army & CWGC say Private in RASC

I have not been able to find his past with either version of his name

The other odd thing is that I cannot find his grave at Grangegorman in the online records, CWGC say he was buried there, but the records that exist online (which they admit are probably incomplete) do not have him listed there. I have put a post on Rootschat to see if anyone in Dublin can help ascertain if his grave is still there.

Odd that as I found him straight away

Name: MOLLOY

Initials: B F

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment/Service: Royal Army Service Corps

Unit Text: 1st Supply Coy.

Date of Death: 24/03/1920

Service No: ES/59087

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: RC. 701.

Cemetery: GRANGEGORMAN MILITARY CEMETERY

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IPT

'After Byrne another British agent also managed to meet Collins at O'Connor's home [batt O'Connor, Collins' driver].

Interesting that he is mentioned in the same context as Byrne (known as Jameson), as the two are mentioned in the same sentence in "With Michael Collins in the fight for Irish independence" by Batt O'Connor.

The similar approach may point back to Thomson.

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mhifle

Hi,

Here is some information on the prefix to his regimental number which would indicate him enlisting in 1919

Regards Mark

After war enlistments under AO 4 of 1919:

EM: Mechanical Transport

ER: Remounts

ES: Supply

ET: Horse Transport

Directorate of Hiring and Requisitions, Settlement and Claims Commissions

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corisande
Odd that as I found him straight away

No, you have just pointed out his CWGC grave, if you read by original post for the thread I put in point 2 "He has a CWGC grave at Grangegorman in this name, and has a death entry in Irish State Registers"

What I am querying here, is does the grave actually exist. Could he have been re-interred somewhere else. The Grangegorman registers should point to a physical grave and the only registers I can find for Grangegorman do not have him

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corisande
Interesting that he is mentioned in the same context as Byrne (known as Jameson), as the two are mentioned in the same sentence in "With Michael Collins in the fight for Irish independence" by Batt O'Connor. The similar approach may point back to Thomson.

Yes, that was why I thought originally of Thomsom. For those who do not know about Byrnes I have quite a bit about him on this link

And the other name mentioned, together with Byrnes and Molloy in some of the articles on Molloy's death. is Quinlisk, an ex-Irish Brigade man, another subject with which I have a passing interest (again this link tells you about Quinlisk)

If Thomson was involved then it is inevitable that names were changed.

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BrendanLee

What I am querying here, is does the grave actually exist. Could he have been re-interred somewhere else. The Grangegorman registers should point to a physical grave and the only registers I can find for Grangegorman do not have him

There is a picture of his grave on The War graves Photographis Project

http://twgpp.org/inf....php?id=1100672

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corisande

Thanks, I am very grateful for that. I'll have to see if I can get the inscription

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Ken Devitt

Hi Corisande,

I live fairly close to Grangegorman so I'll have a look at the headstone for you in the next day or two.

Regards,

Ken

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chrisharley9

No, you have just pointed out his CWGC grave, if you read by original post for the thread I put in point 2 "He has a CWGC grave at Grangegorman in this name, and has a death entry in Irish State Registers"

What I am querying here, is does the grave actually exist. Could he have been re-interred somewhere else. The Grangegorman registers should point to a physical grave and the only registers I can find for Grangegorman do not have him

Sorry I completely misunderstood

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corisande

Thanks Ken, that would be very good of you

Given that this man has no "past" that can be found, and the evidence pointing to an English undercover man, with a different name if Basil Thomson was running him.

He was certainly buried as Bryan Fergus Molloy, and as far as I can make out from the (small) photo of the headstone it has B F Molloy on it. If he did have a different "real" name and he did have family, then one might think that they would have either corrected the headstone, or taken the body back to England for reburial.

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Ken Devitt

Corisande,

The Burial registers were held in the lodge at Grangegorman.

If they are still there and I can gain access I'll have a look for you.

Now I'm curious.

Regards,

Ken

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corisande
Now I'm curious.

Regrettably I have been hooked for months on these undercover men. One can gradually put the picture together, but Basil Thomsons are the most difficult to trace

This thread I put up here on Command and Control in Intelligence in Ireland shows how the Scotland Yard men were outside the normal military intelligence

Normally ifyou get a soldiers Christian and Surname you can get a full life story from military and civilian records, but not with BF Molloy!

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IPT

For what it's worth, I reckon the coffin contains either bricks or a missing IRA man. Meanwhile, the real body was spirited back to the mainland in the middle of the night, and given a full military funeral under his real name and rank.

Or perhaps i've been reading too many of these threads.

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corisande
I reckon the coffin contains either bricks or a missing IRA man

I write these threads, and I reckon you may be spot on there. This a variant on "the man who never was"

Anyone know if there is any way of searching CWGC for any other men killed on that day 24/03/1920 ?

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