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corisande

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

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mhifle

Hi,

This is from The Manchester Guardian (1901-1959); Mar 27, 1920;

Regards Mark

prtII

post-14045-028990100 1285770066.jpg

post-14045-077379600 1285770111.jpg

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corisande

Thanks Mark - Manchester Guardian was difficult to read back in 1920 as well.

It is interesting in that it is a fuller account of the murder than in the Times, so they must have a different source

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BrendanLee

Does Tin Pot Coogan give any reference as the where he got the information relating to Molloy. I think the assignation of a Secret Service Agent sounds a lot better than shooting an unarmed soldier dressed in civilian clothes. What is the evidence to connect Molloy with Army Intelligence, any report I have seen on his death states he was a Clarke.

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corisande

Dwyer's The Squad has a full account of the shooting and the background to it, but no background on Molloy. The shooting was carried out by 4 of the squad, McDonnell and Slattery were to do the killings and Vinny Byrne and Keogh were to cover them. It comes from the Witness statements of various of the people concerned

I do not believe there is much doubt that Molloy was not a clerk, but was an undercover man engaged in very dangerous liaisons all the way up to Collins. Collins gave Tobin the authorisation for the killing of Molloy.

But this is not what I am trying to ascertain here, I am trying to find out if "Molloy" was a mere Private in the British Army, or whether he had another "real name", and if so who was he really. If he was Bryan Fergus Molloy (or whatever combination I have tried so far) he does not have a past, no army record, no census entry, no birth record.

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mhifle

Hi,

Here is the RASC in the Irish Command from the 1920 Army List.

Mark

post-14045-046975700 1285779337.jpg

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chrisharley9

Got these from Geoffs Search Engine who died on 24th March 1920

Name: BRAYBROOKE, CHARLES WILLIAM

Initials: C W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Major

Regiment/Service: Royal Marines

Date of Death: 24/03/1920

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: E. 787.

Cemetery: ROCHESTER (ST. MARGARET'S) CEMETERY

Name: HOWELLS

Initials: F A C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Worcestershire Regiment

Unit Text: 5th Bn.

Date of Death: 24/03/1920

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: S.E. of church.

Cemetery: LYDNEY (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD

Name: PETIPAS, HUBERT EDWARD

Initials: H E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force

Age: 25

Date of Death: 24/03/1920

Additional information: Son of Hubert Petipas, of Barrie's Beach, Antigonish Co., Nova Scotia, and the late Mary Petipas.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Cemetery: TRACADIE (ST. PETER'S CHURCH) CEMETERY

There are 2 other officers who died that day but we can discount them as one is buried in Eygpt & the other in Germany. Will do some digging through the Times.

Chris

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corisande

Thanks for that Chris

You know the rules of the CWGC better than I do. - by 1920 the fact that they were given CWGC recognition, what exactly does that mean then?

I assume it means more than they just died in something like a car accident while in England?

For example I found this on Braybrooke on a site on Naval deaths

Wednesday, 24 March 1920

Renown, battlecruiser

LUSH, William J, Gunner, RMA, RMA 15739, drowned

Royal Marines

BRAYBROOKE, Charles W, Major, RM, illness

Victory, Portsmouth

CLEAVER, Arthur, Petty Officer, J 10356, illness

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chrisharley9

Basically any serviceman or woman who died in service between 4th August 1914 & 31st August 1921 is entitled to CWGC war grave status (or inclusion on a memorial to the missing) regardless of their cause of death.

It gets more complicated with post discharge deaths, but for this thread that is of little relevance. If you need any more look ups from Geoffs Search Engine give me a shout.

I must say that I have been very impressed with your research on this group of forgotten men.

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chrisharley9

I think we can discount Howells as his death was registerrd in Ross Herefordshire

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corisande

If he was buried under his own name somewhere else, then I assume a second death cert would have been given under his correct name in order to get probate

The Canadian soldiers site does not give much away about Pepitas, but he was buried in Canada

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IPT

I assume a Canadian would have had an English accent in those days?

A problem would be that, if he worked for Thomson, he was probably not an active soldier.

Given the timing, there's a chance that (like Byrne), he reported to Isham. Isham's papers are detailed here, and probably deal mainly with tackling bolshevism, but could possibly contain a clue somewhere;

http://drs.library.yale.edu:8083/saxon/SaxonServlet?style=http://drs.library.yale.edu:8083/saxon/EAD/yul.ead2002.xhtml.xsl&source=http://drs.library.yale.edu:8083/fedora/get/mssa:ms.1455/EAD&big=&adv=&query=&filter=&hitPageStart=&sortFields=&view=c01_1#ref13

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corisande

I would hazard a guess that the anti-Bolshevism thing is the common factor between Byrnes and Isham. That was how Byrnes started off, as a sort of agent provocateur in red politics in London, then got pulled into Ireland as a by product.

I may be wrong but I don't think Isham was his controller in Ireland

No idea whether a Canadian accent at that time was English or not. But I suppose I doubt that they would have taken his body back to Canada, but again I have no idea.

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Ken Devitt

Hi Corisande,

Took a stroll to Grangegorman today and had a look at the headstone.

Sad to relate it had nothing new to offer.

The inscription read as follows: ES/59087 Private

B.F.Molloy

Royal Army Service Corps

24 March 1920

No age, no Christian names, which would lead one to go down the road of conjecture... but I resist.

I was unable to access the burial record which I think is worth exploring.

Took a pic. of the headstone which I will post when I wind the battery up.

Kind regards,

Ken

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corisande

This is the relevant part of Howells MIC

mic-howells-closeup.jpg

It does record his date of death but does not offer any clues. Of those three men who died the same day, one is buried in Canada, one is a Major and the third is this chap who was commissioned from a Private. I will see what else I can get on him

Thanks very much for the update Ken. I am obviously interested to see if there is anything in their actual records

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corisande

Ken

Thanks for the update on Grangegorman. Interested to see if the Grangegorman records will say anything.

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chrisharley9

Canadians were allowed to returned home for burial if they died in the UK as it was not regarded as a war zone

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mhifle

From The Irish Times 27 March 1920

Regards Mark

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post-14045-056940800 1285806023.jpg

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mhifle

Irih Times

2

post-14045-011201900 1285806456.jpg

post-14045-057129000 1285806464.jpg

post-14045-015799100 1285806537.jpg

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corisande

That Hansard Report is very interesting. For those who do not "do" links, the complete exchange was

83. Mr. IRVING asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the man who was shot in Exchequer Street, Dublin, on the 24th instant, was identified by the police as bearing the name of Molloy; whether, in fact, this name was correct; whether there was any deliberate concealment of the real name; if so, can he state the reason; and whether the man had at one time been in the Dublin Metropolitan Police?

ยง Mr. MACPHERSON This man was identified by the military authorities as Bryan Fergus Molloy, under which name he enlisted, and, as far as is known, this was his correct name. He was at no time a member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police.

So somebody thought that Molloy was not his real name, and must mave been tipped off to ask the question. Depending on your point of view the answer is either crystal clear that it was born Bryan Fergus Molloy, or that was merely the name he was serving under - we have no idea when BF Molloy enlisted.

One can certainly say he wsa not in the DMP

Why was the question asked in the first place

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Carmania

The MP who asked the question was David Daniel Irving, known as Dan Irving, Labour MP for Burnley from the 1918 General Election until his death on the 25 January 1924. Hansard shows that he had an interest in Irish affairs but not particularily predominant. A constituency interest or had he been tipped off by a Socialist contact in Dublin?

Aled

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corisande

Thanks Aled,

Save me looking him up.

I think it is pointing to everyone not being happy that he was Molloy at the time. It certainly was not "normal" to ask that sort of question in parliament about these shootings. And in political terms, the answer given in parliament was not really answering the question.

As things stand, it would look as is this chap, whoever he was, was enlisted a few months previously under this name, which sounds very Irish, but is said to have had an English accent, had no birth or census data, and no relatives or friends arranged his funeral or turned up for it. Then a question was put in parliament asking if he really was Molloy. Difficult to say if the MP was tipped off by Basil Thomson or by Sinn Fein. He is doing a dangerous high level intelligence job, but only apparently is a Private.

Another of these deep undercover men was this chap, Vincent Fovargue, who was shot on a golf course in England, and it took them days to find out who he was. Quinlisk was more obviously not Quinn, the IRA and everyone else know who he was, but e was buried as unknown, until his parents went to some trouble to dissenter him.

Digby Hardy was very deep under cover, I have not started to find out who he really was

And Byrnes was names for a number of days until " a woman recognised him as her husband"

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IPT

The Hansard debate reminds me of the exchange regarding MacFie and Crozier, in terms of the obvious inside knowledge displayed in both questions. In Molloy's case, my suspicion would be that the information came from someone on the British side who did not have Thomson's best interests at heart.

All these factors are certainly pointing to Molloy being the alias of a spy planted in the ASC. Would you definitely rule out the DMP link? That information would perhaps have come from an informed source.

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johnny_doyle

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

SDGW is date searchable but doesn't go up to 1920. CWGC doesn't appear to be directly searchable by date but you can use a feature of Google to delve into the records. Try the following in Google :

"24/03/1920" site:cwgc.org

I get 6 results including Molloy.

just using Google with the date on it's own, I came across Sidney George Innis, RASC who died the same day (aged 25 so about the same age as Molloy)

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Worcestershire/WorcesterBarbourne.html

He has a medal card on Ancestry and a birth registration but no other info. I'm not suggesting he was Molloy, just comparing record availability.

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corisande

Reason I don't think he was DMP, is that he appears to have had an English accent (ie more than just gone to TCD)and in addition he would have been known in Dublin. The IRA would have known exactly who he was

The reason Thomson had his spy school in London was that he knew that Dublin leaked like a sieve, and thought that it was safer to have all the paperwork for his men in England. That would have been pointless if "Molloy" was walking round Dublin Castle pretending to be a Private in RASC called Molloy, and people greeted him as Brown or O'Brien or whatever.

Molloy had to be someone not known in Dublin, in my opinion

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