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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Great War heroes in the Irish Troubles 1916-23

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KGB

Folks - we are on incredibly sensitive ground here - please can all posters think very carefully about what they post. Also no more Nazi references please

Thanks

Alan

Gosh is that the time? Coughs. Must dash. Nite everyone.

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Murrough

As this topic has not been closed, I would like to submit Brig. General Edgar Allen Wood for inclusion in Great War heroes in the Irish Troubles 1916 - 23. In Ireland he was 2nd in Command of the Auxiliary Division R.I.C. from Sept. 1920 until Feb. 1921 and Commander of the Division from Feb. 1921 until Feb. 1922. His army career stretches from before the South African War (1899 - 1902) when as a young lieutenant he took part in the Jameson Raid and was captured by the Boers. During the Great War he was decorated for gallantry many times, winning the D.S.O. four times and was mentioned in dispatches seven times. In addition the French awarded him the C. De G. He was wounded five times, gassed twice and was buried once. Being an officer who led from the front, he was revered by the men he commanded.

Dez

Dez, A very impressive man by all accounts and I have no doubt he tried to instill the same values and ethics that he would normally uphold, in the men he commanded.

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nialld

While we're at it,let's throw in Sergeant Thomas B.Barry RA who went on to play a prominent role in events of the period :thumbsup:

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Michael Pegum

Murrough wrote:

"Another few to add to the list should be,

Sgt Martin Doyle VC,MM.

Lieut.Emmet Dalton MC.

L/C George Adamson DCM.

Obviously these were on the Irish Pro-Independence side but ithought I would add their names(just for for balance,of course.)"

This thread actually began: "I'd like some information, preferrably with sources on some of the Great War veterans who participated in the successful counter-insurgency in Ireland in this period,"

Former Army and R.F.C./R.A.F. men who participated on the Republican side are another matter altogether!

For example, Sgt. Martin Doyle, V.C., mentioned above, was an I.R.A. spy.

He left the Army in 1919 and took up a post as a civilian worker on the British Army base in Ennis, Co. Clare. It later turned out that he was an intelligence officer for the I.R.A.,, and he received the Black and Tan Medal* later.

He joined the new Free State Army in 1922 and fought in the Civil War. He is buried in Grangegorman Military cemetery with a headstone which looks very like a standard C.W.G.C. stone, but it was set up by his colleagues in the Munsters.

*Named after the uniforms of some of the Auxiliaries: black (very dark green) jackets (R.I.C.) and tan/khaki breeches (Army). The medal ribbon has these colours.

post-3328-0-86979200-1341433708_thumb.jp

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Murrough

Sorry about that Michael, you are quite right, the thread was intended to discuss crown forces but I find that on threads like this you have to put forward an alternative perspective for those who would not be au fait with all aspects of the War of Independence.

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

This is pseudo historical garbage

Which bit exactly do you query?

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Smyth was a controversial and divisive figure who paid the ultimate price for his convictions and his brother George went the same way. George seems to have been shot by friendly fire while making a botched attempt to arrest Breen and Treacy, he vowed to avenge his brother and went off half cocked to make the arrest/execution.

Gerard Smyth was a hero, pure and simple

http://www.kildare.i...istory/2011/04/

http://www.impalapub...evin-Myers.html

'paying the ultimate price for his convictions' simply means he was obscenely murdered for his political beliefs and cultural identity. His brother George was not killed by friendly fire or 'go off half cocked' he knocked on a door during a house search and got cut down by a stream of bullets fired blindly through the door

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

I for one never thought that the B&Ts or the Auxies were actual convicts, I was always under the impression that the "convict" term related to the fact that some (not all) behaved like criminals while on duty in Ireland,BTW while not wanting to speak ill of the dead Peter Hart's work has not stood up to scrutiny.

Peter Hart's work is excellent, in many ways he's the father of the new wave of Irish historical writing on the subject. Some people don't like that because he challanges cherished myths but that's hardly ever likely to be popular. There's only one interview he conducts which is controversial but as both participants are now dead we'll never be able to settle that one way or the other

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

It really is remarkable how often Godwin's hypothesis is proven to be accurate in on-line debates.

Perhaps but it doesn't apply here, I was merely making an analogy and it's a valid one. I could equally have said that communists blamed everything on Stalin to excuse Lenin/Trotsky

As this topic has not been closed, I would like to submit Brig. General Edgar Allen Wood for inclusion in Great War heroes in the Irish Troubles 1916 - 23. In Ireland he was 2nd in Command of the Auxiliary Division R.I.C. from Sept. 1920 until Feb. 1921 and Commander of the Division from Feb. 1921 until Feb. 1922. His army career stretches from before the South African War (1899 - 1902) when as a young lieutenant he took part in the Jameson Raid and was captured by the Boers. During the Great War he was decorated for gallantry many times, winning the D.S.O. four times and was mentioned in dispatches seven times. In addition the French awarded him the C. De G. He was wounded five times, gassed twice and was buried once. Being an officer who led from the front, he was revered by the men he commanded.

Dez

I must say I've never heard of Wood, was he a contemporary of William King's?

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Murrough wrote:

"Another few to add to the list should be,

Sgt Martin Doyle VC,MM.

Lieut.Emmet Dalton MC.

L/C George Adamson DCM.

Obviously these were on the Irish Pro-Independence side but ithought I would add their names(just for for balance,of course.)"

This thread actually began: "I'd like some information, preferrably with sources on some of the Great War veterans who participated in the successful counter-insurgency in Ireland in this period,"

Former Army and R.F.C./R.A.F. men who participated on the Republican side are another matter altogether!

For example, Sgt. Martin Doyle, V.C., mentioned above, was an I.R.A. spy.

He left the Army in 1919 and took up a post as a civilian worker on the British Army base in Ennis, Co. Clare. It later turned out that he was an intelligence officer for the I.R.A.,, and he received the Black and Tan Medal* later.

He joined the new Free State Army in 1922 and fought in the Civil War. He is buried in Grangegorman Military cemetery with a headstone which looks very like a standard C.W.G.C. stone, but it was set up by his colleagues in the Munsters.

*Named after the uniforms of some of the Auxiliaries: black (very dark green) jackets (R.I.C.) and tan/khaki breeches (Army). The medal ribbon has these colours.

One wonders did he do that through choice or was coerced?

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Murrough

Gerard Smyth was a hero, pure and simple

http://www.kildare.i...istory/2011/04/

http://www.impalapub...evin-Myers.html

'paying the ultimate price for his convictions' simply means he was obscenely murdered for his political beliefs and cultural identity. His brother George was not killed by friendly fire or 'go off half cocked' he knocked on a door during a house search and got cut down by a stream of bullets fired blindly through the door

Thanks for the links, just confirms what I said about Gerald Smyth,one of his main convictions was to advocate the shooting of unarmed civilians,that and the fact that he was a police commander was probably why he was murdered, (despite your attempt to apply some retrospective revisionist sectarian blather to the event).As regards George,you are probably looking at the reports of a military inquiry which tried to determine what happened, the raid appears to have been a botch job from the start,reports/witness statements are obviously rehearsed,Jeune is the only one who may have told some of the truth at a later stage.George Smyth was in a rage and vowing revenge on all and sundry, this may have clouded his judgement and dulled his previous martial prowess, but then again they were soldiers who were trying to be police and as such were totally unsuited to the situation at the time.(Frontline trench experience does not prepare men for police work in Ireland)Poor Carolan ended up dead as well most likely shot (maybe by accident)while undergoing "questioning"

Glad to see you have a sense of humour with regards to your remarks about Martin Doyle VC MM,but quite mischievous all the same(when a person or event goes against your orthodoxy you have to cast aspersions on his motives(sure everybody who voted for Home rule/Independence were either misguided and or coerced according to your doctrine, Irish people wanted Independence/Home rule,you could'nt accept it then and you can't still accept it now,you need to get over it) ;)

Whlie Hart's work may have some merit ,his methodolgy and use of sources have been examined by many experts in the academic world and have been found to be wanting/flawed/wrong, do a search, most of the papers are quite long and dont need to be quoted here.

With regards to Myers, his work has been scrutinised and has been found to contain some inaccuracies and personal bias.TBH he is not one to be used as an expert or informed opinion, he has his own agenda and axe to grind and his feet are planted firmly in one camp :whistle:

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Murrough wrote:

"Another few to add to the list should be,

Sgt Martin Doyle VC,MM.

Lieut.Emmet Dalton MC.

L/C George Adamson DCM.

Obviously these were on the Irish Pro-Independence side but ithought I would add their names(just for for balance,of course.)"

This thread actually began: "I'd like some information, preferrably with sources on some of the Great War veterans who participated in the successful counter-insurgency in Ireland in this period,"

Former Army and R.F.C./R.A.F. men who participated on the Republican side are another matter altogether!

For example, Sgt. Martin Doyle, V.C., mentioned above, was an I.R.A. spy.

He left the Army in 1919 and took up a post as a civilian worker on the British Army base in Ennis, Co. Clare. It later turned out that he was an intelligence officer for the I.R.A.,, and he received the Black and Tan Medal* later.

He joined the new Free State Army in 1922 and fought in the Civil War. He is buried in Grangegorman Military cemetery with a headstone which looks very like a standard C.W.G.C. stone, but it was set up by his colleagues in the Munsters.

*Named after the uniforms of some of the Auxiliaries: black (very dark green) jackets (R.I.C.) and tan/khaki breeches (Army). The medal ribbon has these colours.

Rather proves my point, popular Irish nationalism is obsessed with the Black and Tans, hence the colour of the ribbon, not the green olive of the RIC constable or khaki of soldiers (and ex-soldiers) murdered by their neighbours just for the 'crime' of being different or ordinary Unionists slaughtered and ethnically cleansed simply not supporting Republicanism. But now thankfully that's changing. For the first time the Dublin government is sending representatives to commemorate the Somme this year. If they can now publicly appreciate the Irish regiments how long before the RIC and DMP follow?

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Thanks for the links, just confirms what I said about Gerald Smyth,one of his main convictions was to advocate the shooting of unarmed civilians,that and the fact that he was a police commander was probably why he was murdered, (despite your attempt to apply some retrospective revisionist sectarian blather to the event).As regards George,you are probably looking at the reports of a military inquiry which tried to determine what happened, the raid appears to have been a botch job from the start,reports/witness statements are obviously rehearsed,Jeune is the only one who may have told some of the truth at a later stage.George Smyth was in a rage and vowing revenge on all and sundry, this may have clouded his judgement and dulled his previous martial prowess, but then again they were soldiers who were trying to be police and as such were totally unsuited to the situation at the time.(Frontline trench experience does not prepare men for police work in Ireland)Poor Carolan ended up dead as well most likely shot (maybe by accident)while undergoing "questioning"

Glad to see you have a sense of humour with regards to your remarks about Martin Doyle VC MM,but quite mischievous all the same(when a person or event goes against your orthodoxy you have to cast aspersions on his motives(sure everybody who voted for Home rule/Independence were either misguided and or coerced according to your doctrine, Irish people wanted Independence/Home rule,you could'nt accept it then and you can't still accept it now,you need to get over it)

Whlie Hart's work may have some merit ,his methodolgy and use of sources have been examined by many experts in the academic world and have been found to be wanting/flawed/wrong, do a search, most of the papers are quite long and dont need to be quoted here.

With regards to Myers, his work has been scrutinised and has been found to contain some inaccuracies and personal bias.TBH he is not one to be used as an expert or informed opinion, he has his own agenda and axe to grind and his feet are planted firmly in one camp

Glad you enjoyed the links. Smyth advocated shooting civilian who refused to take their hands out of their pockets because so many good men had been murdered by those who didn't (Bernard Montgomery advocates the same in his letters) . He was murdered because the RIC and DMP were being murdered from January 1919 onwards and nothing to do with what he said, only for what he was, a Unionist. His tactics were sound and similar to this which finally let us win

'Retrospective, revisionist, sectarian blather? :w00t: You mean caring about the Irish people and not thinking that anyone deserves to be killed because of their religion, politics, cultural identity and that we should all live in peace and democracy? Irish Unionists opposed Home Rule because they feared that they would be persecuted and discriminated against in an independent Ireland. And fair play to the them Irish Nationalists since 1916 have done everything they could to prove them right. It's only in the last couple of decades that this is really changing

The only botched aspect of the Carolan raid was that on hearing the shots the troops on the cordon outside rushed in to help allowing the gunmen to escape. Captain Jeune's account in Willian Sheehans British Voices and Michael Foy in The Intelligence War are good (If you want a good laugh read Dan Breen's). The British Army actually proved pretty adaptable especially Major Percival in with his mobile columns. Carolan may have been shot in revenge or genuinely by accident, either way that's what happens to those who harbour murderers

Sorry to see you have no sense of reality in relation to Doyle, fine to want Home Rule or eventually full independence, wrong to murder anyone who doesn't or just doesn't fit in to an extremist nationalist movement's vision of what their country should be. Many people were coerced, Sir Ormonde Winter, comments that he had many Unionist friends who gave money to the IRA, otherwise they would simply have been labelled 'informers' and murdered.

When did the security forces go too far? Well, in my opinion it was wrong of them to execute 5 captured terrorists for every person the IRA killed. And wrong for them to tie prisoners to a mine and set it off.....oh wait, now that I think of it, that wasn't the British Army :hypocrite:

I think you'd better get used to 'revisionism' (by no means a negative term) because a lot of sacred cows are going to be heading to the abbatoir in the next few years.

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jdoyle

Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth should really be discounted from this thread (and this thread should have already been closed by the mods). He was only in Ireland post Great War for a very short time and had no real involvement in the "successful (?) counter-insurgency in Ireland in this period". He made some comments at Listowel (very similar to those made previously by Richard Mulcahy on his release from Fron Goch), was subsequently shot and then used as propaganda fodder by all 3 sides.

A very good and able soldier during the Great War, he made little contribution in Ireland (committed no atrocities, led no charges against Irish freedom fighters, arrested no members of the Republican Government, initiated no great strategy).

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Hasn't been shut yet although I have requested it. And to use to the term 'freedom fighters ' is obscene

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Dez

Hello Lt. Col. Gerald Smyth,

Brig. Gen. E.A.Wood as well as being a contemporary of Capt. William Lorraine King was his Commanding Officer in the Aux. Div. Often described as a South African, Capt. W.L. King was actually born in London in 1884. Capt. King also qualifies as a Great War Hero being awarded the military Cross twice, the Distinguished Conduct Medal and was mentioned in dispatches. Capt. King was a controversial figure during the time he spent in Ireland but this does not negate his service during the Great War.

Dez

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Murrough

Rather proves my point, popular Irish nationalism is obsessed with the Black and Tans, hence the colour of the ribbon, not the green olive of the RIC constable or khaki of soldiers (and ex-soldiers) murdered by their neighbours just for the 'crime' of being different or ordinary Unionists slaughtered and ethnically cleansed simply not supporting Republicanism. But now thankfully that's changing. For the first time the Dublin government is sending representatives to commemorate the Somme this year. If they can now publicly appreciate the Irish regiments how long before the RIC and DMP follow?

"Popular Irish Nationialism" (the view held by the majority of the people at the time and still popular today) was in a struggle for its very existence at the time of the war of Independence, that it eventually prevailed is still a sore point for many on this island but we need to mobve on.

The murder of ex soldiers is something that happened but is grossly exaggerated by revisionists, estimates put the number at approx 200(over a period of 2 years) out of a total of approx 180,000 men who served in uniform( a minuscule % and not a wholesale slaughter which you would like to portray) while some were undoubtedly innocent, some others may not(even the Crown forces got it wrong sometimes)we still dont know how many of the estimated 200 were killed by crown forces(CSM McDonnell ex Connaught Rangers murdered in Clifden in Mar 1921 is one who springs to mind).

As for the Goverment celebrating Irish regiments, I and most people I know have no problem with that ,all they are doing is paying respects to the thousands of Nationialists/Homerulers and others who fought for the freedom of Ireland,these men deserve to be recognised for their contribution to Irish freedom and the unionist community deserve credit for keeping their memory alive (albeit for different reasons)when their sacrifice was forgotten in the south.

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Hello Lt. Col. Gerald Smyth,

Brig. Gen. E.A.Wood as well as being a contemporary of Capt. William Lorraine King was his Commanding Officer in the Aux. Div. Often described as a South African, Capt. W.L. King was actually born in London in 1884. Capt. King also qualifies as a Great War Hero being awarded the military Cross twice, the Distinguished Conduct Medal and was mentioned in dispatches. Capt. King was a controversial figure during the time he spent in Ireland but this does not negate his service during the Great War.

Dez

And the Boer War too judging from what I've read. I'm still intrigued as to his death in Palestine in WW2, in action, accident or natural causes?

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

"Popular Irish Nationialism" (the view held by the majority of the people at the time and still popular today) was in a struggle for its very existence at the time of the war of Independence, that it eventually prevailed is still a sore point for many on this island but we need to mobve on.

The murder of ex soldiers is something that happened but is grossly exaggerated by revisionists, estimates put the number at approx 200(over a period of 2 years) out of a total of approx 180,000 men who served in uniform( a minuscule % and not a wholesale slaughter which you would like to portray) while some were undoubtedly innocent, some others may not(even the Crown forces got it wrong sometimes)we still dont know how many of the estimated 200 were killed by crown forces(CSM McDonnell ex Connaught Rangers murdered in Clifden in Mar 1921 is one who springs to mind).

As for the Goverment celebrating Irish regiments, I and most people I know have no problem with that ,all they are doing is paying respects to the thousands of Nationialists/Homerulers and others who fought for the freedom of Ireland,these men deserve to be recognised for their contribution to Irish freedom and the unionist community deserve credit for keeping their memory alive (albeit for different reasons)when their sacrifice was forgotten in the south.

Innocent of what exactly? What were the others guilty of? Why exactly did they deserve to die? What is wholesale slaughter? Do 200 good men not count? (and those killed by the security forces were into double figures I think we'd all be amazed)

Popular Irish Nationalism was in it's hour of triumph in 1912 with the Home Rule Bill, they finally had what they wanted. But they threw it all away by reverting to type and confirming every fear that Irish Unionism ever had.

All the Irish soldiers of the Great War fought for Ireland's freedom, to preserve the democracy and liberty we had enjoyed for centuries

That said we live in hopeful times. I recently read that they may consider restoring the colours of the southern Irish regiments to Dublin. Maybe then we can have this thread without me requesting that the mods close it

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Murrough

Glad you enjoyed the links. Smyth advocated shooting civilian who refused to take their hands out of their pockets because so many good men had been murdered by those who didn't (Bernard Montgomery advocates the same in his letters) . He was murdered because the RIC and DMP were being murdered from January 1919 onwards and nothing to do with what he said, only for what he was, a Unionist. His tactics were sound and similar to this which finally let us win

'Retrospective, revisionist, sectarian blather? :w00t: You mean caring about the Irish people and not thinking that anyone deserves to be killed because of their religion, politics, cultural identity and that we should all live in peace and democracy? Irish Unionists opposed Home Rule because they feared that they would be persecuted and discriminated against in an independent Ireland. And fair play to the them Irish Nationalists since 1916 have done everything they could to prove them right. It's only in the last couple of decades that this is really changing

The only botched aspect of the Carolan raid was that on hearing the shots the troops on the cordon outside rushed in to help allowing the gunmen to escape. Captain Jeune's account in Willian Sheehans British Voices and Michael Foy in The Intelligence War are good (If you want a good laugh read Dan Breen's). The British Army actually proved pretty adaptable especially Major Percival in with his mobile columns. Carolan may have been shot in revenge or genuinely by accident, either way that's what happens to those who harbour murderers

Sorry to see you have no sense of reality in relation to Doyle, fine to want Home Rule or eventually full independence, wrong to murder anyone who doesn't or just doesn't fit in to an extremist nationalist movement's vision of what their country should be. Many people were coerced, Sir Ormonde Winter, comments that he had many Unionist friends who gave money to the IRA, otherwise they would simply have been labelled 'informers' and murdered.

When did the security forces go too far? Well, in my opinion it was wrong of them to execute 5 captured terrorists for every person the IRA killed. And wrong for them to tie prisoners to a mine and set it off.....oh wait, now that I think of it, that wasn't the British Army :hypocrite:

I think you'd better get used to 'revisionism' (by no means a negative term) because a lot of sacred cows are going to be heading to the abbatoir in the next few years.

You stil have your head in the sand I see,still living in the past ;) Irish people attaining Independence still really rankles with some on this island, like I said get over it,its done.

BTW it was the Loyal Unionists who introduced the guns into the Home rules crisis (larne gun running which was ignored by the authorities) and they were even prepared to forcibly resist the majority democratic decision of the day( try and revise that ).Nationalists then started to wake up and arm themselves but Homerulers were not treated so kindly at the Howth gun running incident when the Crown Forces tried to stop it and civilians were murdered.Redmonds call to join up was the last desperate act to achieve Independence in a peaceful manner but the die was set.

Your comment on ethnic cleansing does not deserve comment but suffice to say a term coined to describe real 1990's events should not be applied retrospectively to some isolated incidents in the past.

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Murrough

Why were innocent civilians shot by security forces ? why were houses and property burned?why were people arrested for wanting independence an the right to self determination( isnt that what unionism advocated when they resisted home Rule)

And remember a great number of Irish men fought in a British unifom for IRISH independence( be it in or out of the British empire).

Maybe you should report the thread to the mods again if its not to your liking I am sure you've been reported yourself.

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KGB

Sighs loudly. OK my final comment here. The reasons for joining up in 1914 were numerous and in Wexford it was poverty that was the best recruiting Sergeant. Nite!

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Murrough

Sighs loudly. OK my final comment here. The reasons for joining up in 1914 were numerous and in Wexford it was poverty that was the best recruiting Sergeant. Nite!

What! but he started it, no no sorry you started it. :unsure:

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KGB

Let's blame Bosnia!

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AlanCurragh

Closed by request of the thread starter

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