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ianmccallum

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rob elliott

Ian,

We don't do revolution in England, the Empire wouldn't collapse and the king be dethroned. Even when the American Colonies broke away the UK stood, even then foolish Irishmen thought they could copy that and the French revolution.

Did George Washington, as a British Officer not go against the government? The Counrty will always prevail.

Rhetoric from a labour MP about bringing the workers out, they tried that with the general strike in the 20's. That failed too. Surely threatening armed insurrection is against the law.

Legally the UVf never did that, they satyed, just, inside the law as it stood. The government then kept trying to move the goalposts [importation of arms, drilling etc] still didn't work.

Interesting comment about the Officers not firing on 'their' class. Couldn't exactly call West Belfast Orangemen middle Class. The socialist papers should have been behind the Unionists and the UVF. Surely an organisation that encompasses all classes in a common struggle is the Utopia the wanted.

Regarding public support, the demonstrations held across the UK in support of the Unionists were massive, much larger than most people realise.

From 1910-14 regular weekly demonstrations were held, with the likes of Carson and Craig attending together with members form the 'British League for the Support of Ulster', who raised 10,000 volunteers. These pledged themselves with their own 'Covenant'.

They saw it as quite the opposite to what you say. If the Unionists did not stand up to the Government then it the Empire could be in danger.

An Officer is given the right to resign his commission and occasionaly is requested to do so, even in times of war if his conduct is unbecoming.

Rankers do not have that luxury, there is a reason for that, if you believe it's class based then that's ok but it's worked fine for a good 200 years.

The level of Intelligent free thinkers that supported the Unionists give rise to the belief that their cause was just, men like Conan-Doyle, Elgar, Kipling, were not mindless bigots.

On the other side of the fence who was supporting Redmond, i suppose Winston Churchill was the most prominent to go over to Ireland.

And what did he say about having Ulster at our backs in WW2. Good job he failed then in 1914. Interestingly a few weeks ago a letter was auctioned in sotheby's New York from Winston to Lloyd George, dated 1912 where he says an agreement should be made where by counties can opt out of Home Rule. Pity they didn't push that policy then.

The South would have had a government by the time of the war and could then have showed the Unionists it's loyalty.

Another interesting thing in the letter was that HR was not the Liberals biggest concern. They had three more difficult isues to sort that affected the UK.

Suffarage for women, the Insurance act and the Welsh Church Bill. Churchill wanted HR done and out of the way as these other things could cause greater long term disruption.

Rob

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Anneca

Sorry Ian, I thought you had the book and now realize it was Rob. In the preface to his book “The Road to the Somme (Men of the Ulster Division Tell their Story)” the author explains he had attempted to piece together memories of veterans of the First World War and try to interview those veterans who were still alive. He went on to research archives in places such as the Royal Ulster Rifles Regimental Museum and discovered dusty but preserved diaries, letters, postcards and sketchbooks which he said had yielded up secrets about the deeply bonded group of young men whose fate had been sealed on 1 July 1916. He had been helped by others who in previous years had interviewed numerous veterans and became aware of the wide range of men who went from Ireland to fight in the British Army. He realized that Irishmen of every kind fought on the British side and although his book followed the story of a largely Protestant division of men formed from the old UVF, it was his intention to commemorate all the Irishmen who gave so much in a war they found difficult to understand. His book was intended as a contribution to the questioning process of the supposed glory or dying or killing for one’s country which was a task he thought we must continually undertake.

I know we cannot judge the content of a book containing veterans’ recollections as factual, but Orr has stated that the fascination of oral testimony in history is its subjectivity, revealing how things were, or seemed to be, for the participant in or witness to historic events. I have read the book with interest, trying to get a feel of what it must have been like for the men but, like you, I have find it difficult to believe there were Orange and Masonic Lodges. I have read some of the War Diaries from the time which I have found interesting and are obviously factual, not memories, accurate or otherwise, of those who fought. You ask me to elaborate and put things into context but the book seems to go back and forth with recollections in between, although keeping to a timeline. A quote from the book regarding the Orange spirit:

“Many men were in the Orange and Masonic lodges at home, and these parent lodges often had military ‘offspring’ with a special wartime charter for meetings at the front. At these lodge meetings in France men encountered old friends, made new ones and caught up with what was happening at home. They talked openly at these meetings without fear of disciplinary proceedings, and so the lodges may have been a valuable vent for feelings stirred up by the miseries of war. Officers and men met on an equal basis, much to the displeasure of some HQ staff, and yet this allowed the officers to know – much more accurately than in many other divisions – just how the men were feeling. When the lodge meetings were held in one of the French villages, the occasion could prove very enjoyable, as one of the Orangeman recalled: ‘You couldn’t get a pint of porter, but the wine was cheap and there was always a hunk of French cheese and long loaves of French bread and we had these after the meeting was over. There was little or nothing to do at times, and it broke up the night for you….now and then we had officers present and it did your heart good to see them respect the Worshipful Master and maybe him a private. It was just like home at some of those meetings….you felt the better of them for a week afterwards.’ The bonding effects of the Orange and Volunteer spirit are also emphasized in the following comment by a soldier: ‘I could not turn down an invitation to go and meet again men who stood with me on the quayside that Friday night we brought the guns in….It is difficult for the English to understand the loyalty we have for each other and the comradeship we enjoy as Orangemen.’ In a war where there was a considerable social barrier between officers and ranks – a barrier that would have been detrimental to good leadership – lodge meetings amongst the Ulster Volunteers let the men in the ranks see that their officers were, indeed, fellow human beings. ‘A lodge meeting showed the other side of the officer’s character. He was not a bloody minded fearless man ordering you out to be shot, but a man with a job to do – and he did it, not because he liked it all that much but because he had it to do.’ “

I have to say I am not an expert by any means on this subject, only a novice with an interest in the subject and I have thoroughly enjoyed the debate which has gone on in this thread between many of you who are much more learned on the subject.

Anne

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ianmccallum

Rob

We don't do revolution in England. I am sure that's what Charles I, James II and VII and with regards the workers the Czar thought. I didn't suggest there were not many millions of people in Britain that supported Unionism, there very obviously were. Your point about demonstrations held across the UK in support of the Unionists were massive, also makes the point that the country was divided. The two examples I gave of contemporary accounts that specifically express fears for the Empire cannot be ignored. They were not Marxist-Socialists but two middle class English Officers. One, Maj. Gen. Sir Charles Fergusson a very senior officer and deeply involved in the actual incident. Surely his opinion must be weighed in the balance. I think I confused you regarding the trade union's plea, it was aimed at the men in the army telling them to "remember your officers have exercised an opinion as to obeying orders, and asking them (the men) to resolve they would never fire a shot against their own class." When the Army Officers became involved in politics it not only introduced a new aspect to of the Home Rule debate, but at the same time it opened up a completely new issue, one of the military's involvement in politics. I am sure very many staunch Unionists, remained committed to the cause, but believed the principle that the officers had no right to become involved. The rights of an officer to resign his commission, or the rankers having no rights, is not the point. It is the principle that the military should not interfere in the democratic process of representative government. That is why the King is there, he is the focus of national loyalty, and being above politics himself, allows the military to be impartial irrespective of what political party is in power. The problem was a few politicians and officers, mostly Anglo-Irish officers with obvious vested interests, embroiled the army officers in politics for the first time in centuries. Anyway, since it was nipped in the bud, there is no telling where a full blown mutiny (for want of a better word) in 1914 could have gone, therefore any opinions as to likely outcome is purely conjecture. At what point in a democracy does standing up to the government stop? The American Revolution had little effect on England in 1776, too busy worrying about the French and the Dutch who were obviously much closer to home. Tens of thousands of the Ulster-Scots deeply involved in the American revolution of course. I know what Churchill said about Ulster at our backs in 1942, but I wouldn't have like Winston Churchill at my back, in December 1940 when he offered Ulster back to De Valera for the use of Irish ports and Eire's involvement in the war. I really don't want to get into the rights and wrongs of the politics of Ireland, I'm sure better minds than ours have pondered the conundrum and gotten nowhere. I also think we are straying into opinion and conjecture which is never a good idea. We are now a million miles from Forbidden Flag which started us off. I appreciate your insights into the UVF which I found interesting and enlightening.Let me know the details about Redmond's nephew when you feel able please. Just to lighten the mood. A WW2 bomber has been caught in the searchlights over Berlin. Raked with flak, one engine is out, the other on fire, most of the crew are dead or wounded. The Irish pilot mutters to himself "Thank God de Valera kept us out of this bloody war!"

Ian

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Murrough

Thank you lady and gents for the input,some interesting points have been raised.

Firstly,Redmond could never have taken Col Moores advice on holding back the reservists, it would have been seized on immediately by his opponents as an example of his disloyalty, while this decision now appears militarily naive, he was a wily old political campaigner and as not going to make a mistake like that and give ammunition to his opponents on the "loyalty" question and just as importantly he firmly believed in the war effort and that a solid contribution from the Nationalists would would strenghten his hand in negotiations when the war was concluded.As you said he wanted something akin to Dominion status and politically I would describe him as a conservative nationalist(if that makes sense)

The Curragh Mutiny may have involved a small number of "Ascendancy Officers"( and others who had similar sympathies, 57 out of 70 refused to obey orders)) but its effects were significant in the Home rule movement, they realised that the Government of the day had no control over its officer class and their was a feeling that had the roles been reversed the army would have had no reservations carrying out orders.It was just not "defence of the Empire argument" they also wanted to damage Home rule. , The Howth and Larne incidents were other situations where the Nationalists were treated differently,The Howth incident was a bit of a publicity stunt but the authorities reaction again inflamed the nationalists and it appeared to them that sinister forces were at work and that a bias in favour of the unionists was now the order of the day.People in high places and British intelligence appear to have been aware of the Larne gun smuggling but a decision was taken at some level not to intercept the weapons,while it may have been an efficient operation the means were there to foil it but that was not done.

Rob,I will have to bow to your superior knowledge and experience of the Armed forces when you contend that an armed organisation's efficiency should not be damaged by a shortage of men of officer class but I would contend that it was an impediment to military effectiveness considering the military emphasis on officers and their abilities pertaining to that period.I agree the Irish Volunteers in the Rising did ok in holding some easily defended strongholds in Dublin (without military experience)but it must be remembered they were the hardcore republicans who were most committed to their cause and a level of fanaticism and blood sacrifice was involved.

With regard to Col Moore, my point was that Moore was soldier who was then also involved in political matters, and as I said earlier his advice to Redmond while militarily astute would have been political suicide , BTW General Parsons (16 Irish div) was very disparaging of Moore and stated " he is of no use" This may have been Parsons reaction to an old soldier(Moore) involving himself in political matters(Home Rule) rather than a comment on his military abilities.

While there may have been some like Shepard who flirted with Irish Nationalism, most of the protestant nationalists I listed were quite committed to their political beliefs,Barton was a signatory of the Treaty,Blythe became the first Free state minister of Finance,Hobson was employed in the civil service in Dublin,as was Figgis,Meredith was an Irish supreme court judge,Myles remained in Ireland and is buried in Dublin,Burgess was killed in the civil war and the 2 others were as you pointed out were executed(one by the British and one by the Irish.This suggests to me that this is hardly the actions of people who were not committed to their cause ,none of them sought sanctuary in any middle class drawing rooms and took a full part in the conflict.Sometimes today we can be cynical about the motives of the people involved in the conflict but we must remember they lived by a different set of ideals(could you imagine todays youth at recruiting stations like in 1914)and what now seems naive to us were actually very strongly held beliefs.

Reagrds,

M.

With reference to the "silly badges",Redmond felt that a more Irish flavour to the 16th Irish Div. would have been a huge boost to the recruiting drive,and by 1918 it seems that the war office agreed with him when they advocated a distinct Wolfhound badge and uniform for an "Irish Brigade"

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rob elliott

Ian,

The 'Glorious revolution' involving James [seamus a caca] wasn't quite a revolutin was it. He ran off and was replaced by his daughter and son-in-law. Unfortunately he went to Ireland and got a lot of decent irishmen killed fighting for the wrong side.

The Pope supported William against Louis.

Charles brought it on himself, believing in absolute Monarchy. that was more about him than the system. he was James' father as well.

Bad family.

The Curragh wasn't the first time soldiers were getting into politics over Home Rule.

Albeit on a smaller local level, in 1913 Junior Officers and NCOs' from Ebrington barracks Londonderry registered to vote so they could support the Unionist candidate Colonel Packenham, the Nationalist election agent put an objection into the registration court.

Quite large transcripts are in the local papers naming all those involved. The objection was, besides being Unionist Voters, they didn't pay rates living in barracks. The soldiers won the right to vote.

While soldiers can vote they will be involved in Politics. Governments don't have Carte Blanche to do as they please with the constitution

Good book to read about English support for th Unionists is 'Popular Opposition to Irish Home Rule in Edwardian Britain'.

Fergusson was a soldier for life. For him there woud be nothing but the call of duty, he continued that after the war. His thoughts are useful to get the picture of a proffesional soldier not involved in the politics but i can't help but feel Lancashire Mill workers asking for a pay rise would be a threat to the Empire for him.

The other Officer far more worried about his career than taking a risk 'i'd like to resign but better stay here 'for the regiment'.

Yes of course he would. be interesting to see how his career did develop.

The Officers letters in PRONI UVF intelligence file are make it clear they were prepared to throw in with Gough. Wilfred Spender did the same when he went to work for Carson & Craig.

Your right though, we've drifted a little.

Anne,

Another good book i'd recommend is Tim Bowman's 'Irish regiments Morale & discipline' covers lots of interesting things, very factual.

The Apprentice Boys met and had a parade with the 10th Inniskilling band in France. Burnt two Lundy's as well. A big one and a little one at Gorenflos, December 1915.

Got in trouble as they made bombs out of jam tins and blew up the pond, broke windows in some houses with the blasts.

There is a very good book called 'Three Cheers for the Derry's' by Gardiner Mitchell. Based on the recollections of Jim Donaghy and Leslie Bell. Is a very nice read.

Another good one is the contemporary 'With the Ulster Division in France' A.P.Samuels.

Anne it is the Ulster Divison you are interested in, a particular unit?

Rob

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Murrough

The 16th struggled to get ready for overseas. Divisions went out roughly in the order of the number they were given, in K1, K2 etc, around 12 months after formation. But the 16th were way behind their alloted time as they weren't up to scratch. They should have been around august 1915 but was in December. The 36th Ulster Division was October.

There was no way that Redmond could form one division of volunteers let alone two. The Engineers, artillary and some infantry companies were English. As were the pioneer Btn. So possibly 12,000 were Irish out of 18,000.

I agree that Redmond could not have form 2 divisions from the volunteers, but he helped supply one Irish division (16th) with recruits.There were many contributing factors to the delay of the 16th going overseas but by saying "not up to scratch" I take it you are referring to the shortage of arms and equipment which hindered training( I suppose southern Ireland was last in the supply chain, but the 36th had their own private source and were not overly affected).There was also a transfer of men to the 10th Irish division to bolster numbers when recruiting to that division was poor( indeed one example was in june 1915 when 1,200 men(49th bde)volunteered to transfer to the 10th Irish div who were then going overseas, 72 of the 7th skins transferred to the 5th Connaughts in may 1915) all these factors hindered the readiness of the 16th,Redmond pleaded for all Irish recruits to be channeled to the 16th to make up the loss but this was ignored. The support units and pioneers were English but the vast majority of the Infantry men were Irish(and I should note the Jersey and Guernsey men),while the 16th were late to France compared to other divisions they were in the line at hulloch by the end of March 1916 attached to 1 corps under the command of Hubert Gough( staunch unionist who did not trust the 16th div) who had requested they be placed under his command.

From January to the end of may 1916 the division suffered 3,500 casualties and in the 3 months of Jun,July,and August, they suffered a further 2,700 casualties the majority being infantry.

For the period 1-10 September the division,s casualties (all branches) were 240 officers and 4,090 men out of 435 and 10,400 who started the battles on the Somme (Guillmont and Ginchy)

Denman states that 71% of the men killed while serving with Irish infantry Battalions in the 16th were Irish born.

The total number of casualties for the division were approx 28,000.

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Murrough
I'm sorry i'm not going to be too good on naming Catholic Unionists. I'm trying to think of the guy that took up the position in the first Stormont government, think he was finance minister. Critics always say, ah but he was bought up in a protestant household. So that just proves the point, it wasn't so much about religion, but what your politics were.

You mentioned Doyle and Elgar but they were English, I find it strange i cannot find any prominent Irish Catholics, maybe religion was more of an influence than you think, you would expect to see more prominent catholic unionists if religion was not a factor.

Albeit on a smaller local level, in 1913 Junior Officers and NCOs' from Ebrington barracks Londonderry registered to vote so they could support the Unionist candidate Colonel Packenham, the Nationalist election agent put an objection into the registration court.

Quite large transcripts are in the local papers naming all those involved. The objection was, besides being Unionist Voters, they didn't pay rates living in barracks. The soldiers won the right to vote.

Forgive me if I am wrong but was not your earlier contention that Catholics voted Unionist because the nationalist candidate(Hogg) only won by 50 votes, I thought your reasoning was that the Nationalist should have won by a much larger majority, therefore catholics must have voted for a Unionist, would not the fact that a new(if they were) cohort of voters were now voting skew voting patterns and make the election a closer battle.

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Nickmetcalfe

Jeepers - a few days away from the forum and you chaps write a whole book. The quality of the musings here are why I love this website. Nothing of consequence to add - too much to read.

Nick

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ianmccallum

Hi Guys and gal

Got to wind this up. Getting ready for some time in the sun. Too much rain and snow here.

Rob

While soldiers can vote they will be involved in Politics! No problem with soldiers voting, they have every right the same as every other individual, but the Curragh wasn't about exercising the franchise. It was in fact the exact opposite and undermined democracy. No matter how you look at it the officers should not have got involved with the Home Rule politics as Army Officers, the mutiny was a political tactic.

Fergusson was a soldier for life, but how many others were there like him in the army, thousands I would suggest. By definition they too would therefore have been thinking along the same lines.

The other Officer far more worried about his career than taking a risk! I think your doing him a massive injustice. The guy was obviously torn and concerned about the effect on the army and Empire, why not credit him with coming to an honourable decision. Might not be the one you'd make but that doesn't make it any less genuine.

Career officers, officers with nationalist sympathies, officers who were coerced or who went along through peer pressure, officers who were genuinely apolitical, officers who sympathised with cause but simply believed the mutiny was the wrong way to go about things, the numbers against are starting to stack up.

M

Col Moore's advice on holding back the reservists. Admittedly, its easy with hindsight, but that doesn't make Moore's advice any less militarily correct at the time. The point is Moore's advice was military advice and not political, the political ramifications wasn't his concern, his concern was the backbone of the Irish Volunteers was being removed. Redmond made a political decision, do I trust the English to do the right thing and get the political brownie points for being loyal, or do I take the political flak, dig in and demand Home Rule immediately promising 15,000 or 20,000 reservists delivered en-mass to the barracks gate the day Home Rule is on the statute book. The Irish Reservists, if controllable, were a massive political advantage, particularly over the first three months of the war. Rob and I already spoke about the likelihood of being able to hold back the reservist and I think we both agreed that they probably couldn't, certainly not them all. So it was all "What If." Had Redmond been able to hold the Reservists and had he decided to take the flak, I am sure you recognise the possibilities. Think of the BEF deploying to France without the Irish Reservists, what are we talking about 20,000. Plus Glasgow Irish, Liverpool Irish, London Irish, Tyneside Irish. Redmond was seen by the expats as the leader of the Irish race and had enormous influence among them. Unfortunately for the constitutional nationalists Redmond was too honourable and too much of an Anglophile to contemplate such action. He was a wily old political campaigner over the previous quarter century certainly but he was by 1914 a relic of a past age and now too naive, too trusting and increasingly weak, all bad characteristics to have as a politician. With reference to the "silly badges" Redmond felt that a more Irish flavour to the 16th Irish Div. would have been a huge boost to the recruiting drive. Not too convinced about that, despite the British Army taint, the Irish regiments within the 16th Division were already as overtly Irish then as the Scottish regiments are today. Irish warpipe bands playing Irish rebel tunes, Irish wolfhound mascots, Irish insignia, Irish regimental traditions and Battle honours etc. It didn't stop Joe Devlin bringing down a full battalion (1000) of Belfast Nationalist Volunteers for the 6th Connaughts. Redmond himself was probably the biggest hindrance to recruiting with his insistence on calling the Division the Irish Brigade, it certainly cause mayhem in the recruiting offices on the mainland. It was still causing confusion in the Glasgow recruiting offices in December 1914. Had he been stronger with Gen. Parsons he could have had the Tyneside Irish Brigade, 5000 Irishmen en-mass. Parson's only objection to the Tyneside Irish was that he didn't want "Slumbirds" in his Division. In the event, despite all the recruiting effort he barely raised a Division and as the whole recruiting thing dragged on, people lost interest in his recruiting efforts. By the end of 1915, the Recruiting Sergeant for the British Army label was beginning to stick. Home Rule was on the books but suspended completely negated the fact, it meant nothing to the people of the street and he was loosing power, influence and credibility almost by the month and got even worse when he refuse a seat in the coalition, in what was another bad decision. He was of course genuinely concerned about Belgium and was personally fully signed up to the British war effort. Reference Gen. Parsons, the man barely acknowledges the existence of people he considered beneath his social standing and Moore not only fell into that category, but when he broke ranks in South Africa vis-a-vis the concentration camps his fate was sealed. Moore was a natural leader and was greatly respected by the men of the Connaught Rangers.

Reference the lack of nationalist officers. The point I was making was in the highly unlikely event of an all out shooting war between Unionists and Nationalists where the Brits say let them get on with it. The clash of forces would not be a classic set piece battle where the chain of command is a vital component of the engagement and formalised formations like platoons, companies, battalions or Brigades take the field. Had the forces actually clashed, it would have been more like the Tan War fighting in the cities, towns and villages. In this type of fighting its sergeants and ncos take the lead and practicalities such as local knowledge, resupply of ammunition and local support from the population that are key.

Finally Anne

Thanks for taking the time to put your post into context for me. I have absolutely no problem with the concept of Lodge meetings in the rear areas. I'd be very surprised if they didn't. Male bonding, camaraderie etc, are very important in such circumstances and the gathering of friends and acquaintances under conditions that felt like being home would have been very comforting and a terrific morale booster. It's a curious fact that soldiers eagerly deploy abroad, but as soon as they get there all they think of is home.

Ian

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Anneca

Anne,

Another good book i'd recommend is Tim Bowman's 'Irish regiments Morale & discipline' covers lots of interesting things, very factual.

The Apprentice Boys met and had a parade with the 10th Inniskilling band in France. Burnt two Lundy's as well. A big one and a little one at Gorenflos, December 1915.

Got in trouble as they made bombs out of jam tins and blew up the pond, broke windows in some houses with the blasts.

There is a very good book called 'Three Cheers for the Derry's' by Gardiner Mitchell. Based on the recollections of Jim Donaghy and Leslie Bell. Is a very nice read.

Another good one is the contemporary 'With the Ulster Division in France' A.P.Samuels.

Anne it is the Ulster Divison you are interested in, a particular unit?

Rob

Rob, thank you for the suggestions regarding books. I borrowed the book 'Irish Regiments Morale & Discipline' some time ago when I was looking for information about why a particular Corporal had lost two stripes in a disciplinary matter at the Somme. I didn't find any reference to him but enjoyed the book. I think 'With the Ulster Division in France' might be about the 11th Bn and if you think it is a good read I will look for it. You ask if my interest is in the 36th (Ulster) Division and it is. I am interested in 107th Bde and in particular the 8th Bn. I have copies of War Diaries of 8th and 9th RIR WO95/2503 courtesy of another GWF member and have found them extremely interesting.

I must say I have very much enjoyed the banter in this thread.

Regards, Anne

Ian - Have a great time in the sun!

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Murrough

Yes Ian we should leave it at that, it would be a quare auld world if we all agreed on everything.Have a good time in the sun Ian, I shall we enjoying a rain lashed rugby match between the Irish "Wolfhounds" and the English "Saxons" (honest).

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rob elliott

Ian,

Holiday??? You can't abandon us!

One thing i do find interesting in your thinking and that's you feel it would have been ok for reservists to disobay a direct order to return to their regiments, in order to support Redmond's 'hold back', but think it wrong of Gough to carry out the perfectly legitimate action of resigning his commission. He was never given a direct order that he disobeyed. He was given a scenario that he responded to by saying he would resign and therefore offered this, due to the mishandling of it by the government the Officers,as Murrough says 57 from 70 the good majority, chose to go. As it stood one officer resigning was a little problem, 57 was a crisis. As you say soldiers can vote. That was a vote of no confidence in the government.

To be honest senior Officers above Colonel level have little interest for me, but i am impressed that Gough took the gamble that could have ruined his reputation. He was't to be sure those that said they would follow his lead would do so. He didn't put pressure on them.

True he had poitical friends that would have stood behind him, but still being put on the spot like that with little time to re-act, he did well.

However well intentioned he thought he was being it was foolish of Redmond to interfere. You do not see Carson shouting about what he wanted.

If the reservists had been held back it would have left Redmond completely exposed to the call of 'traitor'.

Kitchener wanted the men of the UVF, so via Col Hickman he approached Carson, asked for volunteers and was told the conditions.

After negotiating the requirements the deal was done and that was it really as afr as carson was concerned other than the general call for recruits. Redmond started to become a little desperate.

Personally i think John redmond missed a great opportunity. If, when war was declared, he had gone and accepted Home Rule as it stood for the 26 counties he could have offered the hand of friendship to Ulster and said let's fight the war side by side, to show his good intentions and prove that they could work together, then possibly he could have headed off the Easter rising and thus full partition.

As it was he left the door open for 1916 as the more militant part of Irish society saw no way forward.

By the end of the war the ountry could have had 4 years of self government, by which time feelings would have cooled and reasonable discussion made for long tem reconcilliation. Time would not have driven the two parts appart.

Instead, as Kevin O'Higgins put it 'we had an opportunity of building up a worthy state that would attract and, in time, absorb and assimilate these elements. We prefered to burn our houses, blow up our bridges, rob our own banks'.

We prefered to practise on ourselves worse indignities than Cromwell and now we wonder why Orangemen are not hopping like fleas across the border in their anxiety to come within our fold'.

He was of course talking after the civil war, the one that could have been avoided perhaps. But he understood what had been needed to be done.

Even Emmet Dalton said in a 1960's television interview 'we got nothing that wasn't on the table in 1914'.

theoretically speaking-In all out civil war there would have been no civillians to support the nationalists. they would have fled for safety and at that point the army would have unleashed it's full force upon them.

Mount St bridge was a good example of what can be done in small scale guerilla war. Hence the IRA success of ambushes in 20/21.

In full scale war the artillary would have been brought up to flatten No 25 [Civillians were still in adjacent properties in 1916].

As happened in Dublin with the Free State army using British field guns.

Rob

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rob elliott

Murrough,

The voting thing in Londonderry is one of the daftest things i've read about the Home Rule period.

Basically the Officer's/NCO's in the barracks got the vote. This had been allowed for in the anticipated result.

However due to the close call of the election the voting registration tribunal was acted. Apparently it was very common in all elections in those days.

So the two sides formulated lists of the oppositions voters they thought they could get disqualified. In order to vote you needed to pay rates or contribute to them.

It would take a specialist election agent all year to go round the City and see who was living where and then they would need to identify them as Unionist/Nationalist. It was a very skilled job and could win or lose the election.

From the late 1890's the Nationalists had no agent to do this so lost touch with the 'market' but in about 1910, under pressure from the Bishop the old agent was brought back and he had an immediate effect.

So when the sitting MP the Duke of Abercorn died in 1913 an election was called.

Straight away the parties set off with their lists. This is how the Nationalists thought they had it sewn up. Counting the Soldiers as Unionists. I think it was around 1910-11 the Camerons came to be resident Btn. The Officers were approached to register by the Unionists which they did. Ironic that the Unionists wanted the soldiers to vote for them, but were arming for a possible confrontation with them, and possibly more ironic that the soldiers did vote for them. This actually indicates the level at which those on the ground thought there would be confrontation.

Questions were asked of the Officers/NCOs'. Do you have your own room, share a kitchen etc. All pretty straight forward nothing to exclude them as apparently those who had a single room to themselves had a deduction from their pay and any furniture they had was to be bought by themselves. So those guys were straight forward.

The funny bit is various civillians. Both sides registered various young men [as only men could vote] that the others immediately objected to.

The reason- In order to gain the vote they were saying they were paying full rent for use of rooms in their parents house. fair enough you think they were paying 'board' as most of us have done to our parents. However this wouldn't qualify.

You had to prove exceptional circumstances. So you had a senario of a supporting solicitor saying 'so you live at this address' 'yes', 'you rent rooms off your father' 'yes'. 'What rooms do you rent', 'a bedroom and the parlour', 'the front parlour' 'yes'. 'How much rent do you pay?' Young man tells them.

Judge says [as this is the qualifying bit]. 'is it only you uses the parlour' 'yes', 'what do your parents and sister do' 'stop in the kitchen', 'do they visit you?' 'No', 'Not even for a cup of tea' 'No'. 'Where do you have your dinner' 'in the kitchen'.'How long has this been the agreement with your father' 'two years'. [this in a small terraced house]. Even the judge laughed.

There are dozens of similar cases, all with silly statements about certain rooms being out of bounds- 'does your mother ever go in your bedroom?' 'no'.

It's great reading. In one case the judge says 'this is the agreement with your father' man says 'yes'. judge says where is he, 'at work'

Judge says to bailiff 'go and fetch him', brilliant stuff.

In the end i think the majority was reduced to 29. Both sides did exactly the same.

I remembered the man i was after, the prominant Catholic Unionist. It was Denis Henry KC. First Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

Apparently Lords' Fingal and Gormanston were Unionist too. Can't say i know anything of these.

One thing may surprise you is there were a handful of Catholic born Ulster Volunteer Force men. I myself know to one in Londonderry City and three in Co Antrim.

Rob

Rob

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Murrough

Thanks for the reply Rob,good luck in unravelling the voting patterns in the 1913 by election,but I think you will find that people voted along political/religious lines with only minor deviations.

No surprise that their may have been catholic born UVF men but does "born" imply that they were no longer of that faith.Of course people converted and changed religion all the time( usually to their advantage).when I look at my own ancestors I detect numerous Scots names, more than I thought.( occasionally,I now even find myself humming the "Sash"). ;)

O'Higgins was of of course lamenting the fact that Irishmen were fighting former comrades who had previously( less than one year before fought the Crown forces side by side during the War of Independence) in the Civil War, unfortunately the civil war was forced upon some of them when they could not countenance the inclusion of the oath of allegiance.

We can of course look back now and speculate "What would have happened" but the truth is we cannot be accurate in hindsight.I personally cannot see any circumstance where Unionism would have accepted any approaches from Redmond on the issue of Home Rule,his last desperate gamble to bring the nationalist people with him died after the Rising ( but it had been severely wounded during 1914 because of the Curragh Mutiny and the Batchelors Walk debacle) and subsequent events ensured that even moderate nationalists were radicialised .Home rule as a concept died in 1916,it was no longer enough, its a pity this was not recognised sooner and maybe meaningful negotiations could have avoided the onset of conflict.

Regards,

M.

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rob elliott

Murrough,

On the contrary, I think in hindsight we have the advantage of being able to analyse the situation at leisure and pick at the facts and figures, which is what most historians do (not that I'm a historian).

In Londonderry what I think probably occurred that some catholic voters abstained, due them not necessarily being in favour of Home Rule.

The Nationalists would win the city in 1918 as well but not consolidate their position later.

The known UVF Catholics, one I don't know if he converted, of the other three two did and one didn't after 1914.

In the 1918 election, Sinn Feins percentage of the available vote was not a majority. A large proportion of the voters abstained and therefore I think SF had around 40 percent of the total available. With I think it was 21 seats uncontested at all.

Where the IPP candidate refused to stand aside in two constituencies, which I think were south Down and east Donegal they beat SF by a decent majority.

Given this could have been repeated in a number of districts they would have eaten into the republican majority.

It is unlikely the war of independence could have been avoided but it would have taken any claims of SF saying they had a mandate.

Recruitment into the forces went up in 1918, looking at the lists given in the Belfast Telegraph would indicate many of these were Catholic. These would relate to the Northern Counties. All nine.

There was still the possibility of formulating a plan of mutual co operation even in 1918.

Redmond himself was probably the key to the failure of the IPP as there was no one of strong enough character to follow him with the possible exception of Joe Devlin, but he concentrated on Belfast as partition was coming.

Rob

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Let Erin Remember

The colours of the Service Battalions of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers are in St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. There are also Colours of the Royal Irish Regiment.

"Let Erin Remember

Them with pride,

As for her freedom,

They too died"

Erin go Bragh

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