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sw63

Roger Casement: How did a hero come to be considered a traitor?

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Murrough

Who was suppressed? :blink:

You have to ask? GS.

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RupertDubrecht

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

There is no correct answer, only opinions.

Mandela

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Murrough

A Lt Colonel of sorts perhaps?

Not him again. :rolleyes:

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Andrew Upton

the following contains an account of the exhumation.

http://nationalarchives.ie/topics/AAE/Article_2.pdf

That's the same PDF link posted by Flintlock back in post 3...

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jdoyle

That's the same PDF link posted by Flintlock back in post 3...

sorry, missed that.

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jdoyle

Basil Thomson's book Queer People is available as an ebook and carries 2 chapters relating to Ireland and Casement, including a little about Thomson's interrogation of Casement and a suggestion that one of the revolvers found from the Casement landing was used in the defence of Dublin Castle during the Rising

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corisande

Interestingly he does acknowledge my website on the Irish Brigade :)

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Ghazala

This post makes interesting reading. The clamour of support for Casement was snuffed out by the appearance of the ‘Black Diaries’. They described homosexual acts between Casement and a variety of partners. They were shown to a select few including King George V, the American Government and the Anti Slavery League. Casement’s reputation was unsalvageable and the world turned it’s back on him. He was hung in the Tower of London on August 3rd, 1916.

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healdav

This post makes interesting reading. The clamour of support for Casement was snuffed out by the appearance of the ‘Black Diaries’. They described homosexual acts between Casement and a variety of partners. They were shown to a select few including King George V, the American Government and the Anti Slavery League. Casement’s reputation was unsalvageable and the world turned it’s back on him. He was hung in the Tower of London on August 3rd, 1916.

As my old English teacher used to say, "If one day the judge puts his black cap on and says that you are to be hung, you are quite at liberty to interrupt and say that you would prefer to be hanged".

I may be wrong, but I though he was hanged in Pentonville.

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KGB

Hanged at Pentonville.

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corisande

Most British papers ran the story

casement.jpg

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Ghazala

As my old English teacher used to say, "If one day the judge puts his black cap on and says that you are to be hung, you are quite at liberty to interrupt and say that you would prefer to be hanged".

I may be wrong, but I though he was hanged in Pentonville.

"The distinction between hanged and hung is not an especially useful one (although a few people claim otherwise). It is, however, a simple one and easy to remember. Therein lies its popularity. If you make a point of observing the distinction in your writing you will not thereby become a better writer, but you will spare yourself the annoyance of being corrected for having done something that is not wrong."

(Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, 1994.

My error, Pentonville it is then.

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Stoppage Drill

My error, Pentonville it is then.

It was; the Tower had no gallows. Casement was hanged by John Ellis, with Robert Baxter as assistant. Ellis wrote memoirs after retiring as a hangman in 1924 (he committed suicide in 1932) but he makes no mention of Casement. I speculate that he may have thought it dangerous to do so.

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Ghazala

Ellis wrote memoirs after retiring as a hangman in 1924 (he committed suicide in 1932).

Did he hang himself?

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wig

This poem/play by Mike O'Donnell has a rather moving description of his last days in Pentonville with Ellis. worth downloading, or at least taking a peak inside!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Roger-Casements-Casement-OConnell-Cantillon-ebook/dp/B00CBVWKIG/ref=sr_1_82?ie=UTF8&qid=1393935833&sr=8-82&keywords=roger+casement

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Stoppage Drill

Did he hang himself?

In August 1924 he shot himself, but did not succeed in killing himself. In September 1932 he cut his throat, fatally.

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healdav

"The distinction between hanged and hung is not an especially useful one (although a few people claim otherwise). It is, however, a simple one and easy to remember. Therein lies its popularity. If you make a point of observing the distinction in your writing you will not thereby become a better writer, but you will spare yourself the annoyance of being corrected for having done something that is not wrong."

(Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, 1994.

My error, Pentonville it is then.

HUng means dangling until throttled. Hanging means a quick neck snap as the body drops.

Quite a difference to the person involved. Of course, Webster wasn't really using English, I suspect, but a related language.

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Ghazala

Interesting article in my paper today....

The Traitor who deserves a royal pardon - Ben McIntyre

Irish nationalist Roger Casement was a victim of homophobia and, like codebreaker Alan Turing, is owed an apology

On a nondescript wall on a building in Bavaria is a small commemorative plaque written in gothic script, a reminder of one of the great miscarriages of British justice, now almost a century old. It reads: “Here in the summer of 1915 lived Sir Roger Casement. He sealed the love of his country with his blood.”

A celebrated humanitarian, anti-slavery campaigner, poet and Irish nationalist, Casement had come to Germany when the First World War was at its height, to recruit German support and weapons for an uprising against British rule in Ireland. For this crime he would be hanged, a year later, in Pentonville Prison.

A British citizen and former consular official, Roger Casement was found guilty of treason. But he was executed because he was homosexual, the victim of a conspiracy to prevent his reprieve that involved Scotland Yard, MI5 and the cabinet. Alan Turing, whose prosecution for homosexuality undoubtedly contributed to his death in 1954, has received an apology from the British government and a pardon from the Queen. But the case of Casement is even more egregious, since it involved government officials actively using prejudice against homosexuality to ensure he went to the gallows, discredited and reviled.

With next year’s centenary of the Casement trial, the government has an opportunity to right that wrong: a formal apology would remove a long-running source of friction in Anglo-Irish relations and demonstrate how far we have moved on from the homophobia of a century ago.

As a young colonial official, Casement investigated the slave trade in the Belgian Congo and Peru, exposing the appalling treatment of African and Indian workers and emerging as one of the most outspoken human rights campaigners of his day. “Congo Casement” was knighted in 1911 for his efforts to alleviate the plight of Amazonian Indians. By that time, however, he had become a bitter critic of British imperialism, and a staunch supporter of Irish nationalism. With the outbreak of war, Casement secretly travelled to Germany to try to win backing for Irish independence. His attempts to persuade Irish prisoners of war to change sides and fight against the British proved spectacularly unsuccessful.

In April 1916, Casement was taken by German submarine to the Irish coast and put ashore in Kerry: he was swiftly captured, imprisoned in the Tower of London, stripped of his knighthood and charged with treason. Despite evidence that Casement had come to Ireland to prevent the Easter Rising, which he felt was doomed without German support, he was found guilty, and sentenced to death.

A campaign for a reprieve attracted support from such luminaries as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Arnold Bennett, George Bernard Shaw and Jerome K Jerome. In America, he was widely regarded as a nationalist patriot. The US senate appealed for clemency but the British establishment had no intention of sparing him.

During a search of his flat, police uncovered the so-called “Black Diaries”, journals in which Casement had recorded his many homosexual encounters in meticulous detail. Casement’s supporters tried to claim that the diaries, now in the national archives, were forged, but there is no doubt that they are genuine: MI5’s forgers lacked the time, resources and imagination to produce something so thorough and boring.

In an astonishingly cynical campaign, government officials secretly circulated excerpts from the diaries to key opinion-makers, including MPs, journalists, clergymen, the American ambassador and King George V. The legal adviser to the Home Office, Ernley Blackwell, told the cabinet that the diaries proved Casement had “for years been addicted to the grossest sodomitical practices” and that “it would be wiser, from every point of view, to allow the law to take its course and by judicious means to use the diaries to prevent Casement attaining martyrdom”. The cabinet, headed by Asquith and including Churchill and Lloyd George, adopted this policy.

Support for Casement evaporated; the reprieve campaign fizzled out, extinguished by society’s virulent homophobia. The diaries, wrote Bernard Shaw’s wife Charlotte, “entirely killed any English sympathy there might have been for Casement”.

Roger Casement was hanged on August 3, 1916. The battle over his reputation has raged ever since. When his remains were returned to Dublin in 1965, half a million people filed past the coffin. Yet for many Irish Catholics, Casement’s homosexuality remained an impediment to his status as national martyr.

Ireland’s vote for legalising gay marriage is proof that those prejudices are swiftly evaporating. Britain has shown a willingness to address a homophobic past, as in the case of Turing, and make symbolic amends. Relations between Dublin and London have never been closer.

Casement was, and remains, a complex, contradictory character: the decorated British official and human rights advocate who sided with the Kaiser’s Germany; the homosexual who saw his sexuality as an affliction but celebrated it in daily diary entries; the nationalist convicted of rebelling against the crown, but who died for being a gay man.

Casement was restless in life, and divisive in death. But a formal admission that, like Turing, he was an extraordinary individual done to death for his sexuality might finally lay to rest his unquiet ghost.

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Guest

Mcintyre states "he was executed because he was a homosexual ... done to death for his sexuality". Surely he was executed for treason (in British eyes)? Had he not been homosexual is McIntyre suggesting he would not have been executed?

Can anyone recommend a good book on Casement. Sounds like something worth understanding better. MG

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David Filsell

War always operates on new rules

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