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Michael Pegum

Battle of Mount Street Bridge

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Michael Pegum

Several members of the Volunteer Training Corps, otherwise known as the G.Rs. or ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’, were shot in the first skirmish of the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, on Easter Monday, 1916.

Can anyone identify the source of the following quotation from a contemporary account of the shooting?

“As I stand in the drawing-room window, I see a small detachment of G.R. Veterans. The afternoon has been warm, they look hot and tired. A sharp report rings out, and the man in the foremost rank falls forward, apparently dead, a ghastly stream of blood flowing from his head. His comrades make for cover—the shelter of the trees, the side of a flight of steps.”

I found it in Max Caulfield’s ‘Easter Rebellion’, (London: Frederick Muller, 1964). Unfortunately, the book gives no references or sources. I have searched the Bureau of Military History records, and it doesn't seem to be there.

Michael

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depaor01

Hi Michael,

Can't for the life of me post a shortcut to the site, but there's a Word Document online:

SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE THAT KNOCKED A MAN FOR SIX, GERARD SIGGINS, Sunday Tribune, 16 April 2006

that states the source of part of that quote as an anonymous housewife looking at the action:

In a house on the corner where Haddington Road intersects, a pair of rebels, Michael Malone and Jim Grace, were holed up with two 15-year-old boys, Michael Rowe and Paddy Byrne. As the uniformed column marched towards them, the two men opened fire and 13 men fell, five fatally. A woman living in a neighbouring house watched the veterans from her window "A sharp report rings out, and the man in the foremost rank falls forward, apparently dead, a ghastly stream of blood flowing from his head. Bullet follows bullet with lightning rapidity."

Dave

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Michael Pegum

Thanks, Dave.

I have seen that, too, but it doesn't say where the account of the incident comes from, which is what I need. It doesn't read like a newspaper report.

Michael

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Airshipped

There's a minor variation of the quote on p.426 of the [London] Times 'History and Encyclopaedia of the War, Volume VIII'.

https://archive.org/stream/timeshistoryofwa08lond#page/426/mode/2up/search/hot+and+tired.+A+sharp

Some volumes of that series are available on the Internet Archive and related online sources but beware: the PDF versions of the files often run to 2-3 GB (yes, GB, not MB) for fully text-searchable scanned versions.

You can probably check the index or endnotes for some further information on the source of the quote, though the preceding page refers to her as "a lady" and the window on Northumberland Road as being "her own", i.e. not a servant. Given that she's looking at the junction of Northumberland Road and Haddington Road there can only be a small number of houses to check against 1911 Census or other sources (Thoms etc) for likely candidates. A memoir or other newspaper articles could be tracked from that trace.

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Michael Pegum

Thank you very much! That is exactly what I was looking for. I need it as a reference in an article for the 'Irish Sword', and the Times is better than Caulfield. Even though it does not give any source of the quotation, I think it must be the earliest mention of it.

Michael

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Michael Pegum

... the preceding page refers to her as "a lady" and the window on Northumberland Road as being "her own", i.e. not a servant. Given that she's looking at the junction of Northumberland Road and Haddington Road there can only be a small number of houses to check against 1911 Census or other sources (Thoms etc) for likely candidates. A memoir or other newspaper articles could be tracked from that trace.

A very useful tip! Unfortunately, there are no footnotes or references.

The Weekly Irish Times 'Sinn Féin Rebellion Handbook' said that the wounded were treated in numbers 29, 31 and 33, which are on the west side of Northumberland Road, close to the junction with Haddington Road. A further quotation of the diary in the Times History of the War (pages 437-8) says that the lady diarist's house was the one to which the Adjutant of the Sherwood Foresters and a lieutenant were taken, confirming that it was one of the three houses mentioned.

Of those houses, as described in the 1911 Census, No. 29 fits. It was occupied by Herbert Pelham Mayne's family; Mrs Emily Mayne was 38 and her mother was 83. The other two houses did not have anyone to match the description. Assuming that the same family were there in 1916 (I'll check in Thom's), I think the identification of the author of the diary is reasonably sound.

I'll see if I can find her in the archives of the Times, as well.

Michael

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Airshipped

The Mayne/Winslow family appear to be a strange lot. In the 1911 Census Herbert Pelham Mayne (a barrister) is resident with his wife Emily, two children, his mother-in-law Jane Winslow and a number of servants. However, the 1901 Census shows the head of household to be Jane Winslow, with her daughter Emily being described as Emily Winslow. There's a grandchild present but its unclear if it's Emily's child from another relationship or whether they're minding the child on behalf of another Winslow. It'd therefore appear that Mayne married in to the Winslows.

Given that Jane was Dublin-born but her daughter Emily Fermanagh-born it suggests a political/administrative/military role/office held by Emily's father, though he could of course have been a land agent of some description.

The Mayne/Winslow link to Fermanagh does not appear to end until 1929, e.g. see Belfast Gazette:

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/Belfast/issue/422/page/864/data.pdf

Best of luck with tracking down the family and any additional accounts Emily gave of the Mount Street Bridge battles.

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