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Remembered Today:

Phoenix Park Dublin officer and civilian shot. Info sought


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Afternoon all,


While researching some local casualties in 1919 I came across the case of Second Lieutenant Frederick Boast (2nd South Lancashire Regiment) who was the second in command on duty in the Viceregal Lodge, Dublin in December 1919. There was an incident that resulted in him being shot, possibly accidentally, by one of his patrol alongside a a civilian who was deliberately shot by one of them while the civilian was already wounded.


There was an inquest [Click] (with thanks to member Corisande for the report) where the verdict was that Boast had been killed by one of his men, and the civilian had been summarily executed.


I have been trawling newspaper archives and online sources, but can not find any references to any consequences for the soldiers thought to have done the shooting.


This leaves me with only two options. One is that there were indeed no consequences for two serious killings. The other is that there was a court martial and the results have never been released.


In general terms, was there more tolerance of incidents like this when soldiers were acting "in the line of duty", or could there have been a punishment meted out to the soldiers involved that was either not recorded or released?







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The Kerryman, 03/01/1920. 0382. Inquest on Officer and Civilian. The inquest on the bodies of Lieutenant F Boast, and South Lancashire Regiment, and Laurence Kennedy, who were shot dead in the Phoenix Park in the early hours of Sunday morning, was opened in King George V Hospital on Monday. AQ sensational part of the evidence given by the military witnesses was that the shot that killed Lieutenant Boast was fired by the civilian. The corporal of the guard swore that he saw a civilian, his head in bandages, attempting to put his hand in his pocket. He and a private then fired, and the civilian fell. He also said that the shots which brought down Lieutenant Boast were fired by six civilians. Another soldier swore that the shot which killed Lieutenant was fired by Laurence Kennedy. A third soldier stated that the deceased civilian and Lieutenant Boast got into grips and while so the military fired. The mystery of the whole proceedings hinges on a revolver which the soldier witnesses allege the deceased civilian discharged. No trace of the weapon has been found either on deceased or at the scene of the tragedy. The theory that it might have been taken away by confederates collapses in view of the one soldier, that Kennedy fired two shots from the revolver just prior to being put into the ambulance. He searched around, but could find no weapon, and no weapon was found on the body, though it was fired in military custody the whole time. Corporal W Roulston, and South Lancashire Regiment, in the course of his evidence stated-The civilian attempted to crawl, and managed to reach the roadside on the right, and I fired another shot at him which finished him. After that I and Branewell remained in the vicinity of where the two dead bodies lay until they were taken away by the ambulance. Private Haddell, South Lancashire Regiment, made a deposition, in which he stated-When we halted the civilian we saw a bandage all over his face. He wore an overcoat. When we went to make a dash for him he gripped the officer by the throat. While he was struggling the civilian fired a shot from an automatic revolver which he took out of his right hand pocket, and shot the officer in the chest. When he shot the officer I gave the civilian a dig under the left arm with the bayonet. The officer and civilian dropped to the ground and while they were on the ground Corporal Roulston sent me for help. I went to the guardroom and got about 20 men and a stretcher and returned back to them. I met Corporal Roulston and Private Barnewell on the road, and I took the 20 men round, and when I got up to the officer I found he was dead, and the civilian was moved to the other side of the road. One of the party went over to the civilian to see if he was alive, and the civilian made a bit of a struggle and one of our party fired a few shots standing over the civilian. We waited till the corporal came down and put him in the motor car, and I saw the civilian and the officer taken away. Officer Accidentally Shot by His Own Men. The jury, after half an hour’s deliberation, returned the following verdict;-We find that the deceased, Lieutenant Boast, died from shock and haemorrhage caused by a shot fired by one of his own party while on patrol, and we tender our sympathy to his relatives. 

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