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Guest scarletto

Easter uprising

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Guest scarletto

When the uprising occured, were there any special actions taken over the Irish regiments, by that i mean did the High command or Goverment think there was any danger of 'trouble' from the Irish regiments when news of this came out?

Were they withdrawn from the lines or was there no thought that they would respond to the news??

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curranl

Hello Scarletto,

I just spotted your question. From what I have read, the Rising did shake the Army Command's faith in the Irish Regiments, particularly those with a high proportion of Southern Irish recruits.

As far as I know, irish Regiments were not taken out of the line. This is probably because of the initial reaction of the men themselves. The majority of the men saw the Rising as a "stab in the back" and few had any sympathy with the rebels.

The following is from "Orange, Green and Khaki";

"Shortly afterwards, (referring to early May 1916), the Germans on the front of the 8th Munsters erected placards in connection with the Easter Rebellion. The Munsters, Catholic and nationalist to a man, reacted with that extraordinary characteristic which bemusues and bewilders Englishmen. First the Munsters replied by firing shots into the placards. Then they sang "God Save the King", confounding their enemy's "knavish tricks". That night a fighting patrol under Lt F.J. Biggane ' cut their way through the enemy wire, straffed the Huns and captured both placards'. The two placards were later presented by Lt-Col. Williamson to King George V at an investiture.'to which the King replied:"The of repeated gallantry of the Munsters, Colonel Williamson, will never be forgotten by me or those who follow me." '

John Lucy, then a sergeant with 2nd Royal Irish Rifles, expressed what was perhaps the general feeling of Irish soldiers concerning the Easter rebellion: ' My fellow soldiers had no great sympathy with the rebels, but they got fed up when they heard of the executions of the leaders.'"

Tom Kettle, an officer in the 9th Dublin Fusiliers and a poet, said " These men will go down in history as heroes and martyrs; and I will go down - if I go down at all - as a bloody British officer."

How right he was; few Irish people would recognise the name Tom Kettle, but practically everyone can name at least a half dozen leaders of the Rising.

Regards,

Liam.

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Guest scarletto

Liam

Thank you, i was aware of the feeling at home, as the uprising wasnt as popular as it was believed, mainly due to the men being at the front, but was unsure on how the uprising was viewed at the front, looks like it was the same.

Thank you for your reply

simon

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Guest Jimmy Knacky
Tom Kettle, an officer in the 9th Dublin Fusiliers and a poet, said " These men will go down in history as heroes and martyrs; and I will go down - if I go down at all - as a bloody British officer."

How right he was; few Irish people would recognise the name Tom Kettle, but practically everyone can name at least a half dozen leaders of the Rising.

Regards,

Liam.

And why should they rememember the name of Tom Kettle.

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Will O'Brien
Tom Kettle, an officer in the 9th Dublin Fusiliers and a poet, said " These men will go down in history as heroes and martyrs; and I will go down - if I go down at all - as a bloody British officer."

How right he was; few Irish people would recognise the name Tom Kettle, but practically everyone can name at least a half dozen leaders of the Rising.

Regards,

Liam.

And why should they rememember the name of Tom Kettle.

Jimmy................Tom Kettle was a leading light of the Irish Nationalist cause prior to the war. He was also a poet & I believe was the editor of 'The Nationalist' Newspaper. In addition to this he was an MP for the Nationalist Irish Party. Tom Kettle was up until 1914 a member of the Irish Volunteers (a forerunner of the IRA, I think or at least some form of paramilitary) & was responsible for obtaining arms for the Nationalist cause...........The outbreak of war in 1914 saw a shift in his views. I understand he believed that a British victory would strengthen the quest for Irish Home Rule & as such he volunteered in November 1914 & obtained a commission in the Dublin Fusiliers. He was killed during the Somme offensive in September 1916.............Interestingly, Tom Kettle's brother in law was one of those rebels executed in the aftermath of the uprising.

Below is Tom Kettle's CWGC entry

Name: KETTLE, THOMAS MICHAEL

Initials: T M

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment: Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Unit Text: 9th Bn.

Age: 36

Date of Death: 09/09/1916

Additional information: Son of Andrew J. and Margaret Kettle, of Newtown, St. Margaret's, Co. Dublin; husband of Mary S. Kettle (nee Sheehy), of 3, Belgrave Park, Rathmines, Dublin. Member of Parliament for East Tyrone, and the Professor of National Economics at University College, Dublin. Poet, journalist, essayist and idealist. A leading Irish Nationalist, he joined the Dublin Fusiliers when Belgium was attacked, to fight "not for England, but for small nations." One of the outstanding Irishmen of his generation, he wrote a number of war poems. Killed in action at the Battle of the Somme. Poems and Parodies, published 1916, and The Ways of War, published 1917.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 16 C.

Cemetery: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

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BatterySergeantMajor

Why we should remember Tom Kettle? Amongst other earlier mentioned reasons also for this poem, written a few days before his dead.

To my daughter Betty, the gift of God

In wiser days, my darling rosebud, blown

To beauty proud as was your mother's prime,

In that desired, delayed, incredible time,

You'll ask why I abandoned you, my own,

And the dear heart that was your baby throne,

To dice with death. And, oh! they"ll give you rhyme

And reason: some will call the thing sublime,

And some decry it in a knowing tone.

So here, while the mad guns curse overhead,

And tired men sigh, with mud for couch and floor,

Know that we fools, now with the foolish dead,

Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor,

But for a dream, born in a herdsman's shed,

And for the secret Scripture of the poor.

By the way: I bought the 1916-Irish Rebellion Handbook a few days ago on Abebooks for 14 pounds.

Erwin

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curranl

Hello All,

Thanks to Erwin for the poem. It is my favourite of the First World War. For me it summarises three things about the war;

One of the main reasons Irishmen joined up - the assumption that they would get at least Home Rule as a thank you for fighting.

The real cost of the war on families at home.

The sheer hell of the fighting.

One other little historical curiosity; the man who comforted Tom Kettle as he was dying was another young Lieutenant called Emmett Dalton. Dalton would go on to be a commander in the IRA and a thorn in the side of his former comrades. He went on to survive the War of Independence, the Civil War and served in the Free State Army - can't remember the rank, but pretty senior.

Tom Kettle deserves to be remembered, at the very least for the poem. There is a bust of him in Stephen's Green.

Regards,

Liam.

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Desmond7

It is well worth stating that the poetry of Kettle and Ledwidge have probably done more than anything else to bring the attention of people in the Republic to the role played by Nationalist Irishmen in the Great War.

They made the choice to fight, as Liam says, in the belief that they were not only furthering their own cause but also taking part in a war against aggression. I am truly glad that the bravery shown by these men has been increasingly recognised in 'the south' ... the descendants of these men have every reason to be proud.

That's why Kettle (and Ledwidge and the rest) deserve to be remembered.

Des

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larneman

A BIT MORE HISTORY

borrowed from http://homepage.eircom.net/~navalassociation/comiskey.htm

On his appointment in 1914 as Sec. State for War, Lord Kitchener demanded the formation of seventy extra divisions for the army. In addition to the vast numbers of Irishmen already serving with the British Army and the tens of thousands that would join in Britain, three of the new Div's. were recruited in Ireland. The 10th (Irish) Div. was drawn from all four Provinces, and together with the 9th (Scottish) Div., 11th (Northern) Div., 12th (Eastern) Div., 13th (Western) Div., and 14th (Light) formed then "First New Army".

One month later, Sept.1914, the "Second New Army" was authorised, and this included the 16th. (Irish) Div. The leader of the Home Rule party Mr. John Redmond M.P. believed that Ireland should give complete support to the war effort and that this loyalty would result in self government for a united Ireland after the War. Mr. Redmond and many other nationalists encouraged the young men of Ireland to go to fight for the freedom of small Nations. Prominent nationalists like Willie Redmond M.P., Tom Kettle M.P., and the poet Francis Ledwidge volunteered to fight in defence of small nations and in the hope of securing independence for Ireland, all three of these great men died not far from each other at Messines Ridge and on the Somme where young Patsy also died. Most of the young people like Patsy who went out had little political motivation, what they had was a great desire for adventure, they saw the troops marching off to glory, and heard the bands playing exciting music, and they heard the speeches from the eloquent gentlemen and army officers in the town squares, and they wanted to be a part of this great event before it was all over.

The third of these new divisions to be recruited for the war was already half formed. The men of the 10th and 16th Div's. Were almost exclusively nationalist and up to this time Messrs Carson and Craig were keeping a tight rein on the Unionists for fear that the Republicans might get the upper hand in Ireland if the Orange Men went off to war. It took a lot of persuading by Kitchener and promises from the British government but eventually in October 1914 the 36th (Ulster) Div. was formed exclusively of loyalists.

The popularity of republicanism after the bloodletting of the 1916 Rising almost obliterated any reference to the sacrifice of the men of the 10th and 16th Divisions from history books in our country, by comparison the contribution of the 36th Div. is well documented.

Major Willie Redmond like his brother John, believed the way to achieve home rule for Ireland was to give total support to the war effort, but he felt that if he was to ask his fellow Irishmen to risk their lives then he must do so also. At 53 years of age he was the oldest man to enlist in the British Army for the 1 st World War. In their efforts to dislodge the German troops which were dug in on Messines Ridge, which is near Bruges, the British spent over a year digging twenty-four mines, which they filled with explosives. On 7thof June 1917 they ignited 19 of these and detonated one million pounds of high explosives. Following the explosion the 36th (Ulster) Div. and the 16 (Irish) Div. advanced on the ridge. Major Redmond sustained a wound to his wrist and another to his leg, because of his age he never recovered from his injuries and died some days later in the nearby convent at Locre. Willie Redmond requested to be buried outside the British Cemetery at Locre in protest at the execution of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, and to this day the people of the village lovingly tend his grave.

Lance Corporal Francis Ledwidge in his short life had worked as a miner, a farmer, and a shop clerk, but before he went out to fight and die in defence of small nations he had established himself as one of Irelands greatest romantic poets. He continued to write while in the trenches, but now it was to tell of the pain and misery of war. He was 26 years old when he was shot dead while laying a roadway through the mud near Ypres.

Lieutenant Tom Kettle was a leading nationalist and before going out to fight ''not for England, but for small nations'' had been elected M. P. for East Tyrone. He was Prof. of National Economics at U C D, he was an outstanding journalist and poet and had several volumes published before and after his death. On the 9th of Sept. 1916, Lt. Kettle was leading his men of B Company, 9th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in an assault on the German positions in the village of Ginchy on the Somme River, when he was fatally wounded with a shot through the chest. He was 36 years of age and ill, but had insisted on leading his men into battle. The officer leading the Company immediately behind Lt. Kettle was his friend, 18 year old Lt. Emmett Dalton, later to become a General in the Free State Army and close friend of General Michael Collins whose death he also witnessed.

Private Patrick Keegan (or Patsy) was not studious like the older boys Mike and Ned, who won scholarships, and went on to become senior civil servants. At the outbreak of war Patsy and his younger brother Jimmy were 15 and 12 respectively. They could catch buckets full of herring when they shoaled into the corner of the harbour, and replenish the traditional barrels of pickled fish outside the back door of the houses of Kingstown at that time. They knew the going rate for working one of the many coal boats that used the small quays near the west side of the harbour, and how hard it was to shovel out a hold until you had ''floored'' it out. All this was learned from the men who stood on the corner of Cumberland St. waiting for an incoming vessel. They knew the Blackmores and the Shortalls, the families who owned the moorings in the harbour and stood in the stern of their dinghy's like gondoliers to 'skull' the yacht owners out to their boats for a fee. They also knew of the practice of hobbling, when the seafaring men of Kingstown would read up the shipping notices and would sail as far south as Arklow or north to the Rockabill, to put a grappling hook onto, and board a vessel bound for Dublin to claim the right to secure the vessel alongside in the port, or sometimes even to pilot it up the river. Patsy was a bright boy who left school at 14 years of age and tried to join the Army at 15 at the very outset of the war. His mother had him brought home, but he went off again and was killed in the same place as Tom Kettle on the same day in the same battle, he had just turned 17.

Patsy was one of the 4,500 Irishmen who died during the battle for Ginchy. This battle was fought over a six day period in September 1916. Over 300,000 native born Irishmen fought in WW1, over 50,000 were killed.

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BatterySergeantMajor
A BIT MORE HISTORY

borrowed from http://homepage.eircom.net/~navalassociation/comiskey.htm

The third of these new divisions to be recruited for the war was already half formed. The men of the 10th and 16th Div's. Were almost exclusively nationalist and up to this time Messrs Carson and Craig were keeping a tight rein on the Unionists for fear that the Republicans might get the upper hand in Ireland if the Orange Men went off to war.

In their efforts to dislodge the German troops which were dug in on Messines Ridge, which is near Bruges, the British spent over a year digging twenty-four mines, which they filled with explosives. On 7thof June 1917 they ignited 19 of these and detonated one million pounds of high explosives. Following the explosion the 36th (Ulster) Div. and the 16 (Irish) Div. advanced on the ridge. Major Redmond sustained a wound to his wrist and another to his leg, because of his age he never recovered from his injuries and died some days later in the nearby convent at Locre. Willie Redmond requested to be buried outside the British Cemetery at Locre in protest at the execution of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, and to this day the people of the village lovingly tend his grave.

Lance Corporal Francis Ledwidge in his short life had worked as a miner, a farmer, and a shop clerk, but before he went out to fight and die in defence of small nations he had established himself as one of Irelands greatest romantic poets. He continued to write while in the trenches, but now it was to tell of the pain and misery of war. He was 26 years old when he was shot dead while laying a roadway through the mud near Ypres.

Hi Larneman

The site of the Naval Association is not the most thrustworthy to quote. There are a lot of incorrect things on it.

1)They are giving the impression that Ledwidge belonged to the Redmondites. Nothing was less true. Ledwidge was much closer to the radical nationalists, and it was only after a love affair which went wrong and social pressure from the people around him that he signed up. I think his poems are very good, but his commitment to the war was doubtfull. Apart from that, he was almost 30 years and not 26 when killed by a shell (and not shot dead) near Boezinge on the 31st of July. Interesting is that the Welsh poet Hedd Wynn is buried only a few rows from him and was killed one kilometer further on the same day.

2)Saying that the 10th and 16th Divisions were almost exclusively nationalist is awfully wrong. The majority in these Divisions were catholic, but not all catholics where nationalist. It is true that one of the 16th Div Brigades was mostly nationalist .

3)That Willie Redmond requested to be buried outside the British cemetery because of the Easter Rising executions is a real rape of history. Both the Redmonds, Willie and John, were very upset about the Rising and thought this was a dagger in the back of all the Irish soldiers on the front. The real reason that he is buried outside the cemetery was his very strong link with the catholic convent where he had stayed the months before the Messines Ridge attack. The site of the grave is in the former gardens (now fields) of the convent. I know that tha family Redmond had protested a few years ago against this statement on the website of the Naval Association, but they did not adapt the text.

The dangers of the internet. A nice website is not always a correct website!

Hope I could correct some things with this

Erwin

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larneman

Thanks Erwin for the feedback and corrections.

That is the great thing I find with this Forum. The truth always rises to the top.

Liam

PS: I always try to post the source as I am not an expert on all the twists that is given to the Irish history both in Ireland or on the battlefield.

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BatterySergeantMajor

Hi Liam

Overlooked it: happy birthday

Erwin

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