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Patrick H

The Essex Regt in Ireland

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Can give you what I remember of some stories I was told when I was in Ireland, Cork, in the 70's regarding the Essex Regiment if anybody is interested.

I would be interested in any information you have. My sister, brother and I are digging for information about our father. He was in the 1st Bn. Essex Rgt. HE served in Ireland from 3 Aug. 1920 to 13 Oct. 1922. I remember as a child him briefly mentioning an action near Cork, in which several IRA (I presume) members appeared on bicycles and were attacked by the Essex using a Lewis gun. His name was Terence Doherty. Any information could be helpful.

Thanks

Neville Doherty

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kildaremark

Neville,

This link might be of some interest: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/easterris...sses/wh09.shtml

Also, a book came out last year called "British Voices from the Irish War of Independence 1918-21" by William Sheehan which includes some memoirs by Brigadier Frederick Charles taken from the Liddell Hart Military Archives.

On page 38 it says,

"D Company soon went back to Kinsale and B company took over Bandon. They arrived with a new to me names[?] Terence O'Cahir Doherty - this being his first visit to old ireland. His father was the rector of Felsted in Essex where Terence went to school as a day boy. He was at once named Cyclops by the Trout as he had lost one eye on the Somme."

The piece also mentions how they engaged some "Shinners" which they dealt with, with two Lewis guns - this could be the incident you were told about?

On page 42, a woman is quoted as calling him a "long legged gassoon"

Is this your father??

The book also includes an article by General Perceval which gives a good British perspective on the war in Cork.

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MAW

A list of British units in Ireland, January 1922 (source of information not recorded):

IRELAND 1922

Before 1914 Britain had maintained a very substantial garrison in Ireland. This totalled one cavalry brigade and five infantry brigades with a total of 3 cavalry regiments and 20 battalions. Between 1918 and 1922 the British Army attempted to reduce the level of violence in the country until such time as the British and Irish could agree on the future political structure of Ireland. This was achieved at the end of 1921.

This orbat portrays the deployment of British forces in January 1922. After that date the force was reduced to 4 battalions in Northern Ireland. The size of the security forces could be maintained only by denuding garrisons in Great Britain.

GHQ Troops [Dublin]

3 Bn Royal Tank Corps

5 Armoured Car Company

1 Mobile Searchlight Group RE, Dublin

2 Mobile Searchlight Group RE, Fermoy

‘B’ Mobile Searchlight Group RE, Limerick

Special Signal Company

‘K’ Signal Company

3rd Cavalry Brigade, Curragh

3 Dragoon Guards

12 Lancers

15 Hussars [Dublin]

B & M Batteries RHA

Other cavalry regiments

Royal Dragoons [ballinasloe]

10 Hussars [Curragh]

13 Hussars [Longford]

17 Lancers [Galway]

Coast Defence Artillery

15 Company RGA, Londonderry

R, W & X Coast Batteries RGA, Queenstown

U & V Coast Batteries, Berehaven

Y Coast Battery, Lough Swilly

15th Infantry Brigade, Belfast [under direct command of GHQ]

1 Bn Royal Norfolk Regiment

1 Bn Somerset Light Infantry

1 Bn Seaforth Highlanders

1 Bn Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Ballykinlar

1 Bn Kings Royal Rifle Corps, Ballykinlar

1 Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, Londonderry

2 Bn Rifle Brigade, Finner

5th DIVISION, Curragh

XXX Brigade RFA-128, 129 130 Field Batteries, Kildare

XXXVI Brigade RFA-15, 48, 71 Field Batteries, Newbridge

17 Field Company RE, Curragh

59 Field Company RE, Curragh

5 Division Signal Company, Curragh

Galway Brigade-

4 Bn Worcestershire Regiment, Galway

2 Bn Border Regiment, Castlebar

1 Bn Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, Tuam

2 Bn Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, Claremorris

13 Infantry Brigade, Athlone-

1 Bn East Yorkshire Regiment, Mullingar

1 Bn Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment, Sligo

1 Bn Leicestershire Regiment, Sligo

1 Bn Royal Sussex Regiment, Carrickshannon

14 Infantry Brigade, Curragh-

1 Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, Carlow

2 Bn Suffolk Regiment, Curragh

1 Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers, Tullamore

1 Bn Cameronians, Curragh

1 Bn Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, Curragh

2 Bn Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, Curragh

2 Bn Gordon Highlanders, Maryborough

6th DIVISION, Cork-

I Brigade RFA-98, 136, 146 Field Batteries, Kilkenny

II Brigade RFA-45, 53, 87 Field Batteries, Fermoy

XXXI Brigade RFA-131, 132, 133 Field Batteries, Fermoy

VII Medium Brigade RGA- ?? Medium Batteries, Fermoy

12 Field Company RE, Limerick

38 Field Company RE, Fermoy

6 Divisional Signal Company, Cork

16 Infantry Brigade, Fermoy

1 Bn Queens Regiment, Kilworth

1 Bn Buffs, Fermoy

1 Bn Lincolnshire Regiment, Tipperary

1 Bn Devonshire Regiment, Waterford

2 Bn Green Howards, Tipperary

2 Bn Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Tipperary

1 Bn York & Lancaster Regiment, Clonmel

17 Infantry Brigade, Cork-

1 Bn Kings Liverpool Regiment, Bantry

1 Bn West Yorkshire Regiment, Kinsale

2 Bn Kings Own Scottish Borderers, Bere

2 Bn Hampshire Regiment, Cork

2 Bn North Staffordshire Regiment, Cork

1 Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, Kinsale

1 Bn Sherwood Foresters, Skibbereen

1 Bn Manchester Regiment, Ballincolig

2 Bn Cameron Highlanders, Queenstown

18 Infantry Brigade, Limerick-

2 Bn Royal Scots, Ennis

1 Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Newcastle West

3 Bn Royal Fusiliers, Killaloe

2 Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers, Limerick

1 Bn Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Limerick

2 Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, Tralee

1 Bn Northamptonshire Regiment, Templemore

2 Bn North Staffordshire Regiment, Nenagh

Kerry Brigade, Buttevant-

1 Bn Royal Fusiliers, Killarney

2 Bn Cheshire Regiment, Ballynovcare

1 Bn Gloucestershire Regiment, Kanturk

2 Bn East Lancashire Regiment, Buttevant

1 Bn Machine Gun Corps, Ballynovcare

DUBLIN DISTRICT

XXXIII Brigade RFA-137, 138, 139 Field Batteries, Dundalk

V Medium Brigade RGA-15, 17, 20, 21 Medium Btys,Tallaght

1 Works Company RE

14 Survey Company RE

24 Provisional Brigade-

1 Bn Lancashire Fusiliers

2 Bn East Surrey Regiment

2 Bn Royal West Kent Regiment

1 Bn Wiltshire Regiment

3 Bn Rifle Brigade

1 Bn South Wales Borderers, Dunshaughlin

2 Bn Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, Collinstown

25 Provisional Brigade-

1 Bn Kings Own Royal Regiment

2 Bn Worcestershire Regiment

2 Bn Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry

1 Bn South Lancashire Regiment

2 Bn Welch Regiment

2 Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment

1 Bn Cheshire Regiment, Raithdrum

26 Provisional Brigade, Dundalk-

2 Bn Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

2 Bn Kings Royal Rifle Corps, Clonagh

1 Bn Middlesex Regiment, Cootehill

................................................................................

....

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Hi

I remember hearing somewhere, probably from my late father, that the Essex Regt were stationed in Cork shortly after the war and that they were hated by the locals. Being an Essex man of Cork descent I hope this isnt true. I would think that any of the Regt who had served in france would not wish to have been shipped over to Ireland. Does anyone have any idea of which Battalion(s) and where they were stationed etc

Patrick

My father, from Felsted, was in the Essex Reg't. !st Bn. He served in France and was subsequently stationed in Ireland, from Aug. 1920 till Oct. 1922. His unit was in the Cork area. I believe he was a first Lieutenant at that time. He never said much about it. We, his children should have asked more. I do remember one unpleasant story involving his troops and a bicycle-riding IRA outfit. I'll leave the outcome to your imagination! I'd certainly like to learn more about the Regiment's experiences there.

Neville Doherty

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kildaremark

Neville,

As I said in my previous mail yesterday, the book I referred to would give you a very good idea of the Essex Regiment's experiences especially as it mentions your father. Incidentally, in the latter part of their service in Ireland, they would have gone across the border to the north (can't remember off hand but presumably after May 1922).

Mark

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Ken Devitt
Cassie,

Hope you don't mind but to 'disentangle' your question from this thread I've repeated it and posted my reply here.

Cheers,

Michael

Just a little snippet which might be of interest.

Jul-27

Tom Hales and Pat Harte (West Cork No. 3 Brigade O/C and Quartermaster respectively) are captured by British Intelligence as they enter Frank Hurley's house in Laragh, outside Bandon. They are very badly tortured by a group led by Major Percival, I/O of the Essex Regiment and assisted by Capt Kelley, Brigade I/O and Lt Keogh (Hampshire Regiment) at Victoria Barracks, Cork. Both men have to be hospitalised afterwards and Pat Harte never recovers.

Hart (1998), pg 196; Coogan (1990), pg 146; Deasy (1973), pgs 129-131; O'Callaghan (1994), pg 52; O’Farrell (1997), pg 51

If you need more give me a shout,

Ken

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Ciaran Byrne

Were'nt the Essex Regiment involved in the quelling of the Irish Rebellion in 1916? If not they were there soon after.

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Guest
Neville,

This link might be of some interest: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/easterris...sses/wh09.shtml

Also, a book came out last year called "British Voices from the Irish War of Independence 1918-21" by William Sheehan which includes some memoirs by Brigadier Frederick Charles taken from the Liddell Hart Military Archives.

On page 38 it says,

"D Company soon went back to Kinsale and B company took over Bandon. They arrived with a new to me names[?] Terence O'Cahir Doherty - this being his first visit to old ireland. His father was the rector of Felsted in Essex where Terence went to school as a day boy. He was at once named Cyclops by the Trout as he had lost one eye on the Somme."

The piece also mentions how they engaged some "Shinners" which they dealt with, with two Lewis guns - this could be the incident you were told about?

On page 42, a woman is quoted as calling him a "long legged gassoon"

Is this your father??

The book also includes an article by General Perceval which gives a good British perspective on the war in Cork.

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Kildaremark

Thanks so much for your response. You've answered my question, and some. That was my father.

Now to do some more digging in the references you cite.

Neville

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Guest
Neville,

As I said in my previous mail yesterday, the book I referred to would give you a very good idea of the Essex Regiment's experiences especially as it mentions your father. Incidentally, in the latter part of their service in Ireland, they would have gone across the border to the north (can't remember off hand but presumably after May 1922).

Mark

Thanks again, Mark. In my father's case he was seconded to a West African unit in 1922 and shipped out to what was then the Gold Coast. Incidentally, my brother tells me that our father told him he met Tom Barry in the 1930's and reminisced with him over a jug or two in a pub in Cork. Father, apparently, had not told him, my brother, about the Lewis gun incident.

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