Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Steve Bramley

Eamon de Valera

Recommended Posts

Steve Bramley

Hi,

I have tried to locate the service records (in the NA catalogue) of Capt. Edo John Hitzen 2/5th Lincs. He is not listed amongst the Territorial Officers (WO 374). He is on the Grimsby AVL as being with the 5th Battalion. There is no reference to him in either 1/5th/2/5th war diary.

Does any pal have any further information about Capt Hitzen, or have a clue as to where i would look for his service record?

Below is Capt Hitzen's connection with Eamon De Valera (The Times 16/4/66)

MR DE VALERA AND OLD ENEMY MEET

FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT

DUBLIN APRIL 15

In pouring rain, Mr de Valera, President of the Republic of Ireland, who with 100 riflemen fought British troops in Dublin during the 1916 uprising today embraced the man who accepted his surrender, Captain E J Hitzen, aged 80, now of Grimsby, was the guest of the Irish Government for the commemorations.

As Mr de Valera unveiled a commemorative plaque on a bakery building Captain Hitzen stood with his head uncovered in the rain. After the unveiling they inspected a guard of honour of 40 of Mr de Valera's Easter Week battalion survivors.

Captain Hitzen met old friends who were his 1916 enemies. The old IRA men had entertained him in Ireland at the silver jubilee of the rising.

He said that in 1916 he was held at bay for four days with his company of The Lincolnshire Regiment, aiding The Sherwood Foresters, by 'this garrison of invisible men whose snipers were terrific". He added: "When I met de Valera in the hospital where he made his surrender he was gaunt, unshaven, curt but courteous. His first words to me were: "Do what you will with me, but treat my men as prisoners of war'. When marching Mr de Valera and his men to gaol that day, Captain Hitzen said : "The President walked as if he were the leader of an army".

The members of Mr de Valera's battalion exchange cards at Easter and Christmas with Captain Hitzen and send him shamrock on St Patrick's Day. Today he had tea with Mr de Valera and Mr lemass, the Prime Minister.

Regards,

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jim_davies

Steve,

Two entries on the London Gazette:

30 Jan 1917

"Lincoln Regt. Capt E.J. Hitzen is seconded. 17 Jan 1917"

6 July 1917

"Lincolnshire Regt. Capt E.J. Hitzen is now seconded for duty with the Labour Corps. 24 June 1917"

He also returned an Irish battle flag in the 1940s..

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will O'Brien

Hitzen must have seen active service overseas as he has a MIC...............his online entry can be seen here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steve Bramley

Thanks Jim,

Will mail you.

Will, yes that's what I thought, although I couldn't find him in the war diary I fully expected to find his records in WO 374, I'm stumped!

Regards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wig

Eamon De Valera, his grandson, and now a judge of the Irish High Court, always believed Hitzon was an officer of the Sherwood Foresters. I am delighted to now identify his true regiment. His role at the surrender has a wonderful epilog; Not at liberty to disclose it just now, but this information will be of considerable help

Could someone post a capbadge of the Lincs?

Wig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wig

Below is a photograph of de Valera at the time of his arrest. It is difficult to make out the cap badges of the escort - they seem to be Sherwood Foresters badges to me, but do they look anything like the badges of the Lincolnshire Regt? If the photgraph is too small you can find a larger image on Google images, just enter De Valera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andrew Hesketh

Wig,

Try entering 'lincolnshire regiment badge' in a google image search. The de Valera picture on google image search isn't really clear enough to be conclusive. I would say Notts & Derby, but the triangularish image of the badges could easily be be Lincolnshire. Do you know of a clearer version of that photo anywhere?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mikebriggs

Dear both

I have two books with that picture in. I've tried scanning the picture - see what you think. Looking under the magnifying glass I would say that the 2 men flanking de Valera are Foresters (certainly the sergeant) but the man behind I'm not sure about.

Mike

post-4619-1133691968.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yellow

Steve,

WO 374 is not a file for service papers it is a file for correspondence. We dont know what happens behind closed doors and I can see why his coresspondence would be missing.........perhaps to make up an intelligence file for some other government agency *wink* *wink*

There are two unconventional avenues for research. Perhaps his relatives are still living in Lincolnshire, in which case they they can write on your behalf to obtain his army service record OR you can go through all the army lists and build a record yourself.

The Lincs Regiment note on the MIC is not an error.......have you ever heard of the 13th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (16th & 17th)?

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wig

I go for it being the badge of the Sherwood Foresters.

Coogan's book on Michael Collins says the photograph was taken at the time of his court martial. He was one on the last of the leaders to be courtmartialed.

What I cannot get hold of is what the Lincolnshires were doing there. Was there a battalion or just a few men attached to the Sherwoods?

Dear both

I have two books with that picture in. I've tried scanning the picture - see what you think. Looking under the magnifying glass I would say that the 2 men flanking de Valera are Foresters (certainly the sergeant) but the man behind I'm not sure about.

Mike

post-4619-1133691968.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yellow

Both the 2/4th and 2/5th Lincolns were in Ireland 1916. Theres an excellent photo on a certain book of the regiment showing the 2/4th fighting in Talbot Street.

Steve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KONDOA
What I cannot get hold of is what the Lincolnshires were doing there. Was there a battalion or just a few men attached to the Sherwoods?

Wig, the 59th Division (2nd North Midland) were mobilised to Ireland due to the insurgence.

The composition in part in 1916 from the LLT was :

176th Brigade (2nd Staffordshire)

2/5th Bn, the South Staffordshire (joined January 1915, disbanded January 1918)

2/6th Bn, the South Staffordshire (joined January 1915, left as a cadre May 1918)

2/5th Bn, the North Staffords(joined January 1915, absorbed by 1/5th February 1918)

2/6th Bn, the North Staffords(joined January 1915, left as a cadre May 1918)

177th Brigade (2nd Lincoln and Leicester)

2/4th Bn, the Lincolns (joined July 1915, absorbed by 1/4th January 1918)

2/5th Bn, the Lincolns (joined July 1915, left May 1918)

2/4th Bn, the Leicesters (joined September 1915, left May 1918)

2/5th Bn, the Leicesters (joined September 1915, disbanded February 1918)

178th Brigade (2nd Notts & Derby)

2/5th Bn, the Sherwood Foresters (joined October 1914, left as a cadre June 1918)

2/6th Bn, the Sherwood Foresters (joined September 1914, left as a cadre May 1918)

2/7th (Robin Hood) Bn, the Sherwood Foresters (joined September 1914, absorbed by 1/7th Bn February 1918)

2/8th Bn, the Sherwood Foresters (joined September 1914, disbanded February 1918)

Roop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andrew Hesketh

Mike - good, clear scan. Definitely Notts & Derby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Doug Lewis

I would agree with Andrew,definitely Notts & Derby.

I wished I had been able to chat with my Great Grandad he served in Ireland at this time with the 2/6th Staffords,what info I could have gained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SMG65

Is this the same de Valera who sent condolences to Germany upon the announcement of Hitler's death?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simon_Fielding

Yes. And the same Ireland that gave tacit support to the Allies throughout WW2, and massive recruitment for the British Army. I think there was a distinct difference between public policy and policy on the ground.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BatterySergeantMajor
Is this the same de Valera who sent condolences to Germany upon the announcement of Hitler's death?

And that send his firemen to Belfast after it had been bombed.

Erwin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Frank_East

Are we sure that the photograph of de Valera under arrest was taken in Ireland?.

de Valera was incarcerated in Lincoln Jail from 17 May 1917 until he escaped on 3 February 1919.

In October 1950 he was received with courtesy at Lincoln Jail on an official visit and asked if the prison authorities had changed the master key system.He was told they had 31 years previous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wig

The photograph was taken at Richmond Barracks, Dublin. De Valera had been in the custody of the Lincolnshire Regt. at the Royal Dublin Showgrounds but was taken to Richmond for his court martial. The Sherwood Foresters were the troops holding Richmond barracks and providing escorts for the court, firing parties for the executions and so on. De Valera was aware the photograph was being taken and deliberately glared at the photographer. It was his favourate photograph.

Are we sure that the photograph of de Valera under arrest was taken in Ireland?.

de Valera was incarcerated in Lincoln Jail from 17 May 1917 until he escaped on 3 February 1919.

In October 1950 he was received with courtesy at Lincoln Jail on an official visit and asked if the prison authorities had changed the master key system.He was told they had 31 years previous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KONDOA

DeValera remains the only successful escapee from Lincoln Jail (my neighbours).

Roop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ken Devitt

Besides Capt. Hitzen, there were two other participants in the surrender.

Cadet G.F.Makay who was a prisoner and to whom de Valera gave his Browning automatic, with the request to pass it on to his son Vivion.

The other was Doctor Myles Keogh from Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital who described the surrender scene.

"Two men came out of the Poor Law Dispensary of Patrick Dun's Hospital. One was a military cadet-aprisoner-and the other was de Valera.

"Hullo," cried deValera.

"Who are you? said the officer.

"I am de Valera."

"And I am a prisoner," shouted the other.

It would be nice to know what happened to cadet G.F Makay.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wig

There exists some dispute as to whether the weapon given to Makay was a browning or a Luger. Whoever finds Makay will find the answer.

Wig

Besides Capt. Hitzen, there were two other participants in the surrender.

Cadet G.F.Makay who was a prisoner and to whom de Valera gave his Browning automatic, with the request to pass it on to his son Vivion.

The other was Doctor Myles Keogh from Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital who described the surrender scene.

"Two men came out of the Poor Law Dispensary of Patrick Dun's Hospital. One was a military cadet-aprisoner-and the other was de Valera.

"Hullo," cried deValera.

"Who are you? said the officer.

"I am de Valera."

"And I am a prisoner," shouted the other.

It would be nice to know what happened to cadet G.F Makay.

Ken

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ciaran Byrne
And that send his firemen to Belfast after it had been bombed.

Erwin

Which the Luftwaffe bombed Dublin in return for. It was always thought that the German bomber crew had got lost on a bombing mission over England and jettisoned their bombs over Dublin but recently uncovered secret German files actually denote a mission detailed to take revenge on Southern Ireland for assisting in firefighting during the bombing of Belfast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
toofatfortakeoff

There are pics of Captain von Hitzen as his full title was, with EDV at Kilmainham, I believe on its opening. He had a lovely bushy white tash and wasnt very tall. He said he was glad the two of them could meet under different circumstances and congratulated EDV on his fifty years in politics.

The Captain died in the 1960s in a Lincs village not far from Lincoln which I will have to trawl for info next time Im up in Yellow. There bound to be something in the Echo. If youre ever in lincoln the Adam and Eve pub which is the oldest pub in Lincoln was where EDV was picked up by his transport to take him to hiding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BeppoSapone

Shooting the leaders of the Easter Rising is one of the stupidest things Britain did in Ireland.

In particular, as they did not shoot the American De Valera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...