Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Andrew Hesketh

Sherwood Foresters & Easter Rising

Recommended Posts

mikebriggs

I've read Paul's book on Mount Street bridge and agree that it is a great read; looking forward to the new arrival :thumbsup:

will keep an eye on amazon et al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Unknownhelper

I see that ir's been a long time since anyone added any comments to this website. I have only just discovered it myself. I would like to add a few comments, if you please, for what they are worth. Many of the Foresters that went to Ireland in 1916 were indeed from the Chesterfield area. I know that for a fact. Many were from 2/6 Battalion. I was told ny one such man that one morning after the fighting had ended, a group of Foressters were taken for a special assignment. They were told to draw lots and formed two teams. A man was brought into the yard in a wheelchair because he could not walk. He was stood up and shot by firing squad. One team had formed the firing squad, they other formed the burial part. My informant was part of the burial party. The man shot was claimed to be Joseph Mary Plunkett. The date was 4th May 1916, a date that he would never forget.

The same man told me that a young artist had been shot on O'Conol bridge a few days earlier. The young man failed to identify himself when challenged at night

My informant claimed to be present and an eye-witness to all these acts. He was a corporal in the Foresters at the time and died many years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
corisande

The informant was your father perhaps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Pegum

A man was brought into the yard in a wheelchair because he could not walk. He was stood up and shot by firing squad. One team had formed the firing squad, they other formed the burial part. My informant was part of the burial party. The man shot was claimed to be Joseph Mary Plunkett. The date was 4th May 1916, a date that he would never forget.

Joseph Mary Plunkett was executed on 4th May. He was ill, with TB, and had had surgery on neck glands shortly before the Rising. That would explain his weakness.

James Connolly was also unable to stand, due to an ankle injury, but he was executed in a chair on 12th May, so it couldn't have been him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
paul@paulmanning.net

I have recently discovered my grandfather was in 2/6 SF and served in Ireland at this time. Like many, he was a "raw recruit" having been mobilised in January 1916, so had very little training and no battlefield experience before being sent to Ireland.

Paul O'Brien's book "Blood on the Streets" describes in Chapter 10, "May 1916-Executions at Kilmainham Goal", that the "Soldiers of the Sherwood Foresters made up the firing squads. Captain H.M. Whitehead, 7th battalion Sherwood Foresters, was the acting provost marshal. His signature appears on many documents relating to the Kilmainham goal". He quotes a reference War Office Files 36/67. Captain Arthur Annan Dixon, of the 2/7 SF, records his involvement in the executions and his records are in the Imperial War Museum. So it would seem very likely that the SF had been used to execute at least some of the rebels and author of the book above concludes; "All the firing squads were drawn from the soldiers of the Sherwood Forester regiment and their regimental history stated that 'all men met their fate bravely'. The fourteen executions that took place at Kilmainham goal involved over two hundred soldiers".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Airshipped

There are a few witness statements that mention the Sherwood Foresters but in some cases, it's a mixture of first person and hearsay.

http://www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie/bmhsearch/search.jsp?querystr=sherwood

Gerard's disparaging reference to the raw recruits being from English slums is countered by the inability of their Irish opponents to remain in defensive positions; he states that they rose to meet the Sherwood Forester's advance. (Unorthodox military training?). Another curiosity is the suggestion that the British troops had obsolete ammunition.

Overall the various statements might add to the mosaic of information and lead to files at Kew in respect of some of the named officers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wig

The Irish Defence Forces magazine "An Cosantoir" (The Defender) have just published their Easter Rising commemoration edition. Given that the links of the Irish Army go back to the old IRA and the establishment of the state then it was an act of great decency and tolerance for them to publish this piece on the Sherwood Foresters as part of the centenary commemorations:

https://broadsidesdotme.wordpress.com/2016/03/

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Pegum

The Irish Defence Forces magazine "An Cosantoir" (The Defender) have just published their Easter Rising commemoration edition. Given that the links of the Irish Army go back to the old IRA and the establishment of the state then it was an act of great decency and tolerance for them to publish this piece on the Sherwood Foresters as part of the centenary commemorations:

https://broadsidesdotme.wordpress.com/2016/03/

A very colourful piece of writing! I don't know how the author knew that Captain Gerrard was fat!

I was there in 1966, and President De Valera did not stand, with the surviving Volunteers, on Mount Street Bridge. They paraded, in pouring rain, at the corner of Grand Canal Street and Macken Street for the unveiling of the memorial to the battle. Here is a photo I took at the time (the weird pattern on the wall is due to the shrinking of the image for uploading)

The English officer who took his surrender, and who was present in 1966, was a Captain (then Lieutenant) E. J. Hitzen, B Company, 5th Lincolns. Another man the President met in 1966 was a Dr. Charles McDonagh, who had been there when De Valera surrendered. I was told that he had been the man De Valera contacted when he received the order to surrender, and Dr. McDonagh alerted the suthorities.

Michael

post-3328-0-44705800-1458929728_thumb.jppost-3328-0-62067700-1458929761_thumb.jp

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
depaor01

They are great photos Michael. Finally I can place where the 1916 Boland's was. I actually can remember it now. I wonder where the plaque ended up when it was demolished.

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Pegum

They are great photos Michael. Finally I can place where the 1916 Boland's was. I actually can remember it now. I wonder where the plaque ended up when it was demolished.

Dave

The plaque is still there, though in poor condition. Boland's bakery was at the corner of Grand Canal Street and Grand Canal Quay, and is shown on the photo below. the map shows where it was, marked in green. The plaque is on the next corner, with what was then Great Clarence Street - the site of a dispensary.

Michael

post-3328-0-48727300-1458940927_thumb.jp

post-3328-0-45513400-1458941316_thumb.jp

Map from Molyneux and Kelly, When the Clock Struck in 1916, (Cork: Collins, 2015).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jdoyle

The Irish Defence Forces magazine "An Cosantoir" (The Defender) have just published their Easter Rising commemoration edition. Given that the links of the Irish Army go back to the old IRA and the establishment of the state then it was an act of great decency and tolerance for them to publish this piece on the Sherwood Foresters as part of the centenary commemorations:

https://broadsidesdotme.wordpress.com/2016/03/

A very colourful piece of writing! I don't know how the author knew that Captain Gerrard was fat!

I was there in 1966, and President De Valera did not stand, with the surviving Volunteers, on Mount Street Bridge. They paraded, in pouring rain, at the corner of Grand Canal Street and Macken Street for the unveiling of the memorial to the battle. Here is a photo I took at the time (the weird pattern on the wall is due to the shrinking of the image for uploading)

The English officer who took his surrender, and who was present in 1966, was a Captain (then Lieutenant) E. J. Hitzen, B Company, 5th Lincolns. Another man the President met in 1966 was a Dr. Charles McDonagh, who had been there when De Valera surrendered. I was told that he had been the man De Valera contacted when he received the order to surrender, and Dr. McDonagh alerted the suthorities.

Michael

attachicon.gifUnveiling 1c.jpgattachicon.gifUnveiling detail.jpg

.

Not sure that Captain Gerrard was fat but I think he made reference to the artillery officer from Athlone being fat. Will need to check this.

Present at the surrender was Cadet Mackay

http://johnny-doyle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/cadet-g-f-mackay.html

Myles Keogh was the Dr that de Valera met with Cadet MacKay to talk about surrender.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wig

you are right, I am wrong. It was a 25 stone fat artillery officer from Athlone, couldn't ride a horse, and whose first shot, aimed at the flagpole on the GPO, mised and flew over the city to land in the garden of the vice regal lodge!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Pegum

Myles Keogh was the Dr that de Valera met with Cadet MacKay to talk about surrender.

Yes, in the street, "opposite Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital" (Irish Times 'Sinn Féin Rebellion Handbook').

Myles Keogh told him to get in touch with Sir Arthur Ball, who was in Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital (just over the road), to arrange the surrender. Charles McDonagh also met him in the hospital. I was there in 1966, when de Valera and McDonagh met again, in the hall of the hospital, and shook hands.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jdoyle

Yes, in the street, "opposite Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital" (Irish Times 'Sinn Féin Rebellion Handbook').

Myles Keogh told him to get in touch with Sir Arthur Ball, who was in Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital (just over the road), to arrange the surrender. Charles McDonagh also met him in the hospital. I was there in 1966, when de Valera and McDonagh met again, in the hall of the hospital, and shook hands.

Michael

thanks for the info re McDonagh. That's a new snippet for me.

Johnny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Snowdrop.be

Having only just found this discussion, I thought the following might be of interest! My Grandfather was one of the 2/7 SF who had only been in Training for a short period of time, when he was sent with the other SF Trainee's to Dublin in response to the Easter Rising. I read with interest the comment above regarding the poor quality of the SF Soldiers that were deployed, but may I suggest that this had more to do with their lack of training, than their courage!

 

Regarding SF involvement in the executions, I came across an article written by Capt AA  Dickson, 2/7th SF that was apparently printed in the Irish Daily Mail in Apr 2006 which clearly indicates that not only did members of the SF take part in the executions, but were happy to do so, after the losses they sustained in the uprising. The extract below gives some indication of the feelings of the SF to those who were to be executed!

Neither Capt Dickson, nor his men would have known of the identity of the prisoner they were ordered to execute. And in all probability they did not care. His soldiers, just a few days earlier had seen many of their comrades cut down on Northumberland Road and Mount Street Bridge. They had suffered some 183 casualties, officers and men. Some horribly wounded by soft nosed bullets, many of them dead. Indeed when Capt Dickson told his men they were to form a firing party it was suggested to him by one of the survivors of the Mount Street Bridge battle that it was un-necessary for the men to dirty their rifles and Capt. Dickson was asked if they could just bayonet the prisoner instead.

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...