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trenchwalker

Black and Tans

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Stanley_C_Jenkins

I have now found details in The Times about the murders of Father Griffin, Canon Magner, Father O'Callaghan and the Reverend Ralph Harbod of Murragh, who was shot dead on the steps of his father's rectory. A fifth clergyman victim was said to have been the Rev Finlay. Those seeking further details of Ireland in this period might wish to look at a new web site entitled "War of Independence Net", which has several eye-witness accounts and some Black & Tan photographs that I have never seen before.

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rob elliott

Stanley,

Just had a quick look at the web-site you mentioned. Interesting, will have a look at it in more depth.

Have you seen Seamus Fox's web-site? has a good chronological section on events 1919-1925.

Rob

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Arnhem44
Brendan,

Another couple i forgot-

'Spies,Informers and the Anti Sinn Fein Society' Intelligence war in Cork City 1920-21. John Borgonovo

'Tales of the RIC' Blackwood and Sons 1922. A number of stories which appear to be based on actual events. Great book and quite rare now i believe.

Also one if your interested in ex-soldiers-

'Revolution? Ireland 1917-1923' Trinity History Workshop 1990. Series of separate articles on aspects of the troubles of that period.

One section entitled 'Getting Them at Last-The IRA and ex-Servicemen'. Only 12 pages of the book, gives brief details of a number of murders of ex-soldiers.

Stanley, the book 'The burning of Cork' mentions Cannon Magner a couple of times and describes his murder by Cadet Hart.

Rob

Rob once again thank you for that list,I ordered the Peter Hart book 'The IRA and its enemies' earlier today so am looking forward to getting that,these other books also sound like they may be worth picking up.I think its one area of history that some people find hard to believe and for some won't even accept that these murders even happened,I know not all were innocent but nevertheless happened.

Brendan

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Stanley_C_Jenkins

Padraig O'Ruairc, who has created the "War of Independence Net" web site has informed me that the other clerical victim was the Reverend Finlay, a Presbyterian minister from Bailieboro Co. Cavan, who was killed during an IRA raid on his home. The inquest shows that he died of a blow to the head from a blunt object such as a crowbar - his death appears to have been accident during a struggle.

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Peter Mc
his death appears to have been an accident during a struggle.

Oh really? Well let me upset the republican mythology by quoting a different version of events:

The Murder of Dean Finlay

This is a very sensitive area and we are straying far from Black and Tans here!

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Stanley_C_Jenkins

The demise of the Reverend Finlay is relevant insofar as it took place shortly before the "Truce", Thereafter, although the Auxiliary Police, the British army and other government forces were still present in Ireland in considerable strength, they ceased protecting loyalists and other law-abiding citizens, especially those residing in remote vicarages and farm houses.

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high wood

Whilst going through my odds and sods photograph files this morning in a further attempt to identify, classify and index my collection I came across these two photographs. They were purchased with the large photograph of N Company some years ago. (See my previous post elsewhere on this thread). I can only assume that the photographs show members of N company.

Both photographs are very small and have faded. I have cleaned them up as best I can. The two men standing 3rd and 2nd from right in the front row in the top picture are the same two men standing in the same position in the lower picture.

post-6480-1265553599.jpg

post-6480-1265553694.jpg

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Peter Mc

Very interesting and nice to see some new photos of the Auxiliary Division. Notice that the uniform differs from the group shot of 'N'; in these two the men are wearing open necked tunics and the cap badge backings seem to be different from the group. Possibly another company, and the man who these originally belonged to may have been moved between companies during his service. Thanks for putting them up Simon.

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ba.eight

High Wood (and FAO Peter Mc).

Remarkable photos. Do they come with any names attached?

The open neck tunic was worn by senior ranks. My guess is that the smaller group shot consists of platoon commanders. The company hierarchy usually consisted of a Commander with the RIC rank of DI1, Second in Command w RIC rank of DI2 and c4-5 platoon commmanders with RIC rank of DI3.

Platoon cdrs were often confused with Section Leaders (even Townshend makes this mistake). Section Leaders were one rank junior and were the equivalent to Head Constable, as I recall.

N company was implicated in a robbery at Trim which precipitated Crozier's resignation (he wanted to sack every man concerned and was overruled). Among the culprits were at least three with the rank of PC and above.

I have a photo of Major Seafield Grant who commanded J co and was killed at Collavokig. The source was his grandson.

ba.eight

Whilst going through my odds and sods photograph files this morning in a further attempt to identify, classify and index my collection I came across these two photographs. They were purchased with the large photograph of N Company some years ago. (See my previous post elsewhere on this thread). I can only assume that the photographs show members of N company.

Both photographs are very small and have faded. I have cleaned them up as best I can.

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Peter Mc
High Wood (and FAO Peter Mc).

The open neck tunic was worn by senior ranks.

Not always. As you'll be aware the variations on uniform between companies and even within companies was almost arbitrary. Same with puttees and gaiters as some others believe this was a rank variation. It can be argued that senior officers did try and establish a code of sorts but again the variations show that this was not applied wholesale.

Even as regards the 'real' Black and Tans (who were supposed to be fully uniform compliant after the initial take-on period) there is strong evidence of them ignoring this in certain places and wearing khaki, breeches, leggings, Sam Brownes and just about everthing else even by June of 1921.

Stanley - given your interest in the killings of clergy have you seen this latest item?

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Stanley_C_Jenkins

The killing of clergymen was, like the use of rape as a "weapon", very rare in Ireland. But these offences happened, and have passed into republican mythology, the Black & Tans being blamed for just about crime imaginable. Peter Hart has attempted to put these events into perspective, and he has, in consequence, been dubbed a revisionist (or worse).

For the record. the Reverend John Finlay was an Anglican (not a nonconformist minister), and he has a memorial window in St Peters C of I Church Templeport. His memorial reads:

"HERE LIES THE BODY OF / JOHN FINLAY, / DEAN OF LEIGHLIN, / WHO WAS MURDERED IN / HIS OWN HOME AT BRACKLEY, / ON SUNDAY JUNE 12TH 1921, AGED 78 / HE DIED IN SURE & CERTAIN HOPE OF THE RESURRECTION / TO ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST / ERECTED BY ISABELLA, HIS LOVING AND HAPPY WIFE / FOR OVER 50 YEARS WHO DIED 12TH JULY 1928".

(An IRA man who was present during the burning of the Finlay house said that the shooting was an accident).

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Dez

Hello Stanley,

It is to be regretted that any clergymen lost their lives due to the action of Crown or Republican forces. There must also be occasions where the clergy played an active part in events during 1920/21. One such clergyman was the Rev. Fr. Michael Henry, an R.C. priest in Co. Sligo, who was made an honorary member of the Mess, of "P" Company of the Auxiliary Division, stationed in Co. Sligo and he often joined them there for a drink. The Company 2 I.C. was present on a raid, during which Fr. Henry's home was visited, upon seeing Fr. Henry he recognised him at once, as they had served together in Salonika during the late War and had become good friends. The "P" Company 2 I.C. was Lt. R.B. Bottson, and he had served in the East Surrey Regt.

Dez

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Stanley_C_Jenkins

Hello Dez,

I am sure there must have been many such instances, particularly in cases where people had only recently been serving together in the Great War. I think the so-called "Anglo-Irish" war was in reality much more of a civil war that we were perhaps led to believe in school or at university.

Many Catholics were loyalists, and although the majority were probably Home Rule supporters they did not necessarily condone the use of violence. For instance, the officers of the 1st Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, station in and around Limerick and Tulla, were slightly perplexed by “one old priest” who would walk into the Orderly Room in Limerick and talk “rapidly and painfully on the situation in general”. On one occasion he produced “a handful of raisins from his pocket” and poured them onto the desks of the Commanding Officer and Adjutant as a token of friendship.

Many Black & Tans appear to have been RCs - I would think at least 25 per cent which, again, is contrary to the way in which they are portrayed in the "Holywood" version of recent Irish history!

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irishmen1916

Hi Stanley, The Anglo-Irish war was just that, and not a Civil war, in fact a lot of the combatants on the Irish side would refer to this time (1919-1921) as the Black & Tan war, their medals for service during this time would also carry the name "Black and Tan Medal".

Peter

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Dez

Hello high wood,

Thanks for posting two more Aux. Div. photographs, when trying to identify groups like these it is amazing how many heads are turned at the wrong angle to see the badge backing. As regards "N" Company, looking at the larger photograph when magnified, the Auxiliary holding his rifle across his body appears to have a star backing to his badge, the same goes for the middle Auxiliary in the smaller group. The donkey and cart is certainly a strange prop, (we must assume it is not Auxiliary transport) The figure holding a rifle crouched beside the donkey looks more like the donkey's owner than an Auxiliary, and is that his female companion sitting on the cart holding the reins, her head level with the waist of the Auxiliary standing in the cart, maybe I am seeing things. The importance of these photographs and others of the same type cannot be overstated as regards dress and equipment, as it was actually worn during this period. The dark green Balmoral with badge backings (or flashes) was introduced for 'all ranks' in December 1920, previous to this it had been worn only by officers.

Dez

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high wood

This is absolutely the last photograph that I have from this series and shows RIC officers and a football team, possibly N Companies team. Several of the faces appear in the other photographs that I have posted. I have identified one of the officers in this picture as T/Cadet A.E. Owins. M.C. standing third from left in the back row.

post-6480-1266268940.jpg

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high wood

I cannot find a medal index card for A E Owins. The closest that I can find is for Captain Arthur C Owins, Worcestershire Regiment. I am not sure if this is the same man and the E is a misprint. Owins also appears 2nd from the left in the donkey picture in post 82.

post-6480-1266269441.jpg

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Dez

high wood,

looks like you have done it again with two more photographs to complement the others. A.E. Owins M.C. In the Aux. records he is listed as a Captain. His joining date is 29/12/20 with a re-engagement date of 7/10/21. His Aux. no. is 1328 and it would appear that he stayed a Cadet, and his initials are indeed A.E. With regards to the football photograph, here are the first couple of lines from a report dated 12th November 1921. The final match in the Auxiliary Division, R.I.C., Company Competition was played on Saturday the 12th November 1921 at the Shelbourne Sports Ground, Dublin, and resulted in a comparatively easy win for "F" Company, ... who were playing "L" Company. It goes on to describe the game and before it lists the teams at the end, it states that General Tudor presented the medals. "N" must have got knocked out along the way.

Dez

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high wood

Dez,

Many thanks for the information. Do we know which regiment Captain Owins served with during the Great War and when and for which action he was was awarded the Military Cross?

I am also trying to identify the Ian Botham lookalike in post 92. He should be on the original N Company photograph but I cannot say for sure who he is.

Here is another close up of the right side of the photograph.

Simon.

post-6480-1266305577.jpg

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Peter Mc

Could the older man be Col FHW Guard? I'm sure Dez will be able to prove or discount my guess but I'm sure I've seen this face before, probably on a Pathe newsreel.

What's even more interesting to me is the flag held at bottom right (main photo). I've seen references to what commentators at the time called 'the Black and Tan flag'; and in one case described as a black and khaki flag - one such flew over my grandfathers barracks at Carrickmacross. The example shown in this photo shows a 5 pointed star of the same design as the badge backing.

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Dez

Peter Mc,

I haven't seen a photograph of Col. Guard, but I would expect him to look younger, as he was only 32 years of age in March 1921 (born March 1889). Sometime last year his medals were on sale and from the list of awards, I would count seven that he could have had ribbons for, in 1921. So I would be looking for two rows of medal ribbons on his tunic. Nothing conclusive, I can't say yes or no. I also noticed the flag, I have often wondered about Company flags, but never seen one. I have seen a couple of Aux. Crossleys with union flags attached.

Dez

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high wood

I have been looking through the London Gazette and have found this citation in 22nd March 1918 supplement.

2nd Lt (T/Capt) Albert Ernest Owins. Worcestershire Regt.

for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the attack he led his company with great ability and enabled his battalion and the battalion on his right, which was losing direction, to attack the proper objectives. During the consolidation he exposed himself fearlessly, and set a magnificant example to all.

I also found this an a later edition.

Worc Regt. Lt A Owins, M.C., retires on ret pay, 5th March 1920, and is granted the rank of Captain.

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Simon_Fielding

Seems to have been 10th Worcs and later 1st Worcs.

So the 10th Worcestershire (a) moved up after dark on September 11th and crossed the mf\

Ypres-Comines canal by a pontoon bridge below " The Bluff." Thence the platoons filed forward * i / TH

into the front line (B). One company took over the shell-holes which sheltered the forward posts

just east of Klein Zillebeke ; behind them the other companies took over dugouts in " Fusilier "

and " Battle " woods and in the strange mound called " The Caterpillar," hard by Hill 60.

In those positions the Battalion remained for three days, sniping and reconnoitring the

ground in front ©. Then, after some intercompany reliefs (d), the 57th Brigade was relieved by

troops of the 37th Division, and the 10th Worcestershire marched back to their camp near Vierstraat.

There, to the dismay of the Company officers, was found a large draft of half-trained recruits,

sent to fill up the ranks of the Battalion for the forthcoming battle. During the next few days every

effort was made to fit those raw lads in some sort for the ordeal before them (e).

From the 15th to the 18th of September training was strenuous and incessant; then the

Battalion was carried forward by bus to St. Eloi, and on the following evening (September 19th)

moved forward to the line.

That night, a fine night but dark, lit only by the stars, troops were in motion along the whole

front of the Salient, from Langemarck to Hollebeke, filing forward into position for the attack.

Intentionally the sound of their movement was drowned by the thunder of the British guns. That

clamour of gun-fire again broke the weather, and at dawn a heavy drizzle came down, soaking the

troops and making everything obscure ; but by that time the 10th Worcestershire were in position.

The companies had marched eastward from St. Eloi, had crossed the canal by a pontoon bridge

and had reached the line.

The attack was to be delivered by three companies in line, the fourth company being held

back in reserve. Each company would attack in four waves, a platoon in each wave. The two

leading waves would take the first line of the German defences on the high ground. Then the two

waves in rear would pass through, and would carry the attack down to the foot of the slope.

THE BATTLE OF THE MENIN ROAD(/).

At dawn [g) on September 20th the gun-fire all along the front rose to intensity, and the

British battalions advanced to the attack. Apparently the enemy had not expected the attack

to be prolonged so far southward as the front of the 19th Division, and the German resistance, though

stubborn, was not well supported. The attack was completely successful. The German front-line

defences were overrun without difficulty; then after a pause, to allow the artillery to lengthen. •..

their range, the platoons in rear passed through and pushed down the slope. Seme venomous

machine-guns in Wocd Farm caused many casualties before the ruins of that building were finally

stormed, and from the right flank German machine-guns in Hollebeke Chateau swept the slopes.

Immediately to the left the 8th Gloucestershire had a stiff fight in Belgian Wocd, but by 9 a.m.

all resistance was over, and the 10th Worcestershire were busily at work entrenching the captured

ground (h). Patrols were pushed forward to Moat Farm, which was occupied and secured.

Away to the left, higher up the valley of the Bassevillebeek, the battle was raging in Shrewsbury

Forest and along the Menin Road, with repeated attack and counter-attack; but on the front of

the 19th Division the enemy attempted no counter-attack until after dark. Then an attempted

German advance from North Farm drew down a storm of fire. Thereafter, except for an angry

gun-fire, the night was quiet and the 10th Worcestershire slept on the ground they had won. The

losses in the advance down the exposed slope had been about a third of the Battalion's " battle

strength "—150 in all, including 7 officers (i).

(a) On September 10th the Battalion marched from Westoutre to camp near Vierstraat.

(6) Relieving a Battalion of the 37th Division.

© Casualties, 10th Worcestershire 11th—14th September, 1 officer (2/Lt. H. Moorhouse) and 3 men wounded.

(d) On the evening of the 13th the place of the front-line company was taken over by a company of the 8th Glouccster-

•: • shire, and the Worcestershire company was drawn back into Battle Wood.

(e) But in the event they went into the battle with but the most rudimentary knowledge and, though they behaved

most gallantly under fire, their unhandiness was evident and might under different circumstances have proved

dangerous. A great part in their hasty education was played by Regimental-Sergeant-Major H. J. Farley.

(/) The official dates for this battle are September 20th—25th. See footnote (d) on page 290. :

(g) 5.25 a.m.

(h) For their gallant leadership in that attack Captain A. E. Owins and 2/Lieut. J. Clarke were awarded the M.C. and

Sergts. E. J. Calder and A. Barber were awarded the D.C.M. :

(i) Killed one officer (2/Lt. P. Jones) and 20 other ranks. Wounded 6 officers (2/Lts. H. Thompson, H. M. Hale,

•J. Froggatt, E. C. Coxwell, F. A. Brett, H. J. Luckman) and 95 other ranks. Missing 28.

MC gazzetted 19/11/17

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ba.eight

Unlikely to be Guard if it's exclusively N Co. Guard was D company (Galway) Commander until cMarch 1921. He became overall 2 i/c of ADRIC, succeeding Brig-Gen Wood 9who himself succeeded Crozier.

He ws one of many who went on to serve in the Palestine Gendarmerie (precursor to the Palestine Police). Have to check my record but pretty sure he died out there quite young. ADRIC's second adjutant Major Martinson became the PG's first adjutant; he was succeeded by another Auxie, Capt Swann who was killed in an ambush in 1924.

As you say, Guard was a youngster. Allowing for the fact people aged quicker, I suspect your hunch is right.

ba.eight

Peter Mc,

I haven't seen a photograph of Col. Guard, but I would expect him to look younger, as he was only 32 years of age in March 1921 (born March 1889). Sometime last year his medals were on sale and from the list of awards, I would count seven that he could have had ribbons for, in 1921. So I would be looking for two rows of medal ribbons on his tunic. Nothing conclusive, I can't say yes or no. I also noticed the flag, I have often wondered about Company flags, but never seen one. I have seen a couple of Aux. Crossleys with union flags attached.

Dez

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ba.eight

Re: my earlier reply, I think I know the newsreel you mean. I wonder if it's Brig Gen Wood. Right sort of age and Crozier describes him as a large man

Could the older man be Col FHW Guard? I'm sure Dez will be able to prove or discount my guess but I'm sure I've seen this face before, probably on a Pathe newsreel.

What's even more interesting to me is the flag held at bottom right (main photo). I've seen references to what commentators at the time called 'the Black and Tan flag'; and in one case described as a black and khaki flag - one such flew over my grandfathers barracks at Carrickmacross. The example shown in this photo shows a 5 pointed star of the same design as the badge backing.

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