Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
trenchwalker

Black and Tans

Recommended Posts

ba.eight

Good site and the account of Killaloe is an interesting find. The CO of course is Lt Col Andrews, an old associate of Crozier in the Royal Welch who had served in Russia, South Africa and South America. Quite a character but a very dangerous man to cross.

BA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dez

Hello BA,

Do you happen to know who the O.C. at Killaloe was, before Lt. Col. Andrews, and the date that Andrews arrived there.

Dez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ba.eight

Dez,

Excuse delay in responding.

Not certain of this one. I think Andrews had been in charge of A company briefly after its first commander Lt Col Kirkwood stepped down. He took over cNovember at Killaloe and G wasn't one of the initial bunch formed from the first 500 recruits. So off the top of my head it would only be c2months old by the time RJA stepped in. Shall have a dig around, bear with me.

BA

Hello BA,

Do you happen to know who the O.C. at Killaloe was, before Lt. Col. Andrews, and the date that Andrews arrived there.

Dez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jamie 1978

Hello

Was reading this interesting thread and wondered if anyone had herlihs's book on the RIC. Was wondering if the alphabetical list has any of the following names in it-interested in recruitments into the Black and Tans or Auxies.

TYRRELL

TURRELL

TYRELL

Any help much appreciated

Jamie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
corisande

Jamie

I think you need to put a post in Rootschat Ireland General forum, someone there has the book you want. From memory I don't think anyone here has.

A post just on the person you want is mush more likely to get an answer than buried in a long thread like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jamie 1978
Jamie

I think you need to put a post in Rootschat Ireland General forum, someone there has the book you want. From memory I don't think anyone here has.

A post just on the person you want is mush more likely to get an answer than buried in a long thread like this.

Thanks

Will do

Jamie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
isadore

Here is a report from the London Times on an incident in Trim County Meath which may, from what I read here have involved N Company?

Its interesting that theres no distinction made between the Auxiliary and the Black and Tans.

The Times, Tuesday, Sep 28, 1920; pg. 10; Issue 42527; col A

More Irish Reprisals. Armed Raiders At Trim., Many Houses Burned., Further Threats. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.).

Early this morning in the town of Trim where the police barracks was burned yesterday and a head constable was shot, was partially wrecked by armed men.

Some hours after the burning o the barrack a party of soldiers took possession of the town and remained on duty until 11' o clock at night, when they were withdrawn. The town was then quiet and it remained so until 3 o' clock this morning when a number of armed men who are said to have been Auxiliary Policemen arrived in motor lorries and went through the streets shouting and firing their rifles.

The occupants of Higgins Hotel got three minutes to leave and soon afterwards it was said to be on fire. A number of business houses in the main street were soon blazing and this afternoon it is reported that most of the houses on both sides of Market Street, the principal thoroughfare are burning. Two lads named Kelly and Griffin have been taken to hospital suffering from gunshot wounds.

The damage to house property is estimated at £50,000. Trim is the Assize town for county Meath is within 30 miles of Dublin and the Midland and Great Western Railway and has a population of 15,000.

It was ascertained to-night at Dublin Castle that a report will be issued regarding the outbreak at Trim. Full details of the occurrence have been telegraphed for and special officers have been sent to the town to make enquiries. The whole question of reprisals has been engaging the earnest attention of the Chief Secretary since his return from London. Conferences have been held and definite steps are under consideration for dealing with the matter expeditiously and effectively.

The Standing Committee of the Irish Peace Conference has passed a resolution recording its:

'solemn conviction that the reprisals practised by the armed forces of the government and especially the new Auxiliary Police, including wanton and willful destruction of human life and property for which no accountability has been enforced and no redress given constitute an almost insuperable barrier to the success of its efforts in the cause of peace.'

LARGE FORCE OF INVADERS

a Navan correspondent telegraphed yesterday:

Two hundred of the "Black and Tans" entered the little town of Trim early this morning, singled out the shops and business establishments of those residents alleged to be in sympathy with Sinn Fein and ransacked, pillaged and burned all. At noon today when I visited the town it had all the appearance of a bombarded town in the war zone of France. Furniture is piled on the main street, houses still smouldering and the people are panic stricken. Two young men are lying in the local hospital having been shot by the military. Head Constable White who was also wounded is not yet out of danger.

It appears that on Sunday evening military motor-cars full of armed men dashed into Trim on the way to the police barracks which had been burned by raiders that morning. Shots were discharged at a group of boys playing hurley on the green and one lad of 16, George Griffin was shot through the groin, while another lad named James Kelly was shot in the leg. The priests sought some of the officers, gave them assurance that the town would be quiet and that all would be indoors by 8 o' clock. The military then departed.

At 3 o' clock this morning a force of "Black and Tans" entered the town. They visited the town hall in Castle Street, a licensed premises in Market Street, a drapery establishment in High Street and a mineral water factory and premises in Market-Street. The doors were smashed in. Petrol was commandeered and poured over the shops and soon all were on fire. Today nothing remains but the charred walls.

The proprietor of the mineral water factory, who is chairman of the Urban Council estimates his loss at £20,000. He added that at 3.45 the door was broken in. His assistants heard the noise and fled. The uniformed men called for the chairman of the Sinn Fein council and he hid in the kitchen. Then the " Black and Tans" went through the place setting the premises on fire. In the drapery establishment £8,000 worth of damaged goods and property is the measure of the appraisals. One of the two brothers owning the business is a member of the Urban Council.

In Castle Street the residents slept in the gardens. in this street is the town hall. A tailor living opposite whose family were in bed, was taken into the street and asked where his Sinn Fein sons were. He replied he did not know. A bayonet it is stated was placed against his breast and a "Black and Tan" is alleged to have said 'put it through the beggar.' A postman appealed to the men to spare the old man. They then smashed the door of his house, went through every room and destroyed every article in the place. All the residents in the street fled from their houses. The town hall was afterwards completely destroyed and all the town records destroyed. At 5 o' clock the "Black and Tans" left, threatening to return tonight to complete their work.

Isadore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ba.eight

TVM, useful cutting but I'll lay money it's not N co. Records suggest it was formed cJan1921 - cnprovide evidence. At that time Adric had c500 men which equates to five companies, poss 6. Think closest wd hv been E or F.

Regards ba.eight

Here is a report from the London Times on an incident in Trim County Meath which may, from what I read here have involved N Company?

Its interesting that theres no distinction made between the Auxiliary and the Black and Tans.

The Times, Tuesday, Sep 28, 1920; pg. 10; Issue 42527; col A

More Irish Reprisals. Armed Raiders At Trim., Many Houses Burned., Further Threats. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.).

Early this morning in the town of Trim where the police barracks was burned yesterday and a head constable was shot, was partially wrecked by armed men.

Some hours after the burning o the barrack a party of soldiers took possession of the town and remained on duty until 11' o clock at night, when they were withdrawn. The town was then quiet and it remained so until 3 o' clock this morning when a number of armed men who are said to have been Auxiliary Policemen arrived in motor lorries and went through the streets shouting and firing their rifles.

The occupants of Higgins Hotel got three minutes to leave and soon afterwards it was said to be on fire. A number of business houses in the main street were soon blazing and this afternoon it is reported that most of the houses on both sides of Market Street, the principal thoroughfare are burning. Two lads named Kelly and Griffin have been taken to hospital suffering from gunshot wounds.

The damage to house property is estimated at £50,000. Trim is the Assize town for county Meath is within 30 miles of Dublin and the Midland and Great Western Railway and has a population of 15,000.

It was ascertained to-night at Dublin Castle that a report will be issued regarding the outbreak at Trim. Full details of the occurrence have been telegraphed for and special officers have been sent to the town to make enquiries. The whole question of reprisals has been engaging the earnest attention of the Chief Secretary since his return from London. Conferences have been held and definite steps are under consideration for dealing with the matter expeditiously and effectively.

The Standing Committee of the Irish Peace Conference has passed a resolution recording its:

'solemn conviction that the reprisals practised by the armed forces of the government and especially the new Auxiliary Police, including wanton and willful destruction of human life and property for which no accountability has been enforced and no redress given constitute an almost insuperable barrier to the success of its efforts in the cause of peace.'

LARGE FORCE OF INVADERS

a Navan correspondent telegraphed yesterday:

Two hundred of the "Black and Tans" entered the little town of Trim early this morning, singled out the shops and business establishments of those residents alleged to be in sympathy with Sinn Fein and ransacked, pillaged and burned all. At noon today when I visited the town it had all the appearance of a bombarded town in the war zone of France. Furniture is piled on the main street, houses still smouldering and the people are panic stricken. Two young men are lying in the local hospital having been shot by the military. Head Constable White who was also wounded is not yet out of danger.

It appears that on Sunday evening military motor-cars full of armed men dashed into Trim on the way to the police barracks which had been burned by raiders that morning. Shots were discharged at a group of boys playing hurley on the green and one lad of 16, George Griffin was shot through the groin, while another lad named James Kelly was shot in the leg. The priests sought some of the officers, gave them assurance that the town would be quiet and that all would be indoors by 8 o' clock. The military then departed.

At 3 o' clock this morning a force of "Black and Tans" entered the town. They visited the town hall in Castle Street, a licensed premises in Market Street, a drapery establishment in High Street and a mineral water factory and premises in Market-Street. The doors were smashed in. Petrol was commandeered and poured over the shops and soon all were on fire. Today nothing remains but the charred walls.

The proprietor of the mineral water factory, who is chairman of the Urban Council estimates his loss at £20,000. He added that at 3.45 the door was broken in. His assistants heard the noise and fled. The uniformed men called for the chairman of the Sinn Fein council and he hid in the kitchen. Then the " Black and Tans" went through the place setting the premises on fire. In the drapery establishment £8,000 worth of damaged goods and property is the measure of the appraisals. One of the two brothers owning the business is a member of the Urban Council.

In Castle Street the residents slept in the gardens. in this street is the town hall. A tailor living opposite whose family were in bed, was taken into the street and asked where his Sinn Fein sons were. He replied he did not know. A bayonet it is stated was placed against his breast and a "Black and Tan" is alleged to have said 'put it through the beggar.' A postman appealed to the men to spare the old man. They then smashed the door of his house, went through every room and destroyed every article in the place. All the residents in the street fled from their houses. The town hall was afterwards completely destroyed and all the town records destroyed. At 5 o' clock the "Black and Tans" left, threatening to return tonight to complete their work.

Isadore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dez

Hello isadore

"N" Company didn't arrive in Trim until about two months after the events described in the newspaper story. According to Brig. General Crozier (Commander of the Auxiliary Division) in his book 'Ireland For Ever', on page 100, when he got the news about the killing of two Auxiliary Cadets at Lower Mount Street on Sunday the 21st Nov.1920, "I was leisurely inspecting a newly formed Company of Auxiliaries about to proceed to County Meath in the normal course of duty" ("N" Coy.). You noted that it is interesting that there is no distinction made between the Auxiliary and the Black and Tans, there is also no connection between them. For some reason it is often forgotten that the Black and Tans were regular R.I.C. recruits that joined after January 1920. Whenever they completed their training, they were allocated in small numbers to R.I.C. barracks all over the country (except for the six northeast counties) and became part of the complement of these barracks. In every town where they were stationed they were known to the people as Black and Tans and many of them enjoyed this distinction from the older R.I.C. men. No member of the public ever confused any of these men with the Auxiliaries, known all over Ireland as the Auxies. To try and organize 200 of these (regular R.I.C.) Black and Tans into a group such as was said to appear at Trim, would be next to impossible, scattered as they were across the country. I would suggest that the two hundred Black and Tans came from Gormanston Camp, the training camp for the new recruits which is only thirty odd miles away. The R.I.C. Transport Division was also located there, and this is an important consideration, if you want to move 200 men and you are using Crossley tenders, you are going to need at least 18. It is important to note that the police involved in the unofficial reprisal, a week earlier at Balbriggan, came from Gormanston Camp.

Dez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gaelgoir

Picture of F company members at Dublin castle on Rolls royce and twin turret armoured cars

post-48903-052645200 1298323073.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gaelgoir

Right hand side of photo

post-48903-004152000 1298323295.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
toofatfortakeoff

Interesting post! My grandfather was at Tourmakeady as a teenager taking part in that ambush along with a neighbour farmer Tom Kearney.

I read Donal Buckley's book and it is a great account.I got in touch with him after the publication. He runs military tours in Ireland

We think we have got the photo of Martin in the South Mayo flying column. He wasnt id'd in the photo but we mostly reckon it is him.

I have a good deal of info on the action around Galway City and the country half of it from the Galway family history centre.

Douglas V Duff was a strange character ans somewhat liberal with the truth. His service dates for instance have been questioned.

He went on to Palestine and became a police commissioner with the PP but was dismissed for a rather nasty offence against a civilian there in 1932? Monty despised him and as they both served in Ireland during that time, I don't know if the subject came up. His account of a battle at Oughterard in his book ''The Rough with the Smooth'' is very good.

In Palestine he carried a knobkerry (from his Irish days?) and would enter the fray during Jerusalem riots lashing out with it full of fury. He was actually torpedoed and was one of two survivors of a wreck as a junior sailor in 1915.His account of a battle at Oughterard in his book ''The rough with the Smooth'' is very good

The books by Jim Herlihy on the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the RIC are excellent reference sources.

Dan Breen My fight for Irish Freedom a very good and readable account of Mid Cork brigade leader. Battles in Dublin and Cork.

Hervey de Montmorency Sword and Stirrups. an erratic account of a dublin Castle detective who was Irish. Rather neurotic style of writing but a good source with lots on Dublin castle Intelligence and the auxiliaries. .

David Neligan The spy in the castle-an out of print account of a detective who spied for Michael Collins. Incidentally I met his Grandson on the Somme a few years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hussarbob

Would any of you Irish experts be able to help me out here with a rather tentative enquiry?

I have a group of medals to a 2Lt/Lt Robert Irving who served with the border Regt in India WW1, commissioned into Indian Army 1918 and then relinquished his commission in 1921. He was a Carlisle man but the last address shown on his army record is Belfast. I was wondering if it is worth pursuing a line of enquiry as to whether he joined the RIC/B&T's?

Any help appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mike n

Does anyone have anything on the Co Mayo men grandad was there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mgbarrett1

Does anyone have anything on the Co Mayo men grandad was there

Mike E Coy were based from May 1921 at the Workhouse in Westport, Co. Mayo and also in County Sligo

If you visit this forum you should be able to get a lot of info http://irishconstabulary.com/

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mike n

Thanks for the info MGB I did try the RIC web site a couple of years ago but without any joy Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kildaremark

A nice photo of some black and tans from the National Library of Ireland collection on flickr. There are also plenty of British soldiers throughout this flickr collection:

Relief

Another good shot from Bloody Sunday:

November 24, 1920

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
connaughtranger

My Stand for Freedom by Joe Baker 1988 covers West Mayo during the War of Independence and the Civil War

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KGB

The biography of General A Percival "Scapegoat. General Percival of Singapore" By Clifford Kinvig, gives details of the Black & Tans in Ireland (Percival was in charge of the Brandon Battalion.

Cheers

Bandon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Richard Bennett's book 'The Black and Tans' is quite good although he makes certain mistakes and buys a lot of IRA propaganda wholesale. Henry McCall has a good ebook on the subject called 'Tudors Toughs'. Perhaps the definitive work on the subject is Professor DM Leesons 'The Black and Tans' which is very much more an academic work but still very readable.

Also see these excellent websites;

http://www.royalirishconstabulary.com/index.html

http://irishconstabulary.com/

The latter with a dedicated section to the Auxies.

Relatively few B&Ts wrote books (in contrast to every person who so much as gave tuppence to the Republican 'loan' who published a self-aggrandizing autobiography) but then they may have still feared being prosecuted or even murdered decades later (this wasn't unfounded, as late as the 1950s two IRA assassins were despatched to murder General Tudor but chickened out). Also Ireland was a very short affair for most of them, less than a year and for the majority with not much happening unless you were in Dublin or southern Munster, many Black and Tans never fired a shot in anger or even heard one. The public at the time was still more interested in WW1 and many B&Ts would go on to serve in WW2. 2 if you can find them are

'Sword for Hire' by Douglas Duff and 'Sword and Stirrup' by the wonderfully named Herve do Montremarcy. And if you can find them please tell me because I'm still looking.

Big fan of the B&Ts, especially the Auxies, imagine having the pick of men promoted from the ranks during the Great War. Tiny King and George Nathan are my favourites.

Ignoring hopelessly biased stuff like 'Michael Collins' and 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley' Sean Bean's 'Troubles' is pretty good and if you can find it Hoppy Hardy's 'The Key' (Hardy an Army Intelligence officer who served attached to the ADRIC).

Why are they so vilified? Well Leeson suggests 4 reasons;

1. Retroactive justification-the IRA start slaughtering Unionists in January 1919 whilst the B&Ts don't arrive until mid-1920. But in order to try to excuse the IRA's mass muder the Black&Tans are painted as the devil incarnate. Actually the worst you can ever accuse them off is fighting the IRA by the same methods they'd been using for a year and a half previously.

2. Racism- unlike the RIC, DMP, soldiers and Irish Unionist civilians the Black and Tans were overwhelmingly English so could be cast as 'foreigners' in a way the IRA's local victims couldn't.

3. The RIC, DMP and regular army carried just as many vigilante killings of terrorists as the B&Ts but after partition thousands of them joined the Civic Guard (later the Garda) and Free State Army. By contrast the B&Ts were disbanded. So they became a convenient scapegoat for all the controversial actions of the security forces

4. Their iconic nature, the Glengarry caps and Crossley tenders, strutting about with low slung revolvers cowboy style, the B&Ts only turn up in the last 3rd of the conflict but if you read Irish Nationalist histories you'd think the IRA only ever fought the B&Ts

Truly, they were the gentle heroes whom we leave behind us. Let us all spare them a rearward glance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BrendanLee

Richard Bennett's book 'The Black and Tans' is quite good although he makes certain mistakes and buys a lot of IRA propaganda wholesale. Henry McCall has a good ebook on the subject called 'Tudors Toughs'. Perhaps the definitive work on the subject is Professor DM Leesons 'The Black and Tans' which is very much more an academic work but still very readable.

......

Truly, they were the gentle heroes whom we leave behind us. Let us all spare them a rearward glance.

I suppose what you say may well be true and the same could be said for many other conflicts but it is and always has been the Victor who writes the history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

I suppose what you say may well be true and the same could be said for many other conflicts but it is and always has been the Victor who writes the history.

Not in this case, rather it's the other way around. By any standard the security forces/Loyalists won and forced republicans to sign a treaty that had them slaughtering one another and accepting slightly enhanced Home Rule in exchange for the permanent exclusion of Northern Ireland. Most Republican histories are an attempt to justify their position

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KGB

Not in this case, rather it's the other way around. By any standard the security forces/Loyalists won and forced republicans to sign a treaty that had them slaughtering one another and accepting slightly enhanced Home Rule in exchange for the permanent exclusion of Northern Ireland. Most Republican histories are an attempt to justify their position

We held huge chunks of territory and had won the propaganda war worldwide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

We held huge chunks of territory and had won the propaganda war worldwide.

Propaganda war definitely, I'll give you that. But that's Erskine Childers who is written out Trotsky-style because he's a 'damned Englishman' and eventually gets executed by the Free State. "Huge chunks of territory'? No, not an inch of it, they could murder and terrorise the local Unionists and mount hit and run raids against a 'fair sized police barracks' (Richard Mulcachy's words in the Dail debates) but they couldn't deny any ground to the security forces and by the summer of 1921 were within six weeks of defeat (according to Michael Collins). The conflict is largely limited to Dublin and the extreme south, most of Ireland is 'no more violent than Kent'

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...