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Stanley_C_Jenkins

The Cork Arsonist

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According to a recent article in The Irish Examiner, the identity of the Cork arsonist, who burnt down much of the city during the Black & Tan campaign was "Charles Schulze, who had served as a captain in the Dorsetshire Regiment during WWI, led Auxiliaries on a rampage of burning as a reprisal for an IRA ambush which left a colleague dead and 15 injured".

Read more: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/culprit-who-led-burning-of-cork-finally-identified-139188.html#ixzz17oE8UPl5

It all seems a bit dubious to me. I wonder how much is known as Charles Schutze?

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His MIC -

Medal card of Schulze, Charles Frederick Lees

Corps Regiment No Rank

Canadian Infantry 25763 Private

Dorsetshire Regiment Lieutenant

General List Lieutenant

Sierra Leone Battalion West African Field Force Captain

Dorsetshire Regiment Captain

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=5244526&queryType=1&resultcount=20

John

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ID: 3   Posted (edited)

One candidate

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?queryType=1&resultcount=1&Edoc_Id=5244526

Description Medal card of Schulze, Charles Frederick Lees

Corps Regiment No Rank

Canadian Infantry 25763 Private

Dorsetshire Regiment Lieutenant

General List Lieutenant

Sierra Leone Battalion West African Field Force Captain

Dorsetshire Regiment Captain

Date 1914-1920

Catalogue reference WO 372/17

Well done John

Edited by michaeldr

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Could only find one snippet in the LG

3760 THE LONDON GAZETTE, 20 APRIL, 1917.

The undermentioned to be temp.

Capts.: —

Temp. Lt. C. F. L. Schulze, W. Afr.

Frontier Force, whilst empld. with Carrier

Corps. 29th Jan. 1917.

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Well, quite apart from the question of is guilt (or otherwise) Charles Schulze seems to have been a typical member of the Auxiliary Division - promoted from the ranks and, as such "not quite a gentleman".

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Excerpt from http://irishexaminer.com/ireland/instigator-of-a-citys-torching-identified-139169.html

PAINSTAKING work collecting all the records of the 2,265 men who fought with the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary (ADRIC) finally helped identify the man who instigated the burning of Cork city 90 years ago today.

Of those ADRICs, 55 were members of the infamous ‘K’ Company which torched the city in reprisal for the death of one of their colleagues in an IRA ambush a few hours earlier. Historian and genealogist Jim Herlihy collected the ADRIC records for a book on the Auxiliaries which he will publish next year. A friend then supplied him with copies of letters written by ‘Charles’, one of the ADRIC men stationed at Victoria Barracks, which show he was instrumental in rounding up colleagues for the brutal reprisal. But who was Charles?

Of the 55 in ‘K’ Company, four had the christian name Charles. Mr Herlihy discounted two immediately as they were wounded in the ambush at Dillon’s Cross before the burning of the city, namely Temporary Cadet Charles Worrell from London and Temporary Cadet Charles Cautley from Surrey. A third Temporary Cadet, Charles Murray from Surrey, joined K Company on January 3, 1921, and therefore wasn’t in Cork at the time. So the only possible writer of the letters was Charles Schulze, and this was confirmed because he mentions his sister’s name in some of the correspondence.

The letters to his mother and girlfriend were written on December 16, 1920, and subsequently intercepted by the IRA. "The ADRIC service record of Charles Frederick Lees Schulze states that he was born in Selkirk, Scotland, on May 30, 1878, and joined the ADRIC on November 29, 1920. He was a former army officer and held the rank of captain with the Dorsetshire Regiment. "His promotion to the rank of captain is mentioned in page 3,760 of the London Gazette dated April 20, 1917, when he was attached to the West African Frontier Force," Mr Herlihy said. Schulze’s father, William, was born in Brunswick, Germany in 1843. Thirty years later he moved to Galashiels near Selkirk and established a tweed export business.

Charles was the oldest of three boys and two sisters, one of whom, Dorothy, is mentioned in the letter he wrote to his mother. She became a famous violinist who held concerts all over the world. Charles’ two brothers were killed in WWI. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission confirms that Private William Rudolf Schulze of the 7th Battalion Cameron Highlanders died on July 18, 1916, and Second Lieutenant Hugh Lee Schulze, 6th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment, died on October 29, 1918. Both men were killed near Amiens, in northern France.

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Am I missing something?

All I can see is that he was involved in the reprisals, and is identified as the author of a letter saying as much.

How is it known that he was "The Cork Arsonist", or that he "instigated the burning of Cork city?

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How is it known that he was "The Cork Arsonist"

Apparently because he was called Charles :)

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Am I missing something?

All I can see is that he was involved in the reprisals, and is identified as the author of a letter saying as much.

How is it known that he was "The Cork Arsonist", or that he "instigated the burning of Cork city?

Its all over the internet now. it has even appeared on Wikipedia - so it must be true!

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With his lineage, I am sure some will be able to shift the blame for the burning of Cork from the Auxies to the Germans.

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Looks like he was willing to hold his hands up for his involvement.

In a letter sent to his girlfriend, Edith, Schulze describes what happened.

"You will have read all about Cork. Suffice to say I was there and very actively involved to boot until dawn on Sunday. I just escaped the ambush... but later arrived as a reinforcement. We took sweet revenge," he told Edith.

In a letter to his mother, Schulze said: "Houses in the vicinity were set alight and from there various parties set out on their mission of destruction. Many who had witnessed scenes in France and Flanders say that nothing they had experienced was comparable with the punishment meted out in Cork."

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Am I missing something?

All I can see is that he was involved in the reprisals, and is identified as the author of a letter saying as much.

How is it known that he was "The Cork Arsonist", or that he "instigated the burning of Cork city?

If we have learned anything for the threads relating to ADRIC members guilt in any atrocity or crime in Ireland at the time we should know by now that a letter or letters intercepted by the IRA is definitive proof of guilt. OK. I know there may by one or two sceptics who feel it is a bit strange that irrefutable proof always turns up in mail intercepted by the IRA and I know some of these letters may not exist anymore but is there a court of law anywhere in the civilised world that would dispute evidence given in the form of intercepted mail, I do not thing so.

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The burning of the centre of Cork city is generally accepted to have taken place on the night of 11/12 th December 1920. It is not generally noted that for two weeks before that date, buildings in the centre of Cork had been systematically set on fire between 26th and 30th of November 1920, destroying a dozen large business premises and causing losses of over one million pounds. During this period a second unsuccessful attempt had been made to burn the City Hall which had recently been badly damaged by bomb explosion and fire. This series of fires took place after warnings were issued by the Military that reprisals would take place unless three Army officers, kidnapped from a train at Waterfall, Co.Cork, were returned unharmed. Unfortunately for the City of Cork, word was received by the Military that the three officers had been executed by the I.R.A. Nobody was held amenable for this arson even though questions about the burnings, were raised by Commander Kenworthy in Parliament on the 29th of November 1920. It must be kept in mind that the arson took place before the first member of "K" Company of the Auxiliary Division set foot in Cork. The letters refered to above are no recent discovery, as extracts were published from them in 1920 and copies appeared in Gerry White and Brendan O'Shea's book The Burning of Cork, published in 2006. It is not beyond imagination that the letters could have been forgeries to put a spin on the events that followed on the night of 11/12 of December.

Dez

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The letters referred to above are no recent discovery, as extracts were published from them in 1920 and copies appeared in Gerry White and Brendan O'Shea's book The Burning of Cork, published in 2006.

Dez

I don't have "The Burning of Cork" - do White & O'Shea mention Schultze, or name any individual names of ADRIC men as the ring-leader(s)?

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It is not beyond imagination that the letters could have been forgeries to put a spin on the events that followed on the night of 11/12 of December.

The opposite is also true but maybe I'm confused, were the Auxies a fraternal organisation who came to Ireland to show the unruly natives how to behave and not a well paid quasi military formation who employed terrorist tactics to fight terrorist activities by the IRA.

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corisande

Mr White and Mr O'Shea do not mention Schultze or any other individual names of ADRIC men, however in Appendix 7 they provide statements given by D.I. Deignan of the R.I.C. and Lt. Col. Latimer the Commanding Officer of "K" Company, to the R.I.C. enquiry into the burning of Cork that refute the involvement of "K" Company in the arson. The authors state in chapter 11 ( Who Burned Cork ) that the only documentary evidence to link "K" Company to the arson is in these letters, which makes me suspicious of their authenticity. In their conclusions, they don't put the blame on "K" Company but use the statement of Florrie O'Donahue, I.R.A. Commander, 'it is difficult to say with certainty whether or not Cork would have been burned on that night if there had not been an ambush ( at Dillon's Cross ). What appears more probable is that the ambush provided the excuse for an act which was long premeditated and for which all arrangements had been made'. The authors state that if O'Donahue's assessment is correct, the evidence suggests that the burning of the City was planned by elements within the R.I.C. long before the night of 11/12 December 1920. I would suggest that the Military also had a hand in that planning.

Dez

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I would suggest that the Military also had a hand in that planning.

Who exactly?

however in Appendix 7 they provide statements given by D.I. Deignan of the R.I.C. and Lt. Col. Latimer the Commanding Officer of "K" Company, to the R.I.C. enquiry into the burning of Cork that refute the involvement of "K" Company in the arson.

surely in a time of conflict these statements carry the same level of veracity as the IRA satements or the validity of intercepted mail.

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murrough

Who exactly? I don't know, it was only a suggestion based on the fact that the Military were in complete control of Cork City on the night of 11/12 th of December 1920 with over 2000 troops available to enforce the curfew that was in effect. I don't know the names of any of the individuals who would have been involved, but I would reason that they would be found among the arsonists who bombed and burned a good portion of Cork City centre two weeks previous to the night of 11/12 Dec. 1920, when the curfew was in effect also.

If these statements carry the same level of veracity as the I.R.A. statements, that at least gives them equal value to be considered. As to the validity of intercepted mail, my problem is not with the validity of the interception, but the possibility that the letters were concocted by the Authorities to send the hunt off in any direction away from Military involvement. Remember that this is 90 years after the fact speculation, without any evidence to back it up.

Dez

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quote]Who exactly? I don't know, it was only a suggestion based on the fact that the Military were in complete control of Cork City on the night of 11/12 th of December 1920 with over 2000 troops available to enforce the curfew that was in effect. I don't know the names of any of the individuals who would have been involved, but I would reason that they would be found among the arsonists who bombed and burned a good portion of Cork City centre two weeks previous to the night of 11/12 Dec. 1920, when the curfew was in effect also.

So you agree it was Goverment forces?

As to the validity of intercepted mail, my problem is not with the validity of the interception, but the possibility that the letters were concocted by the Authorities to send the hunt off in any direction away from Military involvement

What authorities do you mean?

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Well, quite apart from the question of is guilt (or otherwise) Charles Schulze seems to have been a typical member of the Auxiliary Division - promoted from the ranks and, as such "not quite a gentleman".

You have to be (very) careful in drawing up a picture of the "typical Auxiliary". And indeed men promoted from the ranks and the reason that they joined in the ranks to start with.

Schultze was an enlisted man for 3 months from end Sept (enlisted in Canadian forces) till end Dec 1914 (commissioned 2nd Lt by British)

His father had a lot of money, and this is their family home in Scotland - currently on sale for £1.5 million.

I would have said he was a "gentleman" :)

brunswickhill1.jpgbrunswickhill3.jpg

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I had always assumed that rogue elements in 'K' Company had started the initial fires, but now there seems to be a view that the burning was authorised at a much higher level. I cannot understand, however, why government forces should have wished to burn down and destroy loyalist/unionist businesses and public buildings? Destruction of that kind was more usually associated with the IRA.

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murrough

I agree, it was government forces, without a doubt.

What authorities? I didn't mean to be vague, ... the military authorities in Cork.

Dez

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What authorities?

Was the Strickland report released, certainly it was not released at the time

strickland.jpg

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Thanks Dez for the reply.

Regards,

Murrough.

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