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Len Trim

Black and Tans

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Many soldiers who had fought in the Great War ended up in the Black and Tans, but how and where do you find out about them or for that matter one of their successors the 'B' Specials.

Len

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/timelines/ni/...l_constab.shtml

Des

A hornet's nest ... if you google you will quickly a find a plethora of information, opinion, invective and general whataboutery ....

Thanks for the quick reply. Now certain my grandfather was a B and T and then a B special after his Marine service. About to dive into the hornets nest.

Len

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Len,

There are a number of books by Jim Herlihy on the Royal Irish Constabulary of which the Black and Tans were members including.

"The Royal Irish Constabulary: A Short History and Genealogical Guide with a Select List of Medal Awards and Casualities"

"The Royal Irish Constabulary: A complete alphabetical list of Officers and Men 1816-1922"

The second book should give your man's number and how to find his RIC file. Both are on Amazon and not that cheap.

There is another book called "The Black and Tans" by Richard Bennett which is widely available as a general background to the force although not that sympathetic.

Mark

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Len,

If he had been an officer he may have joined the 'Auxies' (Auxilliaries)

Jonathan

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Thanks for the information. I'll be looking up those books shortly.

Len

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Auxilliary hanged for murder

Richard Bennet in the black and tans mentions discipline. In 1921 a serious attempt was amde to instil discipline.......since the beginning of the year over 200 black and tans and 50 Auxilliaries received sentences of .......... General Macready's threat of inflicting teh death penalty was only executed once when an Auxilliary washanged for murder.

Can anyone shed light on the Auxie who was executed, where and for what offence. The event is also mentioned in McCall's Tudors toughs.

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Len,

The 'B' specials were not succesors of the Black and Tans, but were around at the same time. The original intention was to raise a part time Police Force to assist the RIC, based on A & B class structure with 'A' being effictively full time. C class was added later.

Their original name was Royal Irish [special] Constabulary, formed in 1920 [Nov/Dec]. This was to be for the whole of Ireland but was only ever implemented in the Northern Counties.

Following the disbandment of the RIC, due to the on-going troubles in the North the Special Class of constable was retained and re-named the Ulster Special Constabulary.

I have some old station report sheets [blank] for Fermanagh as the RIC.

The problem with reading the likes of Wiki to get information or many of the web-sites that use the same source is that the information is not usually correct as it has a political slant based on who wrote.

Where was your grandfather from? Why do you think he may have been B&T and a Special, quite possible.

Have found a number of Auxillary Officers who later become Specials' Officers, all Ulster Division men with connections to the North.

Plenty of Irishmen were B&T's, possibly up to 30%.

Rob

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Auxiliary hanged for murder.

gaelgoir, I have not been able to find any Auxiliary Cadet hanged for murder, and only one who was ever convicted of murder. On 5th January 1921, Section Leader, Vernon Ashwell Hart, Auxiliary No. 500, was tried and convicted of murder, but was found to have been insane at the time of committing the crime. He was sentenced to be detained during his Majesty's pleasure and was committed to a criminal lunatic asylum. I don't know how long he remained there.

Dez

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It's a bit of a minefield, as Rob Elliott suggests. Only yesterday I was reading (Skibberen & District Historical Society Journals 2005, 2010) about two protestant - presumably loyalist - farmers near Skibbereen who refused, when approached in 1921, to contribute to the IRA arms fund. Some of their cattle were seized instead (as was the practice) and they reported the theft to the RIC. The RIC pressured them to testify in court against the suspects and they were then tried themselves, in absentia, by the IRA, condemned and shot dead. Gerard Murphy ('The Year of Disappearances') refers to the prevailing situation (from memory and paraphrasing) as a spiral of violence, and I don't think that's too far off the mark. But one side, or the other, would most likely disagree.

My grandfather's brother (pictured) joined the Life Guards while, on the other hand, my grandmother's sister was married to a cousin of Sam Maguire. A mere half-turn of the spoon.

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Tudor's Toughs by Ernest McCall alludes to the execution of a mysterious Black and Tan or Auxilliary. This must refer to William Mitchell hanged in Mountjoy on 7-6-1921. William Mitchell & Arthur Hardie, (both Tans) who were based at Dunlavin RIC Barracks, set out to rob a local JP (Robt Dixon) and, in the course of the bungled robbery, Hardie shot the JP and his son. Robert Dixon died. The next day, Hardie committed suicide, leaving Mitchell, to be tried by court-martial and hanged.

One Auxiliary, Harte, escaped the rope, being deemed mad, for the murder of Canon Magner and the retarded boy Timothy Crowley on 15-11-1920 in Cork.

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Plenty of Irishmen were B&T's, possibly up to 30%.

Seems like a high %, was any research done on their political affiliations,religion, and geographical location, as these stats would be very revealing.

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There is a more recent book on Mitchell , the Black & Tan hanged in Mountjoy

http://www.theirishstory.com/2013/04/21/a-black-and-tan-executed-the-life-and-death-of-william-mitchell/#.VOEFPy6CSRw

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