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Army Deserters in Ireland


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#1 corisande

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:06 PM

How were deserters this handled from a bureaucratic point of view.

Did the RIC circulate lists of deserters, was it just ignored, was it handled in England with the man's home town.

I am trying to track MGC men deserting from Charleville in Cork/ How would they have been reported

#2 mhifle

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:59 PM

Hi,
I think they were listed in the Police Gazette with the rest of the Army Deserters.

Example 4340 Private James Carabini 3rd Connaught Rangers. I have also seen notes sent to RIC Barracks requesting a search/check for missing men.

Regards Mark

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#3 corisande

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:24 PM

Thanks Mark

So your understanding is that if 2 men in MGC in Charleville deserted, then there was (should have been) an announcement in Police Gazette.

And how do I access Police Gazette. A thread on the forum points to
http://libraryarchiv...shtml#id2484513
But that looks a bit difficult.

#4 mhifle

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:29 PM

Yes I think so.

There is a thread on this which has just started.

Mark

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#5 corisande

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:32 PM

Mark

Sorry I edited my post while you were posting. I saw that thread, that is where I got the OU reference, I was none the wiser s to how to get access to Police Gazette

#6 mhifle

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:37 PM

Hi,
I noticed on the last post that Graham Stewart says he has some copies of the Police Gazette.

I am not sure but maybe the Police Gazette just covered Home Desertion?

Mark

#7 munster

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:22 AM

I am wondering did the authoritys wash their hands of these two men in regards pension rites to familys etc by simply not acknowledgeing them as casualtys regard them solely as unfound deserters and maybe not bother too much about trying to find them.This is just a thought.You would think that the missing through the hands of ira list for ireland for a given year would be small enough to keep track of but i wonder how large the list for desertions was.john

#8 museumtom

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:35 AM

Monkey Puzzle at ------------------.
Private Pat ------------------, of the Irish Horse, a native of ------------------, gave an amazing exhibition of strategy on Monday and Tuesday last. Some few weeks ago he deserted from his regiment at ---- and took up residence in his former domicile in Roesboro road., successfully dodging and diddling the full force of police and military of all ------------------ Town during that time. After making several futile onslaughts at different periods upon the deserter’s dwelling, the police succeeded on Monday evening in ferreting out from cover the elusive ------------------, who, however, cutely scaddled(?) off, to the mystification of the bobbies, in the direction of ----, where he berthed for another night. Early on Tuesday morning the police after scouring North, South, East and West again found their quarry near Roesboro Ro., and thereupon followed one of the most exciting chases ever heard of in all -----. Like greased lightening, ------------------ darted off towards ----- with three of the fleetest constables in ------------------ thundering hot foot upon his heels. Over hill and dale, dike and ditch, cross swamp and field, through thorny hedge and prickly briar, tearing and rearing, dashed on the exciting chase. Constable Mockler bloating terribly was now dangerously close when all of a sudden the ingenious ------------------ flew up a tree grinning defiantly in monkey fashion at his breathless pursuers. No sooner had the three policemen made their appearance under the tree but they were subjected to a pelting shower of missiles in the form of pieces of branches, which the man aloft rained down in surprising number. “Come down, ” said the constables carefully standing at a safe distance. “I won’t, ” shouted ------------------. “You’ll have to get an aeroplane to fetch me. ” The police meanwhile had been blowing their whistles and a number of the military, non-commissioned officers and privates, amongst them being Provost-Sergeant Jess, made their appearance. A crowd had gathered, and excitement ran high as the denizen of the tree continued to hurl defiance and sticks at his pursuers below. The police threatened to cut down the tree and brought out a cross cut from an adjoining house for the purpose, but ------------------ replied that they would have to cut down the whole row of trees then, and he began moving about like a squirrel from one tree to another. Several hours dragged on and still, ------------------, notwithstanding the entering upon the scene of strong military reinforcements, held the besiegers at bay. While the police were smacking a few mouthfuls of grub at a little distance from the tree, ------------------ partially slid down from his eyrie and laid hold of the ladder with which the police threatened to bring him down, and took it up with him to his fortification. A new weapon of attack was brought forward in the shape of a fire engine and hose. The crowd of civilians were ordered to leave the field, and then a further parley was held. An officer asked ------------------ if he was going to come down and ------------------ intimated that he was not unwilling to discuss terms. He would come down voluntarily, he said if he got a guarantee that he would be taken into military custody and kept in the military guardroom. The guarantee was given, and ------------------ then handed down the ladder and slid to earth amply surrounded by a strong escort he was marched home to the barracks where he was taken to the guardroom, and thence, later on in the evening, to his regiment at ----. So the curtain rings down on this amusing episode, which will go down to local history as the “Siege of the Poplar Tree, ”

#9 corisande

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:37 AM

I wonder how large the list for desertions was


That is the rub, it seems very difficult to find out

From MuseumTom's post it looks as if they did track some of the deserters down

As I see you are in Munster you may be interested in the specific details of the men I am trying to trace on this thread Click here

"The year of the disappearances" has the "official" list of British soldiers missing in Cork, but does not include any MGC men. There are 28 men in Cork "missing" at the time of the truce. Elsewhere I have found abstracts of total deserters in Ireland on a month by month basis which reflect much larger numbers.

I assume men put down as deserters were not put on the list of missing

#10 munster

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 12:50 PM

just another thought (brain cells boiling at moment)Would elsewhere in ireland in or around the time there by any chance be two missing identified officers or men whose bodies were never found,who were ackowledged as being missing and eventually declared dead.This could be army or ric or black and tans.Was there ever realy two mgc men deserted or is it a case of two inteligence men being caught.I may be near the area over the next day or two if i am i will endeavour to get a picture from the cemetary.john

#11 corisande

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 01:03 PM

This could be army or ric or black and tans.Was there ever really two mgc men deserted or is it a case of two intelligence men being caught


Depends usually on whether you believe one sides spin, or the other sides spin. The IRA in their spin never made mistakes, they always shot Intelligence men. The British in their spin always have unarmed men in mufti enjoying a game of golf or whatever when they are shot from behind in a tit for tat killing.

I do really try to look at all the evidence and draw a most probable picture.

Certainly I have ascertained that they were buried in Charleville as MGC men with no name, having been exhumed from a grave in a field in the area where they were shot. The CWGC site reads for Charleville

"There are 4 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war here, 2 of which are unidentified soldiers of the Machine Gun Corps, 1921. The unidentified are together in one grave in the South-East corner."


I assume from this that there was enough evidence from the bodies (badges, etc) to identify them as MGC

Further The Freeman's Journal, which most Republicans would believe, reported at the time, in 1921 (ie 30 years before the bodies were found)

Posted Image


So I am, by the standards of the difficulty of this sort of research, confident that they are MGC in that grave. So I am trying to establish who they are

#12 munster

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 04:39 PM

Dont know if my resizing worked but here goes.

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#13 munster

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 04:43 PM

The other grave from this period is also MGC 18148 J Evans died 24/8/20.john

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#14 corisande

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:02 PM

Hey that's great, Thank you very much for getting those photos and posting them

I have added that one of Evans to his page here click for link He is a bit obscure too, I think he must have died of non IRA related activity as I cannot find anything in the press

And I have put the photo of the unknown MGC men in their page click for link

This business tends to be slow and methodical, and trying to put together a lot of small unrelated clues. I need to get back to the local papers again soon I think

#15 munster

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:42 PM

Hey that's great, Thank you very much for getting those photos and posting them

I have added that one of Evans to his page here click for link He is a bit obscure too, I think he must have died of non IRA related activity as I cannot find anything in the press

And I have put the photo of the unknown MGC men in their page click for link

This business tends to be slow and methodical, and trying to put together a lot of small unrelated clues. I need to get back to the local papers again soon I think

Spoke with a local man who was nearby when i took photos and he told me the two were shot at and found in a wood just outside the town he pointed in the direction of mallow ie roughly south.john by the way cant find the thread your unfindable kerry place look for ballynagall comes up on a google map as ballydavid you will see mhurogh (my spelling have no irish)nearby john just remembered the post i was thinking of was the commishoned gunner

Edited by munster, 23 September 2011 - 05:44 PM.


#16 corisande

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:48 PM

Thanks I will take a look at that

The other thing about the "2 unnamed MGC men" in Charleville in your photo is that there are flowers on the grave. Did anyone comment on those while you were there.

And you are spot on with Ballydavid and Ballynagall being the same place. I was able to get that on old OS and have added it to Gunner Cameron's page on this link

#17 munster

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 06:15 PM

Thanks I will take a look at that

The other thing about the "2 unnamed MGC men" in Charleville in your photo is that there are flowers on the grave. Did anyone comment on those while you were there.

No comment made but there was several people cutting grass and tidying so i think the grave is not neglected it is at a very prominent location at the junction of two paths.The Evans grave is in a more congested and an older plot you have to go and look for it this grave was again clean and tidy but no flowers,there was also an australian grave from 1956 did not get details or pic similar stone to a cwgc but dimensions not quite right unusual? john

#18 Peter Mc

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 06:31 PM

The RIC published its own version of the Police Gazette known as the 'Hue and Cry", twice-weekly. Known deserters, together with their descriptions, would have been noted.

#19 corisande

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 06:54 PM

'Hue and Cry"

As you know I am no expert in RIC. :) Is that journal available anywhere, NlI, NAI, TNA?

#20 Peter Mc

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 10:00 PM

NLI has some certainly, but nowhere is there a complete run. Last I have is April 21.

#21 corisande

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:04 AM

Thanks

My conclusion now is that I need to scan both Hue & Cry and Police Gazette from around 20 May 1921 when they first went "missing" but would not have been considered deserters for a number of weeks after that, so say till end of June 1921 to see if any MGC men were posted as deserters from Charleville

#22 Carmania

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:06 PM

The Constabulary Gazette from 1897 to 1922 is available on microfilm at the National Library in Dublin, next time you're there :whistle: .


Aled

#23 corisande

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:09 PM

Thanks Aled, I put it into the things to do in Dublin

#24 gunner parr

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 05:53 PM

As far as I can glean from service records the bureaucratic process was as follows: man reported as absent; police informed; disappearance posted in Battalion /Corps Part II Orders, Court of Inquiry held where declared a deserter; declaration of desertion in Part II Orders; FGCM if caught. So regarding the two missing MGC men, if they did desert it would seem likely that the police were informed, their absence posted in Part II Orders and a Court of Inquiry held. However, this process did not always proceed in sequence as the two attached documents re the desertion of 7814497 Private Charles Brown of 1 Battalion MGC show. Brown was reported absent from Kilmallock, Co. Cork ,on 18 July 1921 but this was not posted in Part II Orders. Brown was caught on 8 August 1921 but this information was not communicated to the Kilmallock detachment where a Court of Inquiry was held on 18 August 1921 and Brown declared a deserter. He was convicted by FGCM on 27 August 1921.

Presumably the results of Courts of Inquiry were passed to 6 Division for the Cork area and then Dublin: WO35/173/5 at Kew is a monthly return of deserters for February to April 1921 so perhaps later ones have survived. Other files containing information relating to Court Martials, etc, in Ireland are also to be found in WO141, WO213 and WO92: these relate in part to the Adjutant-General's office, presumably the final destination of Courts of Inquiry, etc. Most of these records were closed until very recently and perhaps were never consulted in 1953 when the bodies were found. All records kept by the MGC Records Office had long gone by then so there was no recourse to those records.

Hope this is of assistance

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#25 corisande

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 06:18 AM

Thank you for the explanation, and the references.

I have a much clearer idea now as to what happened in the process of a man being absent and being a deserter.

I will put the references in TNA down on my list to look at next year when I am in London