Posted 18 July 2012 - 07:01 am
I just found this at the NA from a Cabinet Review on Ireland 7 Dec 1920
C P 2256.
MECHANICAL TRANSPORT, ARMOURED CARS AND OTHER
FORMS OF PROTECTION FOR TROOPS IN IRELAND.
MEMORANDUM BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR.
I circulate herewith a memorandum showing what has been and is being done to
meet the Irish situation.
W. S. C.
THE WAR OFFICE,
7 th December, 1920.
1. The following table shows the military mechanical transport in Ireland on the
31st March, 1920, and the subsequent increases which have been made.
The policy which has been followed is that demands from the General Officer
Commanding-in-Chief, Ireland, are met with the utmost possible speed.
As will be seen, already since the 31st March, 1920, the mechanical transport in
Ireland has been more than doubled, and in fact additional transport over and above
the demands of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, has, at the suggestion of the
War Office, been provided :—
Military Mechanical Transport in Ireland on 31st March, 1920, and shipped
there or in process of being shipped since that date.
Lorries: Cars: Vans: Ambulance: Motor cycles (solos and side cars):
(i.) In Ireland on 31st March, 1920- 156: 46: 290: 62: 332:
(ii.) Shipped to Ireland from 1st April, to 31st October, 1920- 319: 64: 379: 42: 331:
(iii.) Further increases—
(a.) Completed by 8th December, 1920- 39: 11: 68: 19: 87:
(b.)To be completed by 2nd January, 1921- 65: *: *: 75: 10: 80:
(c.) To be completed by l5th January, 1921- 24: 18: 82: *: *:
2. There were 41 armoured lorries in Ireland on the 31st March, 1920. Some of
these are now past repair, but roughly 25 are running. Since then 48 armoured cars
(Peerless) have been sent. A further six are being sent on the 8th December, while
six of the new Rolls-Royce armoured cars due from factory next week will be
despatched on receipt. 16 more Peerless armoured lorries (from the 32 retained in
England for emergencies) are being sent in the course of December, and 26 new Rolls-
Royce armoured cars as delivery can be obtained. A further 16 Peerless will be
despatched later if situation in Great Britain permits.
3. Experiments in armouring Ford cars have shown their unsuitability for military
purposes. It is not yet known if the Royal Irish Constabulary will accept this type—
the experiments were carried out for the Royal Irish Constabulary as well as for
4. Since the 31st March, 4,000 shipping tons of spare parts for military
mechanical transport have been shipped to Ireland.
Small outstanding demands exist for certain makes, which there is difficulty in
obtaining in sufficient quantities from the manufacturers. Deliveries are already
improving and all outstanding’s will be satisfied by the end of this month.
5. One of the greatest difficulties in Ireland has been driver and more particularly
(a.) Drivers.—In January, 1920, the Army was seriously short of mechanical
The deficiency was due to demobilization and dearth of recruits owing to the high
rates earned in civilian life.
Some idea of the difficulties will be realized from the following figures.
Since January, 1920, various theatres have absorbed 3,448 newly enlisted drivers,
of which Ireland has had 1,097. Since March, 1920, 9,449 experienced drivers, whose
time had expired, have been demobilized.
As regards Ireland the problem is being met—
(i.) By increasing our training facilities for output of drivers,
(ii.) By the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Ireland, enlisting ex-soldiers as
drivers on 6 months' engagements.
(6.) Artificers.—The shortage of artificers in the Army in January, 1920, was
even greater than the shortage of drivers.
This shortage was due partly to the necessity for demobilizing time-expired
personnel—2,252 artificers have been demobilized since March, 1920—and partly to
Army rates for artificers being so far below civilian rates that recruiting has been almost
at a standstill.
At the same time, 400 artificers have been sent to various theatres, of which 116
have gone to Ireland.
The shortage of military artificers in Ireland is being made good by the employ
ment of civilian artificers, engaged in England, to the number of 415 (at rates which
are approximately double Army rates). Of this number some 180 have already reached
Ireland, while the balance will be despatched by,17th December, 1920. All these
artificers pass a test before being sent.
D.—PEOTECTION FOR TROOPS.
6. (a.) Steel plates for lorries.—160 sets were asked for by Ireland on the
18th August, 1920.
Forty sets have been adapted in Woolwich Arsenal and despatched, and the remaining
120 sets are being sent at the rate of 30 a week and will be completed by the
8 th January.
(&.) Protective material proof against revolver bullets for lorries and cars.—
The War Office suggested to Ireland the provision of protective material for troops
and the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief in Ireland agreed with this proposal.
66 sets for lorry bodies, 121 sets for lorry canopies, and 20 protective cushions for cars
have already been despatched to Ireland. 30 sets a week each for lorry bodies and lorry
canopies respectively are being sent, up to a total supply of 500 complete sets and
100 car cushions.
The above supply depends upon manufacturers keeping their promises as to
7. It must be remembered that the coal strike and industrial disturbance consequent
upon the strike has interfered with manufacture, and that during the last six months
the requirements in other theatres, and particularly in Mesopotamia, have had to