Volunteers

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, lieutenant, cycling corps, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Malone was the officer in charge of the positions surrounding Mount Street Bridge and occupied No. 25 Northumberland Road, where he was killed by rifle fire.

Michael Malone (1888-1916), lieutenant, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Born in Dublin, Malone was a carpenter who had won prizes in art and drawing from the Technical Schools. A devout Catholic, he was a member of St Patrick’s Confraternity in Ringsend, Dublin (Catholic Bulletin, 1916). Having joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913, Malone was given the rank of lieutenant in the cycling corps of Éamon de Valera’s 3rd Battalion. Described as ‘the crack shot of his Company’, Malone was the officer in charge of the Volunteer positions surrounding Mount Street Bridge during the Rising (Catholic Bulletin, 1916). With Seamus Grace, Malone occupied No. 25 Northumberland Road. Having fired on a column of the unarmed Volunteer Training Corps on Easter Monday and a troublesome sniper on Tuesday, on Wednesday morning Malone sent home two young Volunteers for their own safety, allegedly declaring ‘We know what we are dying for, thank God the day has come.’ As units of Sherwood Foresters approached No. 25, Malone took up position in a third floor bathroom window. Armed with a modified Mauser automatic pistol (nicknamed a ‘Peter the Painter’), Malone was personally responsible for a number of the military casualties. He was killed by rifle fire as No. 25 was stormed by a company of men from the 2/7th Sherwood Foresters (MAI, MSPR 34/REF/368; MAI, BMH WS 310; Catholic Bulletin, 1916).

Michael Malone’s body was buried by British soldiers in the backyard of No. 25 but later reinterred in the Republican Plot at Glasnevin Cemetery (MAI, MSPR 1D315).

Seamus Grace

Seamus Grace, Volunteer, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. With Michael Malone, Grace occupied No. 25 Northumberland Road. When the building was stormed by Sherwood Foresters, Grace managed to escape but was later captured and arrested.

Seamus (James Joseph) Grace (1888-1959), Volunteer, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. A native of Dublin, Grace worked as a van driver before the Rising (NAI, 1911 census returns). Grace joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood around 1912 but left Ireland in 1913 for America. After eighteen months he moved to Canada where he joined the Canadian army before defecting and returning to Ireland in 1915. Back in Dublin he immediately joined the Irish Volunteers. In 1916, Grace was living on the South Circular Road in Dublin (MAI, BMH WS 310). On Easter Monday, Grace occupied No. 25 Northumberland Road with Lieutenant Michael Malone and two young Volunteers. Involved in an encounter with a column of the unarmed Volunteer Training Corps on Easter Monday, Grace and Malone were also fired at by a sniper on Monday and Tuesday before he was taken out by Malone. On Wednesday, the two younger Volunteers were ordered home by Malone. Once the attack began on the Sherwood Foresters advancing towards Mount Street Bridge on Wednesday afternoon, Grace moved from window to window to return fire. Years later, he described how ‘I trembled from head to foot in a panic of fear and it was only when I was able to reply to the fire that I could overcome the fear’ (MAI, BMH WS 310). As No. 25 was taken by the Sherwood Foresters, Grace managed to escape through the basement but was later captured and arrested in an outhouse on Haddington Road when its owner informed the military. Having been released from prison in December 1916, he rejoined the Irish Volunteers and was active during the War of Independence - suffering a gunshot wound to the leg - and in the Anti-Treaty IRA during the Civil War. Grace was unable to carry out an occupation after 1923 and by the 1930s was in poor physical and mental health, spending a period in Grangegorman mental institution in 1944. Seamus Grace died in May 1959 and is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery (MAI, MSPR W1/P/421; MAI, MSPR W1/RB/4467).

George Reynolds

George Reynolds, section commander, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Reynolds was in command of the garrison in Clanwilliam House and was killed during the fighting. George Reynolds (1878-1916), section commander, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Born in Dublin and educated at the Christian Brothers’ School on Synge Street, Reynolds trained as an ecclesiastical and general silversmith and owned a shop in Abbey Street in the city centre. He lived in Redmond’s Hill with his siblings; two of his sisters ran a shop from the premises. Reynolds joined the Gaelic League, becoming a fluent Irish speaker, before becoming a member of the Irish Volunteers around 1915. He was described as being of ‘unobtrusive disposition, and fond of athletic and outdoor pastimes, cycling, walking, fishing’ (NAI, 1901 census returns; NAI, 1911 census; MAI, MSPR WDP6236; Catholic Bulletin, 1916). On Easter Monday, Reynolds was given command of the garrison of Volunteers in Clanwilliam House, which by Wednesday numbered seven. The last rebel post to fall during the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, the house sustained continued assault before eventually catching fire. Reynolds was hit by rifle fire and killed, one of three members of the garrison to die during the fighting. Aged thirty-eight during Easter week, Reynolds was among the eldest and most senior Volunteers to take part in the battle. His body was incinerated in the flames that engulfed Clanwilliam House (MAI, BMH WS 127; MAI, BMH WS 309; MAI, BMH WS 198).

Paddy Doyle

Paddy Doyle, adjutant, E company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Doyle was a member of the Clanwilliam House garrison and was killed during the fighting. Patrick (Paddy) Doyle (c. 1880-1916), adjutant, E company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Doyle was born in Dundrum, County Dublin, and was living in Milltown and working as a labourer in 1916. A devout Catholic and member of the Gaelic League, Doyle was a member of the Milltown Temperance and Sacred Heart Sodalities, said the rosary daily in Milltown Church, and taught Irish classes in the area. By 1916 he was married and the father to five young children (Catholic Bulletin, 1916). Having originally joined the main contingent of the 3rd Battalion in Boland’s Bakery under Éamon de Valera on Easter Monday, Doyle was sent by Simon Donnelly, commandant of C Company, to reinforce the small garrison in Clanwilliam House on Wednesday morning. The last rebel post to fall during the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, the house sustained continued assault before eventually catching fire. Doyle was killed by rifle fire, one of three members of the garrison to die in the fighting, and his body was incinerated by the flames that engulfed Clanwilliam House and never recovered (MAI, BMH WS 127; MAI, BMH WS 309; MAI, BMH WS 198). On Easter Monday he had written a short note to his wife: ‘Sarah, all well, do not fret, will be alright’ (NLI, Ms. 46,594). One of Doyle’s sons was killed fighting with the National Army during the Civil War (MAI, MSPR W/2D50).

Richard Murphy

Richard ‘Dick’ Murphy, member, B Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Murphy was a member of the garrison in Clanwilliam House and was killed during the fighting. Richard ‘Dick’ Murphy (c. 1892-1916), member, B Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Born in Dublin, the second eldest son of eight children who survived to adulthood (eleven children were born to his parents), Murphy trained for a career as a tailor. In 1911 he was living with his parents and siblings in South William Street in the centre of the city, but by 1916 was set to be married having secured a ‘modest house’. He had, apparently, deferred the wedding to care for his widowed mother but had arranged to marry within a week when the Easter Rising broke out (NAI, 1911 census returns; Catholic Bulletin, 1917). Having originally joined the main contingent of the 3rd Battalion in Boland’s Bakery under Éamon de Valera on Easter Monday, Murphy was one of the men sent by Simon Donnelly, commandant of C Company, to reinforce the small garrison in Clanwilliam House on Wednesday morning. The last rebel post to fall during the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, the house sustained continued assault before eventually catching fire. Murphy was killed by rifle fire and was seen to have died in his fighting position, still holding his rifle. He was one of three members of the garrison to die in the fighting, and his body was incinerated by the flames that engulfed Clanwilliam House and never recovered (Catholic Bulletin, 1917; MAI, BMH WS 127; MAI, BMH WS 309; MAI, BMH WS 198).

William Ronan

William Ronan (or Rownan), member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Ronan was a member of the garrison in Clanwilliam House and one of four to survive the battle. William Ronan (or Rownan) (1889-1965), member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Ronan was born in Dublin to Kilkenny parents and was the eldest of three children surviving to adulthood. He trained as a paper-cutter and in 1911 was living with his parents in Longford Street, Dublin (NAI, 1911 census returns). He joined the Irish Volunteers in August 1914 (MAI, MSPR WDP/6415-2). Ronan was one of the men who, under Section Commander George Reynolds, occupied Clanwilliam House on Easter Monday 1916. Ronan remained there until the fall of the house at the end of the battle on Wednesday, when he escaped. He was arrested the following day and imprisoned in England until August 1916. It was later claimed that Ronan was severely beaten by a soldier in Kilmainham Gaol after his arrest and suffered poor health afterwards. (MAI, MSPR 34/E/5552, WDP/6415-2). Ronan was later active in the IRA in Dublin during the War of Independence, though in an intelligence and auxiliary capacity owing to his nervous state. During the Civil War he participated on the Anti-Treaty side and was interned in 1923. Ronan married in 1918 and had three children but spent his last decades in mental institutions suffering from ‘delusional insanity attributable to military service’. Ronan was a patient in St Brendan’s, Grangegorman from 1933 to 1938 and then St. Ita’s, Donabate until his death on 8 September 1965 (MAI, MSPR, 34/E/5552, WDP/6415-1, WDP/6415-2, W1/RB/1962). WIlliam Ronan is buried in Deansgrange Cemetery.

James Doyle

James Doyle, member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Doyle was a member of the garrison in Clanwilliam House and one of four to survive the battle. James Joseph Doyle (1898-1980), member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Born in Wicklow in 1898, and second eldest of five children, Doyle moved to Dublin in 1914 and was working as a shop assistant. There, in October 1914, he joined the Irish Volunteers and was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood about a month before the Easter Rising (NAI, 1911 census; MAI, BMH WS 127, WS 309; MAI, MSPR 34/REF/20659). Doyle was one of the men who, under Section Commander George Reynolds, occupied Clanwilliam House on Easter Monday 1916. Doyle took part in the defence of Clanwilliam House and remained there until its fall at the end of the battle on Wednesday, when he escaped. Towards the end of the fighting Doyle’s rifle exploded and rendered him temporarily unconscious. Though badly hurt during his escape, he managed to avoid detection and arrest, eventually leaving the city before returning in December 1916 (MAI, BMH WS 127, WS 309). Doyle was attached to the active service unit of the 3rd battalion, Dublin Brigade during the War of Independence and took part in a number of operations, including the killings on Bloody Sunday 1920. He was arrested after a large-scale attack on the Custom House in May 1921 and imprisoned until December but did not take part in the Civil War. (MAI, MSPR 34/REF/20659). After the Rising, Doyle worked as a shop assistant in Redmond’s Hill, in the shop run by sisters of George Reynolds (killed in Clanwilliam House). By the late 1920s he claimed to suffer from deafness and nerves as a result of the explosion of his rifle in 1916. Doyle was unmarried and had no children. (MAI, MSPR WDP/1345).

James Doyle died in Baltinglass on 21 July 1980 (Irish Press, 22 Jul. 1980).

James Walsh

>James Walsh, member, B Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Walsh was a member of the garrison in Clanwilliam House and, along with his brother Thomas, one of four to survive the battle. James Walsh (1899-1957), member of B Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Born in Dublin in 1899, Walsh’s father was a coal factor and his parents ran a greengrocer's from the family home in East James’s Street in the city. He joined a company of the Irish Volunteers in Sandymount shortly after their formation in 1913; his older brother Thomas had earlier joined the same company. It was after the split with the supporters of John Redmond in 1914 that James joined B Company, 3rd Battalion. Between 1914 and 1916 the Walsh brothers and their father assisted in the transportation of arms for the Irish Volunteers. (MAI, BMH WS 198; NAI, 1911 census returns). James and Thomas Walsh spent the majority of their service with both the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) together. On Easter Monday 1916, they joined the rebels in Boland’s Bakery under Éamon de Valera. The following day, James and Thomas were dispatched to Westland Row train station and on returning were informed that they would be among four men being sent to reinforce the garrison in Clanwilliam House. Both took part in the defence of Clanwilliam House and remained inside until its fall on Wednesday evening. Having encountered a ‘hostile mob’ in Mount Street on his escape from Clanwilliam House, and unable to return to Boland’s, James Walsh spent the rest of the Rising in hiding in halls and houses around the Baggot Street area. He and his brother remained on the run in the homes of family and friends, including a period together in the Beaumont Convalescent Home, until December 1916 (MAI, BMH WS 198; MAI, MSPR 34/REF/10243). Walsh was active in the IRA during the War of Independence, primarily transporting and distributing arms, and was on duty as a cyclist on ‘Bloody Sunday’ 1920. He was arrested in December 1920 and imprisoned in Ballykinlar internment camp, County Down, until December 1921 but took no part in the Civil War (MAI, MSPR 34/REF/10243). James Walsh died in Dublin on 12 February 1957. He was unmarried and had no children (MAI, MSPR 34/E/1027).

Thomas Walsh

Thomas Walsh, member, B Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Walsh was a member of the garrison in Clanwilliam House and one of four to survive the battle. Thomas Walsh (1899-1957), member, B Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Born in Dublin in 1894, and the eldest of six children who survived to adulthood, Walsh trained as a carpet layer. His father was a coal factor and his parents ran a greengrocer's from the family home in East James’s Street in the city. Walsh joined a company of the Irish Volunteers in Sandymount shortly after their formation in November 1913; his brother James soon joined the same company. It was after the split with the supporters of John Redmond in 1914 that Thomas and James Walsh joined B Company, 3rd Battalion. Between 1914 and 1916, the Walshs and their father assisted in the transportation of arms for the Irish Volunteers. (MAI, BMH WS 198; NAI, 1911 census returns). Thomas and James Walsh spent the majority of their service in the Irish Volunteers and Irish Republican Army (IRA) together. On Easter Monday 1916, Thomas Walsh and his brother joined the rebels in Boland’s Bakery under Éamon de Valera. The following day, they were dispatched to Westland Row train station and on returning were informed that they would be among four men being sent to reinforce the garrison in Clanwilliam House. Both took part in the defence of Clanwilliam House and remained inside until its fall on Wednesday evening. Thomas was briefly knocked unconscious by his Mauser rifle after firing it for the first time on Wednesday afternoon. Having escaped from the burning Clanwilliam House, he encountered opposition from locals in Mount Street, whom he threatened with his revolver, and was forced to seek shelter. Unable to return to Boland’s, Walsh spent the rest of the Rising in hiding in halls and houses around the Baggot Street area. He and his brother remained on the run in the homes of family and friends, including a period together in the Beaumont Convalescent Home, until December 1916 (MAI, BMH WS 198; MAI, MSPR 34/REF/8975). Thomas Walsh remained active in the republican movement after 1916. He served as a company transport officer during the War of Independence and the family home was used as an arms dump. He was on active service as a cyclist during ‘Bloody Sunday’ 1920 and later claimed that he had offered his services to the anti-Treaty IRA during the Civil War but had never been called to take part in armed action (MAI, MSPR MSPR 34/REF/8975). Walsh was married with two sons and two daughters. Thomas Walsh died on 2 December 1970 (Irish Times, 4 Dec. 1970).

Patrick Doyle

Patrick Doyle, member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Doyle was in charge of the garrison of four men who occupied St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall on Easter Monday 1916 until the position was abandoned during the battle on Wednesday. Patrick Doyle, member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Some time before 1916, Doyle joined the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers and was mobilised on Easter Monday 1916. That day, Doyle was in charge of the garrison of four men who occupied St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall on Northumberland Road. On Wednesday afternoon, the men in the hall fired on the Sherwood Foresters moving towards Mount Street Bridge until their ammunition ran out and they evacuated the building. Doyle was armed with a Howth Mauser, said to be the only reliable gun in the building, and, in William Christian’s words, ‘made that gun do the work of six’ (MAI, BMH WS 646). By the 1940s, Patrick Doyle had become a superintendent in the Garda Síochána (MAI, BMH WS 208).

Joseph Clarke

Joseph Clarke, member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Clarke was one of four men who occupied St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall on Easter Monday 1916 until the position was abandoned during the battle on Wednesday. Joseph Clarke (1882-1976), member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Born in Rush, County Dublin, Clarke left school aged eleven and worked variously as a kitchen porter, boot-shop assistant, harness-maker and van driver. In 1913, he joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and later the 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers (DIB). On Easter Monday 1916, Clark was one of the four men who occupied St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall on Northumberland Road. On Wednesday afternoon, the men in the hall fired on the Sherwood Foresters moving towards Mount Street Bridge until their ammunition ran out and they evacuated the building. William Christian remembered Clarke ‘hunched behind one of the windows, tugging at his Martini rifle and murmering “O my God, O my God” and exclaiming that his ‘ammunition was a dud’. Having attempted to escape, Clarke was captured at Percy Place by the military (MAI, BMH WS 646). After the Rising he was interned in Wakefield prison and Frongach (DIB). After his release, Clarke lived and worked at the Sinn Féin headquarters and acted as a courier to Dáil Éireann during the War of Independence. He also served as a Dublin city councillor. During the Civil War, Clarke took the anti-Treaty side and spent several periods in prison between 1922 and 1924, often suffering rough treatment from Free State forces. Clarke remained an active and vocal republican activist for the rest of his life. After the 1970 Sinn Féin split, Clarke became an honorary vice-president and member of the ard comhairle of the provisional wing of the movement. He was married twice (to Anne Hughes in 1909 and Elizabeth Delaney in 1949) and had three children (DIB). Joseph Clarke died on 22 April 1976 and is buried in the republican plot at Glasnevin cemetery (Irish Press, 23 Apr. 1976).

William Christian

William Christian, member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Christian was a member of the garrison who occupied St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall on Easter Monday 1916 until the position was abandoned during the fighting on Wednesday. William Christian (1895-1961), member, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. A native of Dublin, Christian joined the nationalist boy scouts, Na Fianna Éireann, in 1911 and was a member of the Fianna band. After turning 18 in 1915 he joined B Company, 3rd Battalion (MAI, BMH WS 646). Christian was one of four men who occupied St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall on Northumberland Road on Easter Monday. On Wednesday afternoon, the men in the hall fired on the Sherwood Foresters moving towards Mount Street Bridge until their ammunition ran out and they evacuated the building. Attempting to make his way to Boland’s Bakery, Christian was captured by the military in Percy Place and, having been held in Dublin for a period, was transferred to Frongach and Wandsworth prisons where he was interned until July 1916 (MAI, BMH WS 646; MAI, MSPR 34/REF/20099). Christian did not take any part in the War of Independence or Civil War. Following a period of unemployment in the early 1930s, Christian found work as a porter in the Custom House in Dublin and was on the staff there for over 20 years. William Christian died in October 1961 aged 60 (MAI, MSPR 34/REF/20099; Sunday Independent, 29 Oct. 1961).

Denis O’Donoghue

Denis O’Donoghue, adjutant, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. O’Donoghue was in command at St. Stephen’s School on Northumberland Road before retreating to Boland’s Bakery and later occupying Roberts’ builders yard. Denis O’Donoghue (c.1884-1965), adjutant, C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. O’Donoghue moved to Dublin to work as a railway clerk and joined the Irish Volunteers there in 1913. In 1914 he took part in the Howth gun-running. By Easter 1916, O’Donoghue had been appointed adjutant of C Company (MAI, BMH WS 127; MAI, MSPR 34/REF/20580; Irish Press, 15 Apr. 1965). On Easter Monday morning, O’Donoghue commanded the group of rebels who occupied St. Stephen’s Schoolhouse on Northumberland Road. The position was soon abandoned and O’Donoghue went to Boland’s Bakery, where the commandant of the 3rd Battalion, Éamon de Valera, was based. He then spent much of Tuesday and Wednesday morning travelling to various outposts around the city before taking up a position on a shed roof at Roberts’ builders yard with three other Volunteers. They held the yard, and kept up fire on British troops advancing towards Mount Street Bridge, until an order was received to retreat to Boland’s late on Wednesday. On Thursday, O’Donoghue attempted to secure an engine driver and engine for use by the Boland’s garrison but was captured by the military. He later escaped and remained in hiding until Sunday 30 April, avoiding arrest in the aftermath of the Rising (MAI, MSPR 34/REF/20580). O’Donoghue returned to his company in 1917 but in 1919 took up a position in the Dáil Éireann Department of Trade and Commerce as private secretary to the minister, Ernest Blythe. After the War of Independence he was employed in the Department of Industry and Commerce and was a junior executive officer by the time of his retirement in 1946. O’Donoghue was married with two children by 1916 and eventually had eight sons and two daughters.

Denis O’Donoghue died in Dublin on 11 April 1965 (MAI, MSPR 34/REF/20580; Irish Press, 15 Apr. 1965).

Seamus Doyle

Seamus Doyle, member, F Company, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Doyle first occupied St. Stephen’s School on Northumberland Road before retreating to Boland’s Bakery and later occupying Roberts’ builders yard. Seamus Doyle (d. 1964), member, F Company, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Doyle lived in Dublin and joined the Irish Volunteers on their foundation in 1913. He was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood by Jack Shouldice. A native of Dublin and member of St. Kevin’s Hurling Club, Doyle worked for ten years at the Dublin Gas Company, first as a coin collector and later as a rental clerk. He lost his position there in April 1916 having left work to take part in the Easter Rising (MAI, BMH WS 166; MAI, MSPR 34/REF/814; Irish Press, 15 Aug. 1964). Although a member of the 1st Battalion of the Dublin Brigade, Doyle had agreed to fall in with the 3rd Battalion on Easter Sunday 1916, as he was then living in their area (MAI, MSPR, 34/REF/814). Doyle was one of the rebels who occupied St. Stephen’s Schoolhouse on Northumberland Road on Easter Monday morning. The position was soon abandoned and Doyle went instead to Boland’s Bakery, where the commandant of the 3rd Battalion, Éamon de Valera, was based. On Wednesday morning, he was sent with three other Volunteers to Robert’s builders yard where he took up a position on the roof of a shed. Doyle and his companions held the yard, and kept up fire on British troops advancing towards Mount Street Bridge, until an order was received to retreat to Boland’s Bakery late that day. Doyle remained part of the Boland’s Bakery garrison until they surrendered on Sunday; he was arrested and interned in Frongach prison camp in North Wales until July 1917 (MAI, BMH WS 166; MAI, MSPR 34/REF/814). Having returned from Frongach, Doyle was once again active in the Irish Volunteers and was involved in the anti-conscription movement and the 1918 General Election campaign as a Sinn Féin organiser. During the War of Independence Doyle was a member of the staff of the first Dáil and also took part in several operations with the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army, including a failed attack on the Custom House in April 1920. By 1921 Doyle was working for Donnelly’s Bacon Curers but soon lost his job there. He took no part in the Civil War and was employed by the Freeman’s Journal until the newspaper folded and he began work for the Electricity Supply Board (MAI, MSPR 34/REF/814.

Seamus Doyle died on 14 August 1964; he was married with three sons and two daughters (Irish Press, 15 Aug. 1964).

Officers

Sherwood Foresters Officers

Frederick Christian Dietrichsen

Frederick Christian Dietrichsen, captain, 2/7 Sherwood Foresters and adjutant, C company. Dietrichsen was killed by fire from No. 25 Northumberland Road and was among the first casualties of the battle. Frederick Christian Dietrichsen (1882-1916), captain, 2/7 Sherwood Foresters and adjutant, C company. Born in Essex on 30 October 1882, Dietrichsen was 33 years of age in April 1916, the son of James and Elizabeth Dietrichsen. He was first educated at Chigwell School and then graduated from Gonville and Gaius College, Oxford in 1904. Called to the bar in 1907, Dietrichsen went on to become a well-known and popular lawyer in Nottingham. In 1910 he married Beatrice Mitchell, an Irish Protestant, and the couple had a son and a daughter (Cliff Housely; CWGC; Irish Times, 6 Apr. 2015). On the outbreak of war in August 1914, Dietrichsen enlisted in the 2/7th Sherwood Foresters, having earlier been a member of the Officer Training Corps at Cambridge. He received a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in November 1914 and was promoted to temporary captain in October 1915 (Cliff Housely; Irish Times, 6 Apr. 2015). Dietrichsen landed with his battalion at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) on the morning of 26 May 1916. As he marched towards the city centre, he noticed his wife and children among the crowds who had lined the streets to cheer the soldiers and broke ranks to embrace them. He had been unaware that they were in Dublin - his wife had travelled to stay with her mother in Blackrock - and he had believed they were in Watford (Irish Times, 6 Apr. 2015). Less than two hours later, Dietrichsen and his men were fired at by Volunteers Michael Malone and James Grace in No. 25 Northumberland Road. Dietrichsen was fatally wounded and was among the first casualties of the battle (“The Robin Hoods”, 1/7th, 2/7th, 3/7th Sherwood Foresters, 1914-1918, 1921). A resident of Northumberland Road later wrote to his wife of his bravery and remarked that ‘he had no regard for his own safety’ (Irish Times, 6 Apr. 2015). Frederick Dietrichsen is buried in Deansgrange Military Cemetery, Dublin (CWGC).

William Victor Hawken

William Victor Hawken, 2nd lieutenant, C Company, 2/7th Sherwood Foresters. Hawken was killed by rifle fire from No. 25 Northumberland Road while attempting to make his way along Haddington Road. William Victor Hawken (c. 1885-1916), 2nd lieutenant, C Company, 2/7th Sherwood Foresters. The son of parents from Chichester Street, London, Hawken was 31 years of age in April 1916. Prior to the outbreak of war in August 1914, Hawken served as a platoon sergeant in the London Irish regiment of the British army (Cliff Housley; CWGC). In 1914, Hawken joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps and received a commission in the 7th Sherwood Foresters in early 1916. He then joined the 2/7th Sherwood Foresters in Watford as a 2nd lieutenant and was attached to C Company (Cliff Housely). Hawken landed with his battalion at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) on the morning of 26 May 1916. C Company were first to come into conflict with the Volunteers at No. 25 Northumberland Road. Dawken was moving along Haddington Road attempting to turn right at Percy Place and reach Baggot Street Bridge but was killed by rifle fire from No. 25 (“The Robin Hoods”, 1/7th, 2/7th, 3/7th Sherwood Foresters, 1914-1918, 1921). William Hawken’s body was hastily buried after the battle but was exhumed and reinterred in Westminster City Cemetery, Hanwell, London (TNA, WO 35/69/1; CWGC).

Harold Charles Daffen

Harold Charles Daffen, lieutenant, B Company, 2/8th Sherwood Foresters. Daffen was killed leading a charge across Mount Street Bridge towards Clanwilliam House. Harold Charles Daffen (c. 1894-1916), 2nd lieutenant, B Company, 2/8th Sherwood Foresters. Born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, the only son of Charles and Anne, Daffen was first educated at the King Edward VI Grammar School in Retford. He was then a student in Sheffield University and later Oxford University, where his studies were interrupted by the war in 1914. In both universities he had been a member of an Officer Training Corps. Daffen was given a commission as 2nd lieutenant in the 2/8th Sherwood Foresters in 1914 and was later promoted to lieutenant. He won prizes for musketry and marksmanship in both the OTC and the army (Housley). Daffen landed with his battalion at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) on the morning of 26 May 1916 and took charge of B Company in the absence of the company captain who had taken ill. The 2/8th battalion, which had been in reserve, were called in to action on Northumberland Road after the 2/7th had suffered heavy casualties. Daffen led B Company on a charge towards Clanwilliam House but, having made it across Mount Street Bridge was shot and killed instantly by rifle fire just beyond the north-west corner of the bridge. Daffen was mentioned in despatches for his bravery during the battle (History of the 2/8th battalion, Sherwood Foresters, 1914-18, 1920; CWGC). He was 22 years of age. Harold Charles Daffen’s body was hastily buried near Mount Street Bridge but was exhumed and reinterred in an officer’s plot at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin (TNA, WO 35/69/1; CWGC).   Montague Bernard Browne, 2nd lieutenant, B Company, 2/8th Sherwood Foresters. Browne was killed during a charge across Mount Street Bridge towards Clanwilliam House.

Montague Bernard Browne

Montague Bernard Browne (c. 1877-1916), 2nd lieutenant, B Company, 2/8th Sherwood Foresters. Browne was 39 years of age in 1916, the son of the late Reverend Samuel Ernest Browne and his wife Mary. From Nottinghamshire, he was educated at Harrow Public School (Housley, CWGC). Browne first enlisted as a private in the 2/8th Sherwood Foresters after the outbreak of war in 1914. He received a commission as 2nd lieutenant in July 1915 (Housley). Browne landed with his battalion at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) on the morning of 26 May 1916. The 2/8th battalion, who had been in reserve, were called in to action on Northumberland Road after the 2/7th had suffered heavy casualties. Browne was a member of B Company who, under Lieutenant Daffen, made a charge across Mount Street Bridge towards Clanwilliam House. Browne made it across the bridge but was shot and wounded just beyond its north-west corner, next to Lieutenant Daffen who was killed instantly. The regimental history states that Browne died of his wounds two days later but his date of death with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is 30 April 1916 (History of the 2/8th battalion, Sherwood Foresters, 1914-18, 1920; CWGC). Bernard Montague Browne is buried in Deansgrange Military Cemetery, Dublin (CWGC).

Percy Vivian Claude Perry

Percy Vivian Claude Perry, lieutenant, 2/7th Sherwood Foresters. Perry was killed during an advance on Mount Street Bridge. Percy Vivian Claude Perry (c. 1883-1916), lieutenant, 2/7th Sherwood Foresters. Perry was 33 years of age in April 1916 and was the son of G. H. Perry of Forest Road, Nottingham. He was married to Hilda Perry. Browne first enlisted as a private in the 2/8th Sherwood Foresters after the outbreak of war in 1914. He received a commission as 2nd lieutenant in March 1915 and was later promoted to lieutenant (Housley; CWGC). Perry landed with his battalion at Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) on the morning of 26 May 1916 and was killed in action during the battle at Mount Street Bridge (Housley). Percy Vivian Claude Perry is buried in Nottingham General Cemetery (CWGC).

Weapons

Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield

Effective Range: 502 m (548 yd) Maximum Range: 2743 m (3000 yd) Caliber: .303 inch / 7.7mm

The Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE) Rifle was a ten round, .303” (7.7mm) bolt action rifle introduced for the British armed forces in 1904 following the Second Boer War. Prior to its introduction, British forces used small arms with black powder propellant. This generated a large plume of smoke (firing signature) upon firing which clearly revealed the firer’s position; experience against Mauser-equipped Boers revealed the importance of smokeless powder and rapid reload for modern warfare. By 1907 the SMLE Mk III was the mainstay British Rifle. Field testing during the first months of WWI earned it a fearsome reputation at the battles of Mons and le Cateau; British soldiers were trained to deliver controlled fire of up to  thirty shots a minute in a practice labelled the ‘Mad Minute’. By 1916, the SMLE Mk III production was affected by the war, leading to the development of the SMLE Mk III*, with the asterisk denoting some production shortcuts such as the omission of volley sights and magazine cutoffs. Captured SMLE rifles were used by the Irish Volunteers, donated or sold by sympathetic British soldiers and some may have purchased their own in 1914 as this image from the NLI indicates. At the battle of Mount Street Bridge, Irish Volunteer James Grace was equipped with a Magazine Lee-Enfield (MLE) or Long Lee-Enfield rifle that he had brought from Canada. This weapon was likely produced between 1895 and 1904. The main difference between the MLE and the SMLE lay with the MLE’s slower reload rate (the SMLE could accommodate five round chargers); the MLE was also a longer rifle (12.7cm (5 in)longer).  

Martini-Henry

Effective Range: 900 m (985 yd) Maximum Range: 2000 m (2187 yd) Caliber: 11mm

The Martini-Henry was first developed for the British Army in 1871, replacing the Snider-Enfield, a muzzle loaded rifle. A breach loaded, black powder, lever action rifle, the weapon was rendered obsolete by the development of the Lee-Metford in 1888. Despite this, the Martini-Henry and its variants continued to be used up to the Great War. The Martini-Henry, despite being a successful weapon in Britain’s colonial wars, suffered from cartridge extraction problems which wouldn’t be solved until 1920. With the advent of the .303 round for the Lee-Metford, the Martini-Enfield variant was introduced in 1895 which could eventually house the modern 1904 smokeless ammunition. However, the Martini-Enfield was not designed to fire the newer mk VII ammunition (the grade of SMLE rifles). As stated by James Doyle in his witness statement, ‘we had very little VI and he [Reynolds] was afraid that the VII would be too heavy on our martini rifles.’ (BMH.WS0309, p.4) Sometime later, Doyle’s rifle exploded from repeated use of VII ammunition. The Martini-Henry and Martini-Enfield rifles were issued to the Royal Irish Constabulary until 1905; it is possible that the Irish Volunteers acquired these rifles. Others were imported from the United States by sympathisers.  

Mauser Gewehr 1871

Effective Range: 900 m (985 yd) Maximum Range: 2000 m (2187 yd) Caliber: 11mm

The Mauser Model 1871 (M/71) was the first of many firearms designed by the Mauser brothers for the Imperial German Army. It was introduced in 1871 to replace the Dreyse Needle-Gun of Franco-Prussian war fame. An single shot, black powder, bolt action rifle, the M/71 fired an 11mm cartridge. The design was improved in 1884 with the addition of an eight round integral tubual magazine and an case extractor (Mod. 1871/84). By WW1, the M/71 had been made doubly obsolete by the development of the Gewehr 1898, yet it was used to drill German forces and was equipped by the landwehr / landsturm (militia). The Irish Volunteers imported 900 M/71 rifles in 1914 during what became known as the Howth gun-running episode. A smaller number came ashore at Kilcoole in County Wicklow (1,500 rifles were ‘imported’ in total). These firearms were financed by Irish Nationalist and Easter Rising combatant Michael O’Rahilly and were subsequently referred to as ‘Howth Mausers’ or ‘Howth Guns’. Due to the weapon’s age, ammunition for it in Ireland was literally non-existent with a complete reliance on the ammunition stock imported with the rifles.. The powder cartridge, once fired, would give away the firer’s position in a cloud of white smoke. The obsolete 11mm cartridge utilised an all-lead bullet which would expand on impact creating a devastating wound; the use of these bullets had been outlawed in war by the 1899 Hague Convention and military forces had moved to non-expanding full metal jacket bullets. Despite these shortcomings, the M/71 was a fearsome weapon due to its caliber and large firing signature which gave the impression of a larger weapon than a rifle being fired at a target. The recoil of the M/71 was recalled by Thomas Walsh in his witness statement ‘...the butt hit me under the chin and knocked me out… I had received a good lesson and for the remainder of the scrap I remembered it was a ‘Howth gun’ I was dealing with!’ (BMH.WS0198 p17). However, the imparted recoil force from the Howth rifle is actually less than a Lee Enfield rifle and Walsh’s unfortunate injury indicates a low level of small arms training.  

Mauser C96 Pistol Maximum Effective Range: 150 m (164 yd) Caliber: 7.63mm / 9mm (1915)

The C96 handgun, nicknamed the “broomhandle” (due to its grip) was a ten round, 7.63x25mm semi-automatic pistol produced by German arms manufacturer Mauser from 1896. The C96, due to its long barrel and grade of ammunition, had a superior range compared to other handguns of the time. Initially overlooked by the German army in favour of the 9mm Parabellum Pistole, or Luger, the onset of war required the C96 to address weapon shortages. In 1915, the C96 was refitted to house the 9mm Parabellum round, leading to some 137,000 9mm C96’s produced. Known as a ‘red C96,’ the 9mm variant was denoted by a red number nine stamp on its handle. Both the Ottoman Empire and Austro-Hungarian armies utilised the C96 in the field, marking it as a relatively well-represented weapon in the Central Powers’ arsenal. The Irish Volunteers referred to the weapon as ‘Peter the Painter’ after the underground figure of the same name who allegedly used one in the Siege of Sidney Street of 1911. Lieutenant Michael Malone, commanding officer for the Irish Volunteers at Mount Street Bridge, was armed with a 7.63mm C96. The use of a shoulder-stock which doubles as a holster for the pistol was first employed on the M1898 pistol carbine model. Regarding Malone’s C96; ‘Lieutenant Malone was the crackshot of the 3rd Battalion with the Mauser automatic and in the main battle on Wednesday he wrought terrible havoc among the enemy with it.’ (James Grace, BMH.WS0310 p.7)  

Webley Revolver

Maximum Effective Range: 46m (50 yds) Caliber: .455 / 11.6mm

The Webley revolver was the standard sidearm for British and Commonwealth armed forces from 1887. A top break, double action, six round, .455” caliber revolver, the Webley replaced the older Enfield Revolvers. As the weapon was designed to evolve rather than be replaced, the British Army were to be equipped with the Mk V Webley upon the outbreak of WWI. Despite this, the most common model when the war began was the mk IV or Boer War model developed in 1899. By 1915 the Webley mk VI would become the standard sidearm for all branches of the British armed forces. The Webley featured automatic extraction; opening the breach of the weapon would eject the spent casings, making it a relatively easy weapon to reload swiftly. The double action feature enabled the revolving cylinder of ammunition to cycle automatically via pulling the trigger rather than having to manually pull back the hammer. The RIC were outfitted with the appropriately named Webley RIC in 1868, it being the first double action revolver developed by Webley. The RIC design was appropriated for the creation of the British Bull Dog revolver, itself manufactured up until 1917. It is possible that the Irish Volunteers outfitted themselves with these RIC revolvers alongside the more common mk IVs during the Easter Rising. Thomas Walsh’s witness statement mentions his use of a .45 revolver but unfortunately does not specify which type.  

Smith and Wesson Revolver

Maximum Effective Range: ? Caliber: .32 / 7.9mm

James Walsh is referred to throughout Thomas Walsh’s witness statement as using a .32 caliber revolver. This revolver could potentially belong to the Smith and Wesson Model 1903 .32 hand ejector series of revolvers. The M1903 went through five changes throughout the period between 1903 and 1917. As such, it is difficult to pinpoint which change Walsh’s handgun belongs to without seeing the weapon’s serial number. However, the variants all shared common characteristics. The variants of M1903 were built upon the I or ‘i’ frame and were six round, double action, hand ejector revolvers. Differing from the Webley, which was top break operated, the M1903 required a user to manually eject the casings by swinging the revolving cylinder out on its hinge and pumping the ejector rod housed within. This design was intended to differentiate the Smith and Wesson brand from the top break revolvers of the time. Irish Volunteers likely received these revolvers from sympathisers in the United States. Constance Markievicz was equipped with a Smith and Wesson .32 caliber revolver during the Easter Rising.  

Lewis Gun

Effective Range: 800m (880 yds) Maximum Range: 3200m (3500 yds) Caliber: .303 / 7.7mm

The American-designed 1911 Lewis gun was one of the first light machine guns (LMG) ever designed. It entered service with the Belgian Army in September 1914 before being adopted by the British Army in 1915. Capable of firing 550 rounds a minute, the Lewis could be operated by a single user. More portable and easier to manufacture than the heavier Vickers machine gun, the Lewis was adopted for aerial, tank, and infantry use. Air cooled and with its distinctive drum magazine resting atop the gun, the Lewis could chamber 47 or 97 British .303 rounds (used in the SMLE) and the Mauser 7.92mm rounds. Thus leaving both German and British forces well equipped for use on the Western Front. When the Sherwood Foresters departed Liverpool for Kingstown on Tuesday April 25, their Lewis guns were left behind due to a lack of room aboard the steamship Ulster. Their Lewis guns didn’t arrive until Thursday the 27th. James Doyle in Clanwilliam House recounts that on that Thursday ‘...a machine gun opened up on our position. The sashes of the windows were cut to pieces. Reynold’s shouted “Keep well down, lads.”’ (BMH.WS0309 p.9) The volume of fire allowed the Sherwood Foresters to advance on Clanwilliam House and force out the Volunteers.  

No. 5 Mills Bomb

The standard hand grenade utilised by the British Armed forces in the First World War was the No. 5 pattern Mills Bomb. Based on the designs of Belgian captain Leon Roland, the Mills bomb was a percussion cap or time fused fragmentation grenade introduced in 1915. Designated grenadiers or “Bombers” were instructed to toss the device as one would bowl a cricket ball. A British bombing team consisted of about nine men broken down into throwers, carriers, bayonet men and “spare” men. At the battle of Mount Street Bridge the Sherwood Foresters arrived from Liverpool without Mills bombs, just as they did without the Lewis guns. On the Thursday, suppressing fire from the freshly introduced machine guns allowed British bombers to get close to Clanwilliam house. As James Doyle recounts, shortly after the machine gun began to cut the sashes on the windows to pieces, ‘I heard a terrible explosion and almost the whole ceiling in the room fell down and I could see very little with dust and smoke…”I think the roof is on fire, Jim!”’ (p.10, BMH.WS0309) What happens next matches the description of the British bombing party; ‘Suddenly, some soldiers (about 4) rushed out of the back door of the house to the garden I was in. They had their bayonets fixed on their rifles.’ (p.11) The method of clearing trenches on the Western Front was adapted for clearing buildings in an urban warzone.

Buildings

25 Northumberland Road

25 Northumberland Road, located at the corner of the junction with Haddington Road, was held by Volunteers Michael Malone and James Grace.

A three-storey, Victorian terraced town-house on the corner of the junction with Haddington Road, 25 Northumberland Road is on the south side of the Grand Canal and a short distance from Mount Street Bridge. It was occupied on Easter Monday by Michael Malone, James Grace, Paddy Rowe and Michael Byrne and was the southernmost location occupied by C Company, 3rd Battalion Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers (Carisbrook House to the south was taken by a different unit). The building was the home of Michael Cussen, described by Grace as ‘friendly’, who had evacuated his family and servants in advance of the Rising (DCLA, Dublin City Electoral Rolls, 1914; Thom’s Directory, 1916; MAI, BMH WS 310). On Easter Monday afternoon, the garrison in No. 25 fired on a column of the Volunteer Training Corps (nicknamed the ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ for their older age profile and Georgius Rex armbands) returning to Beggar’s Bush barracks after a training exercise. Part-time reservists and made up of professional men, many over military age, the VTC were unarmed or carrying rifles with no ammunition. Five members of the column were killed and seven more wounded.

The following morning, teenagers Rowe and Byrne were sent home for their own safety, leaving Malone and Grace as the sole occupants of No. 25 (MAI, BMH WS 310). On Wednesday morning two members of Cumann na mBan, including one of Grace’s sisters, delivered a dispatch with news of the imminent arrival of British troops marching from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire). Positioned in a third-floor bathroom window, Malone was the first Volunteer to open fire on the advancing Sherwood Foresters with Grace following suit from a window on the second-floor. Their positions offered an ideal field of fire in which to engage British troops moving up Northumberland Road towards the city and along Haddington Road. No. 25 was the first rebel position to fall after it was repeatedly charged by 2/7th Sherwood Foresters armed with hand grenades and its door blown in. Malone was killed by rifle fire but Grace managed to escape (MAI, MSPR 34/REF/368; MAI, BMH WS 310).

Parochial Hall

St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall, 1-5 Northumberland Road, was a Church of Ireland hall occupied by four members of C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers on Easter Monday.

In 1916 St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall, Northumberland Road was a Church of Ireland property used for vestry meetings and other Church events. Located opposite St. Stephen’s Schoolhouse and about 300 yards from 25 Northumberland Road, the hall was also the residence of army pensioner Francis James Tanner and his family (NAI, 1911 census return; DCLA, Dublin City Electoral Rolls, 1914; Thom’s Directory, 1916). Volunteer accounts of its occupation on Easter Monday make no mention of the Tanners being present. A two-storey detached building at a recess from the terraces on either side, it was seized by four Volunteers from C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade. Patrick Doyle (section commander), Joseph Clarke, John McGrath and William Christian spent most of Monday and Tuesday on guard duty and ‘except for an occasional shot here and there’ they encountered no opposition on Monday or Tuesday (MAI, BMH WS 646). The Sherwood Foresters advancing along Northumberland Road on Wednesday afternoon were initially unaware that the Parochial Hall was occupied and were targeting St. Stephen’s Schoolhouse on the opposite side of the road.

Protected from British attack by the position of their building, the garrison in the hall was forced to wait until British troops came alongside their position before opening fire. Soon after, with their ammunition spent and the attack intensifying, the garrison in the building decided to retreat to Boland’s Bakery, headquarters of the 3rd Battalion under its commandant, Eamon de Valera. Having escaped through the back of the hall and out on to Percy Place, they were fired on and captured by British troops (MAI, BMH WS 646).

St. Stephen’s Schoolhouse

The schoolhouse on Northumberland Road, home of St. Stephen’s Parochial School, was initially occupied by four men from C Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers on Easter Monday. By Tuesday the garrison had been withdrawn and the building remained unoccupied.

St. Stephen’s Parochial School was located on Northumberland Road, on the south side of the Grand Canal and close to the embankment at Mount Street Bridge. Administered by the Church of Ireland, the school was housed in a single-story, redbrick building with six rooms. The building was also home to schoolmaster Samuel Flinn. (MAI, 1911 census return; DCLA, Dublin City Electoral Rolls, 1914; Thom’s Directory, 1916). Volunteers Denis O’Donoghue (section commander), Seamus Kavanagh, Robert Cooper and Seamus Doyle took the schoolhouse on Monday morning. O’Donoghue later recalled that ‘The lady at the school objected to us and we broke in’ (MAI, MSPR, 34/REF/20580). They proceeded to fortify the building by barricading windows and doors. It soon became clear, however, that the position was entirely unsuitable and of no military value. On Tuesday evening a decision was made to evacuate the school and move to Boland’s Bakery, headquarters of the 3rd Battalion under its commandant, Eamon de Valera, to reinforce the garrison there. The building remained unoccupied by rebels for the remainder of the Rising (MAI, BMH WS 208; MAI, BMH WS 166). Believing it to be held by the Volunteers, the Sherwood Foresters initially concentrated efforts on taking the empty schoolhouse, ignoring the garrison of four men positioned in St. Stephen’s Parochial Hall on the other side of Northumberland Road (“The Robin Hoods”, 1/7th, 2/7th, 3/7th Sherwood Foresters, 1914-1918, 1921; The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War, 1914-1918, the 2/8th Battalion, 1920).

Clanwilliam House

Clanwilliam House, 1-2 Clanwilliam Place, was occupied by seven Volunteers from C Company, 3rd Battalion of the Dublin Brigade on Wednesday morning. It was the last rebel post to be taken. Three of its garrison were killed during the fighting.

Clanwilliam House, 1-2 Clanwilliam Place, was part of a row of Georgian houses on the city side of Mount Street Bridge on the intersection with Lower Mount Street and facing the Grand Canal. Samuel Wilson, a retired merchant sailor, his family and servants lived in 1 Clanwilliam Place, while the family and servants of carpenter and contractor Andrew Mathers occupied 2 Clanwilliam Place, next door. (NAI, 1911 census returns; DCLA, Dublin City Electoral Rolls, 1915; Thom’s Directory, 1916). A large, three-storey building, it offered an unobstructed view of the bridge and down Northumberland Road. On Easter Monday, the building was occupied by George Reynolds (section commander), Daniel Byrne, William Ronan and James Doyle, the door having been opened for them by a maid (MAI, BMH WS 309).

On Tuesday morning, Paddy Doyle, Richard Murphy and brothers Thomas and James Walsh were sent from Boland’s Bakery, headquarters of the 3rd Battalion under its commandant, Eamon de Valera, to reinforce the garrison in Clanwilliam House. Daniel Byrne was assigned to carry dispatches leaving seven men in possession of Clanwilliam House on Wednesday morning. By that time, furniture had been used to fortify windows but the glass had not been smashed and no other measures taken to prepare for an assault on the building. Each Volunteer was positioned at one of ten second and third storey windows at the front of the house facing the canal. On hearing fire from 25 Northumberland Road, the garrison opened fire on the advancing Sherwood Foresters. Clanwilliam House was the last of the rebel posts to fall following a concerted rush by troops from the 2/8th and 2/7th Sherwood Foresters during which the house caught fire. George Reynolds, Paddy Doyle and Richard Murphy were killed during the fighting (MAI, BMH WS 127; MAI, BMH WS 309; MAI, BMH WS 198). The building remained unoccupied after the Rising until it collapsed during a storm in 1920 (Thom’s Directory, 1917; Irish Independent, 18 Jan. 1920).

Roberts’ Builders Yard

Robert’s builders yard, located at the Clanwilliam Place end of Grand Canal Street, was occupied by four Volunteers from C Company, 3rd Battalion. The Volunteers there sniped at Sherwood Foresters advancing on Mount Street Bridge before retreating to Boland’s Bakery.

Robert’s builders yard was the premises of W. A. Roberts building contractors and located at the Clanwilliam Place end of Grand Canal Street on the city side of the Grand Canal. The firm was run by Samuel Roberts, Quaker, builder and resident of Milltown in south Dublin. Located at the corner of Grand Canal Street and Clanwilliam Place, the yard was next to Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital where many of the military, rebel and civilians casualties of the Rising were treated.

On Wednesday morning Simon Donnelly, commandant of C Company, ordered Seamus Doyle, Robert Cooper, Seamus Kavanagh and section commander Denis O’Donohue (all of whom had evacuated the schoolhouse on Northumberland Road) to take up positions in the yard. Kavanagh later claimed that Roberts’ had been occupied since Monday and that the guard was changed each morning. O’Donoghue, Kavanagh and Doyle positioned themselves on the roof of the yard, behind a wall overlooking the canal, while Cooper faced towards Grand Canal Street Bridge. Having fired at the Sherwood Foresters advancing on Mount Street Bridge, and held their position for some time, an order was delivered calling on the men to retreat to Boland’s Bakery. Denis O’Donoghue claimed that this took place after the fall of Clanwilliam House but Seamus Doyle asserted the order came before Clanwilliam House had caught fire. The men returned to Boland’s over the wall of Patrick Dun’s Hospital and arrived having suffered no casualties (MAI, BMH WS 208; MAI, BMH WS 166; MAI, MSPR, 34/REF/20580; Irish Press, 16 Jun. 1955).

St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church, Haddington Road, located on Haddington Road to the west of Northumberland Road, was used by British troops as a sniping position. Two soldiers were injured by fire from rebel positions.

St. Mary’s Church, Haddington Road, located on Haddington Road to the west of Northumberland Road was used by British troops as a sniping position. Rev. Dr. Nicholas Donnelly, an auxiliary bishop of Dublin and bishop of Canea, was the parish priest and the church four other clergy. On of the priests, Fr. McKee, died of natural causes during the Rising. (MAI, BMH WS 311; 1911 census returns)  On the Wednesday morning of Easter week the church was occupied by a small number of British soldiers who used the building’s tall belfry to fire on rebel positions, including No. 25 Northumberland Road. Fire was returned from the rebel positions and two of the soldiers were wounded. Medical attention was sent for and the men were treated by two doctors who arrived from the nearby Baggot Street Hospital. One of the doctors described ‘very heavy fighting’ on Northumberland Road and ‘lying 4 hours flat with bullets serging by and striking the tower around us.’ Taking advantage of a lull in the fighting, they managed to escape and made their way back to the hospital (MAI, BMH WS 311; TCD, Ms. Misc. Photocopy 184).

Beggar’s Bush Barracks

Beggar’s Bush Barracks, a military barracks on Haddington Road to the east of the rebel positions on Northumberland Road, was a recruit-training depot for the British army in 1916. The barracks was only occupied by a small number of men with few rifles or ammunition but was not taken by the rebels.

Beggar’s Bush Barracks, a military barracks on Haddington Road to the east of the rebel positions on Northumberland Road, was a recruit-training depot for the British army in 1916. On Easter Monday there were only two regular British officers in the barracks and it held few rifles and little ammunition. A British officer on leave during Easter week and present in the barracks later remarked that there was ‘nothing in Beggars Bush Barracks if only they had rushed it’ but no attempt was made to do so (MAI, BMH WS 348). On Monday morning a column of the Volunteer Training Corps (nicknamed the ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ for their older age profile and Georgius Rex armbands) were fired on, with five killed and seven wounded. The remainder of the corps spent the rest of the Rising in Beggar’s Bush barracks. The men in the barracks continued to snipe on the rebel positions until a platoon from A Company of the 2/8th Sherwood Foresters was sent there on Wednesday afternoon (MAI, BMH WS 348; The Sherwood Foresters in the Great War, 1914-1918, the 2/8th Battalion, 1920).