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22 september

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Sep 2006 5:59    Onderwerp: 22 september Reageer met quote

Der Weltkrieg am 22. September 1914

DEUTSCHER HEERESBERICHT



Die Beschießung der Kathedrale von Reims
Der 1. Weltkrieg: Die Kathedrale von Reims

Die Kathedrale von Reims

Berlin, 22. September. (W. B. Amtlich.)
Die französische Regierung scheut leider nicht vor einer verleumderischen Entstellung der Tatsachen zurück, wenn sie behauptet, daß deutsche Truppen ohne militärische Notwendigkeit den Dom von Reims zur Zielscheibe eines systematischen Bombardements machten. Reims ist eine Festung, die von den Franzosen noch in den letzten Tagen mit allen zur Verfügung stehenden Mitteln ausgebaut wurde und zur Verteidigung ihrer jetzigen Stellung benutzt wird. Bei dem Angriff auf diese Stellung wurde das Bombardement von Reims zur Notwendigkeit. Die Befehle waren erteilt, die berühmte Kathedrale zu schonen. Wenn es trotzdem wahr sein sollte, daß bei dem durch den Kampf hervorgerufenen Brand von Reims auch die Kathedrale gelitten hat, was wir zur Zeit nicht festzustellen vermögen, so würde das niemand mehr bedauern wie wir. Die Schuld allein tragen aber die Franzosen, die Reims als Festung zum Stützpunkt ihrer Verteidigungsstellung machten. Wir müssen energischen Protest gegen die Verleumdung erheben, daß deutsche Truppen aus Zerstörungswut ohne dringendste Notwendigkeit Denkmäler der Geschichte und Architektur zerstören. 2)



Der deutsche Heeresbericht:
Das deutsche Hauptquartier über die Beschießung

Großes Hauptquartier, 22. September.
Die französische Regierung hat behauptet, daß die Beschießung der Kathedrale von Reims keine militärische Notwendigkeit gewesen sei. Demgegenüber sei folgendes festgestellt: Nachdem die Franzosen die Stadt Reims durch starke Verschanzungen zum Hauptstützpunkt ihrer Verteidigung gemacht hatten, zwangen sie uns selbst zum Angriff auf die Stadt mit allen zur Durchführung möglichen Mitteln.
Die Kathedrale sollte auf Anordnung des deutschen Armeeoberkommandos geschont werden, so lange der Feind sie nicht zu seinen Gunsten ausnutzte. Seit dem 20. September wurde auf der Kathedrale die weiße Flagge gezeigt und von uns geachtet. Trotzdem konnten wir auf dem Turm einen Beobachtungsposten feststellen, der die gute Wirkung der feindlichen Artillerie gegen unsere angreifende Infanterie erklärte. Es war nötig, ihn zu beseitigen. Dies geschah durch Schrapnellfeuer der Feldartillerie. Das Feuer schwerer Artillerie wurde auch jetzt noch nicht gestattet und das Feuer eingestellt, nachdem der Posten beseitigt war.
Wie wir beobachten können, stehen Turm und Äußeres der Kathedrale unzerstört. Der Dachstuhl ist in Flammen aufgegangen. Die angreifenden Truppen sind also nur so weit gegangen, wie sie unbedingt gehen mußten. Die Verantwortung trägt der Feind, der ein ehrwürdiges Bauwerk unter dem Schutz der weißen Flagge zu mißbrauchen versuchte. 1)


Die Schlachten im Westen

Die "Frankfurter Zeitung" schrieb am 22. September 1914:
Drei Stellen an der Front der Kämpfenden, deren gesamte Linie sich wieder über mehrere hundert Kilometer erstreckt, sind gegenwärtig von ganz besonderem Interesse. Das ist einmal die Gegend um Noyon, rechts der Oise, wo unser rechter Flügel kürzlich nahezu zweieinhalb französische Armeekorps geschlagen hat. Dort und am äußersten westlichen Flügel der beiderseitigen Aufstellung hat sich der Kampf abgespielt, durch dessen Ausgang der Versuch der Franzosen gescheitert ist, unsere rechte Flanke zu überflügeln. Anfangs hatten sie Glück gehabt. Es war ihnen zwar nicht gelungen, einen Teil unserer Armee abzuschneiden, aber die ernstliche Bedrohung und die ungestümen Angriffe hatten unsere Truppen zu immer neuen Bewegungen und Windungen genötigt, - die sich dann allmählich unserer gesamten Front mitteilten -, bis es schließlich gelang, durch eine energische Verschiebung der Kräfte den französischen Plan zum Scheitern zu bringen. Der linke Flügel der Franzosen wird sich bestenfalls nur noch so lange in seiner Stellung halten können, als es die Lage auf den anderen Abschnitten der Schlachtfront gestattet. Das kann aber nach den neuesten Meldungen nicht mehr lange dauern, denn im Zentrum der Kämpfe an der Aisne steht es für die Franzosen offenbar schlecht. Von den Höhen, die die Festung Reims umschließen, sind zweifellos jetzt schon wesentliche Punkte im Besitz der deutschen Truppen. Selbst die französischen Bulletins müssen das einräumen. Aus der Fassung des letzten deutschen Berichts kann man aber schließen, daß wir uns dort in vorzüglicher Lage befinden. Wenn die Arbeit unserer Armeen dort in derselben Weise fortschreitet, dann wird das Ende dieser Schlacht vermutlich sein, daß die Franzosen bei Reims, also gerade an der Stelle, an der sie selber den Hauptstoß führen und unsere Front durchbrechen wollten, ganz entscheidend geschlagen werden. Die Taktik unserer Armeeleitung, die sich - trotz aller möglichen Mißdeutung - nicht gescheut hat, nach dem freiwilligen Abbruch der von den Franzosen gewünschten Schlacht an der Marne unsere Truppen sogar bis über Reims hinaus zurückzunehmen, bewährt sich jetzt glänzend, denn die Franzosen haben sich bei dem Ansturm auf unsere festen Stellungen nordwestlich von Reims erschöpft und werden nun unserem eigenen Angriff nicht lange standhalten können, ganz abgesehen von allen weiteren Vorteilen, die sich aus unseren Stellungen bei Reims noch leicht ergeben könnten. Bei Verdun endlich scheint unsere Lage, die sich auch durch die Rückwärtsbewegung wohl keinen Augenblick verschlechtert hatte, gleichfalls so aussichtsreich zu sein, daß wir von diesem dritten Abschnitt unserer Front schon bald Wichtiges werden erfahren können. Die völlige Umschließung der Festungswerke ist schon vollendet, oder sie steht unmittelbar bevor. Das Gesamturteil über die gegenwärtige Lage im Westen kann darum nur lauten: wir sind zu großen Hoffnungen voll berechtigt.


Die Lage in Galizien

Paris, 22. September. (Priv.-Tel.)
Hier wird offiziell angekündigt, daß die Russen die Beschießung von Przemysl begonnen haben.

Prag. 22. September. (W. B.)
Das "Prager Tageblatt" meldet: Verläßliche Nachrichten aus Galizien stimmen darin überein, daß die Russen überall in Galizien, wo sie Ortschaften besetzen, mit systematischer Brutalität gegen die jüdischen Einwohner vorgehen, die ruthenische Bauernbevölkerung gegen die Juden aufhetzen und jüdisches Eigentum der zumeist geflüchteten polnischen Gutsbesitzer den ruthenischen Bauern überantworten. Die von Russen an jüdischen Einwohnern verübten Gewalttaten nähmen einen immer größeren Umfang an. 2)


Vom Kreuzer "Emden"

Kalkutta, 22. September. (W. B. Reuter.)
Die Offiziere und Mannschaften der von dem Kreuzer "Emden" in der Bai von Bengalen versenkten britischen Schiffe sind gestern Nachmittag hier angekommen. Sie äußerten sich anerkennend über die ihnen von den deutschen Offizieren erwiesene Höflichkeit. Der Streifzug des Kreuzers "Emden" begann am 10. September. An diesem Tage nahm er den Dampfer "Indus", der durch Geschützfeuer zum Sinken gebracht wurde, nachdem die Besatzung auf die "Emden" übergeführt worden war. Als der Kreuzer auf die Höhe der Bai kam, fing er alle drahtlosen Nachrichten auf, welche die Abfahrten aus dem Hafen meldeten, und kannte infolgedessen die Lage sämtlicher Schiffe in der Bai. Am 11. September sichtete der "Emden" den Dampfer "Loo", übernahm seine Besatzung und versenkte ihn. Der Dampfer "Kabinga" wurde in der Nacht zum 12. September genommen und zwei Stunden später der Dampfer "Killin" Während derselben Nacht wurden drei andere Schiffe gesichtet, jedoch nicht verfolgt. Am Mittag des 12. September nahmen die Deutschen den Dampfer "Diplomat", der später versenkt wurde. Dann wurde der italienische Dampfer "Lariano" angehalten, aber an demselben Tage wieder freigelassen. Auf seinem Rückwege warnte der Dampfer mehrere andere Schiffe, welche zurückfuhren und so der Kaperung entgingen. Am 14. September nahm die "Emden" den Dampfer "Tratbock" und versenkte ihn durch eine Mine. Die Besatzung sämtlicher erbeuteten Schiffe wurde dann an Bord eines Fahrzeuges gebracht, das den Befehl erhielt, nach Kalkutta zu fahren. Zwei deutsche Schiffe begleiteten es bis innerhalb 75 Meilen von der Mündung des Huali.

London, 22. September (Priv.-Tel.)
Der "Daily Telegraph" meldet aus Kalkutta, daß der von der "Emden" auf ihrem kühnen Streifzug angerichtete Schaden 15 Millionen Mark betrage. Der Erfolg des deutschen Kreuzers wäre noch größer gewesen, wenn das italienische Schiff nicht eine Anzahl englischer Dampfer benachrichtigt hätte. 2)



Der 1. Weltkrieg im September 1914
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Sep 2006 6:01    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

1914 : German U-boat devastates British squadron

In the North Sea on September 22, 1914, the German submarine U-9 sinks three British cruisers, the Aboukir, the Hogue and the Cressy, in just over one hour.

The aggressive buildup of the German navy in the years before World War I, masterminded by Naval Minister Alfred von Tirpitz, had undoubtedly contributed to Britain’s anxiety and eventual animosity towards Germany. In the first two months of war, however, the German High Seas Fleet made little effort to move from its headquarters in Wilhelmshaven. The one naval battle, fought at Heligoland Bight in late August, ended in a convincing British victory, with three German battleships sunk, three more damaged and 1,200 German sailors killed or wounded.

In the wake of Heligoland Bight, Kaiser Wilhelm and the German leadership concluded that the navy should be kept off the open seas, as its best use was as a defensive weapon. As the war continued, Germany’s greatest weapon at sea would not be its light cruisers but its lethal U-boat submarine, which was far more sophisticated than those built by other nations at that time. The typical U-boat was 214 feet long, carried 35 men and 12 torpedoes and could travel underwater for two hours at a time.

The one-sided battle on September 22, which claimed three British cruisers and the lives of 1,400 sailors, alerted the British to the deadly effectiveness of the submarine, which had been generally unrecognized up to that time. In the first few years of World War I, German U-boats took a terrible toll on Allied shipping. By 1917, however, the continued unrestricted U-boat attacks on American vessels traveling to Britain prompted the previously neutral United States to declare war on Germany. The infusion of American ships, troops and arms into World War I, as well as the economic support the U.S. supplied to the Allied powers, would eventually turn the tide of the war against Germany.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Zeeramp van 22 september 1914

De zeeramp op 22 september 1914 is een oorlogshandeling aan het begin van de Eerste Wereldoorlog voor de Nederlandse kust. Drie Britse pantserkruisers (de Aboukir, de Hogue en de Cressy) worden binnen anderhalf uur getorpedeerd door een Duitse onderzeeër. Hierbij komen 1459 mensen om het leven.

Gebeurtenissen - Op 22 september 1914 tussen 07:20 uur en 08:35 uur leed op 22 zeemijl westelijk van Scheveningen[3] de Royal Navy een zwaar verlies. Als eerste wordt de Aboukir beschoten door de Duitse onderzeeboot U 9. De opvarenden verlaten het schip, maar dit zinkt zo snel dat alle 527 bemanningsleden met het schip ten onder gaan. De Hogue snelt toe om hulp te verlenen, maar wordt eveneens getroffen door de U 9. Ook de Cressy komt nu naderbij en is eveneens een gemakkelijk doelwit voor de op circa 1000 meter afstand op de uitkijk liggende duikboot. Meer dan 2000 Britse zeelieden liggen in het water of drijven in één van de weinige vlotten of sloepen. Er waren bijna geen zwemvesten aan boord van de schepen. 837 opvarenden worden gered door Nederlandse vissersschepen en koopvaardijschepen of weten op vlotten de Nederlandse kust te bereiken. 1459 opvarenden verdrinken.

Gevolgen - De reputatie van de Royal Navy liep een forse deuk op. Het verlies aan mensenlevens, hoofdzakelijk reservisten met een jarenlang dienstverband, dompelde Groot-Britannië in rouw. Men kon nauwelijks geloven dat één Duitse onderzeeboot dit had gedaan. De kapitein van de onderzeeboot Otto Weddigen wordt in Duitsland als zeeheld geëerd, maar in Engeland als misdadiger beschouwd. Hij is later op SM U 29 samen met de bemanning omgekomen toen de onderzeeboot door het Britse slagschip Dreadnought in het noordelijk deel van de Noordzee werd geramd.

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeeramp_van_22_september_1914
Zie ook http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_of_22_September_1914
Zie ook http://www.forumeerstewereldoorlog.nl/viewtopic.php?t=14227
Zie ook http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1914-09Sept.htm voor de verlieslijsten
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- F. Scott Fitzgerald


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 21 Sep 2010 20:17, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Madras raid, 22 September 1914

The raid on Madras of 22 September 1914 was typical of the daring that made the Emden the most famous German commerce raider of the First World War. Having entered the Bay of Bengal in early September, she had sailed north along the shipping lane from Colombo to Calcutta, capturing seven steamers and forcing the British to close the shipping lane. She had then travelled east to Burma, but without success. Captain von Müller became aware that powerful British cruisers were beginning to enter the Bay of Bengal from the east, and were planning to patrol the mouth of the bay. Accordingly he decided to dash west across the bay, attack the port of Madras, and then escape to the south before the British cruisers had reached so far west.

The Emden arrived at Madras at 9.20pm on 22 September, after dark. Under cover of the dark she got close into shore, and opened fire on her target, the oil storage tanks of the Burmah Oil Company. Five tanks were hit. One was empty. On another the German shell entered the tank above the level of the oil, and no fire began. On a third a shell hit but exploded outside the tank. The final two tanks caught fire, and burnt until all 425,000 gallons of oil had burnt away.

The only other damage came while the Emden was getting her range – the steamer Chupra was damaged, and some shells fell in the town of Madras. Alerted by the gunfire, the coastal defence batteries of Madras then opened fire on the Emden. Von Müller turned away, and made his escape down the east coast of Sri Lanka. The Emdenwould then have a very successful period raiding off Colombo and the southern tip of India.

The raid on Madras had a massive impact on the trade of India. All along the coast traders fled into the hills. Much to the alarm of the British tea exports fell, and stayed low until the Emdenhad been sunk. Just as serious was a fall in the export of jute, a natural fibre used in hessian cloth and burlap. The shipping lanes in the Bay of Bengal, opened at 8 am on 22 September, had to be closed once again. The attack on Madras was an unusual act for a commerce raider, but played a big part in the success of the Emden.

Rickard, J (27 September 2007), Madras raid, 22 September 1914 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/raid_madras.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:16    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

First battle of Picardy, 22-26 September 1914

The first battle of Picardy, 22-26 September 1914, was part of the Race to the Sea, the series of encounter battles that decided the location of the Western Front during the First World War. The war began with a period of manoeuvre warfare, exactly as had been expected before the fighting began, but that changed during the first battle of the Aisne. This saw the Germans retreat from the Marne to the Aisne where they took up a defensive position. A series of Allied attacks failed to force them back, and the line on the Aisne remained static for most of the war.

Both the French and German commanders-in-chief began to plan to turn their opponent’s northern flank. Joffre dissolved Castlenau’s Second Army at Nancy, and formed a new Second Army around Amiens, again commanded by Castlenau. The new German chief of the General Staff, Falkenhayn, moved Crown Prince Rupprecht’s Sixth Army around from the Lorraine front.

The French advance was opposed by parts of three German armies. To the south was the First Army (Kluck), with its right flank around the Oise. In the centre was the Seventh Army (Heeringen), no longer needed to plug a gap on the Aisne. To the north was the Sixth Army (Crown Prince Rupprecht), with orders to defend the German right flank and turn the French left. Von Bülow’s Second Army would take over around St. Quentin on 10 October, after the main battle was over.

The French Second army began to move north east from its point of assembly south of Amiens on 22 September. The next day the French Sixth Army began another attack along the Oise, heading north east along the north bank of the river. For the first two days of the fighting there were limited clashes between the two sides, but on 24 September a full scale battle developed along the entire front from Albert, just north of the Somme, down to Noyon on the Oise.

On 24 September the Germans attacked Castelnau’s right flank at Roye, while his army was advancing across the Somme. Their aim was to break a gap in the French line, cutting off the sizable forces further north. Castelnau was able to hold his ground, but his advance was stopped. The Germans then attacked the north of his line (battle of Albert), again hoping to isolate the French forces further north. Once again the attack was beaten off, but any hopes that the main part of the French Second Army would outflank the Germans would gone. Once again the focus of the fighting moved north, this time towards Arras, where two French corps under Maud’huy once again hoped to outflank the Germans (first battle of Artois).

Rickard, J (15 September 2007), First battle of Picardy, 22-26 September 1914 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_picardyI.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Sinking of the Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue by the U-9, 22 September 1914

Reproduced below is a memoir of the sinking of three British cruisers - the Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue - by a single German U-boat, U-9, on 22 September 1914.

Written by the commander of U-9, Otto Weddigen, the memoir illustrates how the new form of submarine warfare caught the British by surprise - and spread fear. The U-9's spectacular success in doing what the larger ships of the German High Fleet could not freely do - engage in offensive operations at will - brought widespread fame to the crew of the U-9 in Germany. The Kaiser himself personally presented the daring Weddigen with the Iron Cross First Class and subsequently the prestigious Pour le Merite.

Weddigen's success however - he published The First Submarine Blow is Struck at the height of his fame - distinguished him as a marked man in an already dangerous area of warfare; he was killed on 18 March 1915 when U-29 - his current U-boat - sank after being rammed by the British mammoth HMS Dreadnought.

A Memoir of the Sinking of the Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue by U-boat U-9 in September 1914 by Lieutenant Otto Weddigen

I am 32 years old and have been in the navy for years. For the last five years I have been attached to the submarine flotilla, and have been most interested in that branch of the navy. At the outbreak of the war our undersea boats were rendezvoused at a series of harbours on our coast of the North Sea.

Each of us felt and hoped that the Fatherland might be benefited by such individual efforts of ours as were possible at a time when our bigger sisters of the fleet were prohibited from activity. So we awaited commands from the Admiralty, ready for any undertaking that promised to do for the imperial navy what our brothers of the army were so gloriously accomplishing.

I was married at the home of my brother in Wilhelmshaven to my boyhood sweetheart, Miss Prete of Hamburg, on August 16th. Before that I had been steadily on duty with my boat, and I had to leave again the next day after my marriage. But both my bride and I wanted the ceremony to take place at the appointed time, and it did, although within twenty-four hours thereafter I had to go away on a venture that gave a good chance of making my new wife a widow.

But she was as firm as I was that my first duty was to answer the call of our country, and she waved me away from the dock with good-luck wishes.

I set out from a North Sea port on one of the arms of the Kiel Canal and set my course in a south-westerly direction. Thus I was soon cruising off the coast of Holland. I had been lying in wait there only a few days before the morning of September 22nd arrived, the day on which I fell in with my quarry.

When I started from home the fact was kept quiet and a heavy sea helped to keep the secret, but when the action began the sun was bright and the water smooth - not the most favourable conditions for submarine work.

I had sighted several ships during my passage, but they were not what I was seeking. English torpedo boats came within my reach, but I felt there was bigger game further on, so on I went. I travelled on the surface except when we sighted vessels, and then I submerged, not even showing my periscope, except when it was necessary to take bearings. It was ten minutes after 6 on the morning of last Tuesday when I caught sight of one of the big cruisers of the enemy.

I was then eighteen sea miles northwest of the Hook of Holland. I had then travelled considerably more than 200 miles from my base. My boat was one of an old type, but she had been built on honour, and she was behaving beautifully.

I had been going ahead partly submerged, with about five feet of my periscope showing. Almost immediately I caught sight of the first cruiser and two others. I submerged completely and laid my course so as to bring up in the centre of the trio, which held a sort of triangular formation. I could see their grey-black sides riding high over the water.

When I first sighted them they were near enough for torpedo work, but I wanted to make my aim sure, so I went down and in on them. I had taken the position of the three ships before submerging, and I succeeded in getting another flash through my periscope before I began action. I soon reached what I regarded as a good shooting point.

Then I loosed one of my torpedoes at the middle ship. I was then about twelve feet under water, and got the shot off in good shape, my men handling the boat as if she had been a skiff. I climbed to the surface to get a sight through my tube of the effect, and discovered that the shot had gone straight and true, striking the ship, which I later learned was the Aboukir, under one of her magazines, which in exploding helped the torpedo's work of destruction.

There were a fountain of water, a burst of smoke, a flash of fire, and part of the cruiser rose in the air. Then I heard a roar and felt reverberations sent through the water by the detonation. She had been broken apart, and sank in a few minutes. The Aboukir had been stricken in a vital spot and by an unseen force; that made the blow all the greater.

Her crew were brave, and even with death staring them in the face kept to their posts, ready to handle their useless guns, for I submerged at once. But I had stayed on top long enough to see the other cruisers, which I learned were the Cressy and the Hogue, turn and steam full speed to their dying sister, whose plight they could not understand, unless it had been due to an accident.

The ships came on a mission of inquiry and rescue, for many of the Aboukir's crew were now in the water, the order having been given, "Each man for himself."

But soon the other two English cruisers learned what had brought about the destruction so suddenly.

As I reached my torpedo depth I sent a second charge at the nearest of the oncoming vessels, which was the Hogue. The English were playing my game, for I had scarcely to move out of my position, which was a great aid, since it helped to keep me from detection.

On board my little boat the spirit of the German Navy was to be seen in its best form. With enthusiasm every man held himself in check and gave attention to the work in hand.

The attack on the Hogue went true. But this time I did not have the advantageous aid of having the torpedo detonate under the magazine, so for twenty minutes the Hogue lay wounded and helpless on the surface before she heaved, half turned over and sank.

But this time, the third cruiser knew of course that the enemy was upon her and she sought as best she could to defend herself. She loosed her torpedo defence batteries on boats, starboard and port, and stood her ground as if more anxious to help the many sailors who were in the water than to save herself.

In common with the method of defending herself against a submarine attack, she steamed in a zigzag course, and this made it necessary for me to hold my torpedoes until I could lay a true course for them, which also made it necessary for me to get nearer to the Cressy.

I had come to the surface for a view and saw how wildly the fire was being sent from the ship. Small wonder that was when they did not know where to shoot, although one shot went unpleasantly near us.

When I got within suitable range I sent away my third attack. This time I sent a second torpedo after the first to make the strike doubly certain. My crew were aiming like sharpshooters and both torpedoes went to their bulls-eye.

My luck was with me again, for the enemy was made useless and at once began sinking by her head. Then she careened far over, but all the while her men stayed at the guns looking for their invisible foe. They were brave and true to their country's sea traditions. Then she eventually suffered a boiler explosion and completely turned turtle.

With her keel uppermost she floated until the air got out from under her and then she sank with a loud sound, as if from a creature in pain.

The whole affair had taken less than one hour from the time of shooting off the first torpedo until the Cressy went to the bottom. Not one of the three had been able to use any of its big guns.

I knew the wireless of the three cruisers had been calling for aid. I was still quite able to defend myself, but I knew that news of the disaster would call many English submarines and torpedo boat destroyers, so, having done my appointed work, I set my course for home.

My surmise was right, for before I got very far some British cruisers and destroyers were on the spot, and the destroyers took up the chase. I kept under water most of the way, but managed to get off a wireless to the German fleet that I was heading homeward and being pursued.

I hoped to entice the enemy, by allowing them now and then a glimpse of me, into the zone in which they might be exposed to capture or destruction by German warships, but, although their destroyers saw me plainly at dusk on the 22nd and made a final effort to stop me, they abandoned the attempt, as it was taking them too far from safety and needlessly exposing them to attack from our fleet and submarines.

How much they feared our submarines and how wide was the agitation caused by good little U-9 is shown by the English reports that a whole flotilla of German submarines had attacked the cruisers and that this flotilla had approached under cover of the flag of Holland.

These reports were absolutely untrue. U-9 was the only submarine on deck, and she flew the flag she still flies - the German naval ensign - which I hope to keep forever as a glorious memento and as an inspiration for devotion to the Fatherland.

I reached the home port on the afternoon of the 23rd, and on the 24th went to Wilhelmshaven, to find that news of my effort had become public. My wife, dry eyed when I went away, met me with tears. Then I learned that my little vessel and her brave crew had won the plaudit of the Kaiser, who conferred upon each of my co-workers the Iron Cross of the second class and upon me the Iron Cross of the first and second classes.

Source Records of the Great War, Vol. II, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923, http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/u9attacks.htm
Zie ook http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/U-9_Submarine_Attack
Zie ook http://alfredstaarman.nl/wp-content/uploads/MARIUS1.PDF
_________________

“I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, l hope you have the strength to start all over again.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 21 Sep 2010 20:33, in toaal 3 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Report on the Sinking of the Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue by the U-9, 22 September 1914

Reproduced below is a report of the sinking of three British cruisers - the Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue - by a single German U-boat, U-9, on 22 September 1914.

Written by the commander of the Cressy, Bertram W.L. Nicholson, the report describes the rapid sinking of all three vessels, and of the subsequent rescue operation.

Report on the Sinking of the Cressy, Aboukir and Hogue by Commander Bertram W. L. Nicholson

Sir:

I have the honour to submit the following report in connection with the sinking of H.M.S. Cressy, in company with H.M.S. Aboukir and Hogue, on the morning of the 22nd of September, while on patrol duty.

The Aboukir was struck at about 6.25 a.m. on the starboard beam. The Hogue and Cressy closed and took up a position, the Hogue ahead of the Aboukir, and the Cressy about 400 yards on her port beam.

As soon as it was seen that the Aboukir was in danger of sinking all the boats were sent away from the Cressy, and a picket boat was hoisted out without steam up. When cutters full of the Aboukir's men were returning to the Cressy the Hogue was struck, apparently under the aft 9.2 magazine, as a very heavy explosion took place immediately. Almost directly after the Hogue was hit we observed a periscope on our port bow about 300 yards off.

Fire was immediately opened and the engines were put full speed ahead with the intention of running her down. Our gunner, Mr. Dougherty, positively asserts that he hit the periscope and that the submarine sank. An officer who was standing alongside the gunner thinks that the shell struck only floating timber, of which there was much about, but it was evidently the impression of the men on deck, who cheered and clapped heartily, that the submarine had been hit. This submarine did not fire a torpedo at the Cressy.

Capt. Johnson then manoeuvred the ship so as to render assistance to the crews of the Hogue and Aboukir. About five minutes later another periscope was seen on our starboard quarter and fire was opened. The track of the torpedo she fired at a range of 500 to 600 yards was plainly visible and it struck us on the starboard side just before the after-bridge.

The ship listed about 10 degrees to the starboard and remained steady. The time was 7.15 a.m. All the watertight doors, deadlights and scuttles had been securely closed before the torpedo struck the ship. All the mess stools and table shores, and all available timber below and on deck, had been previously got up and thrown over side for the saving of life.

A second torpedo fired by the same submarine missed and passed about 10 feet astern. About a quarter of an hour after the first torpedo had hit, a third torpedo fired from a submarine just before the starboard beam hit us under the No. 5 boiler room. The time was 7.30 a.m. The ship then began to heel rapidly, and finally turned keel up, remaining so for about twenty minutes before she finally sank, at 7.55 a.m.

A large number of men were saved by casting adrift on Pattern 3 target. The steam pinnace floated off her clutches, but filled and sank.

The second torpedo which struck the Cressy passed over the sinking hull of the Aboukir, narrowly missing it. It is possible that the same submarine fired all three torpedoes at the Cressy.

The conduct of the crew was excellent throughout. I have already remarked on the bravery displayed by Capt. Phillips, master of the trawler L.T. Coriander, and his crew, who picked up 156 officers and men.

The report of the Admiralty of Commander Reginald A, Norton, late of H.M.S. Hogue, follows:

Commander Norton's Report

I have the honour to report as follows concerning the sinking of the Hogue, Aboukir, and Cressy: Between 6.15 and 6.30 a.m., H.M.S. Aboukir was struck by a torpedo. The Hogue closed on the Aboukir and I received orders to hoist out the launch, turn out and prepare all boats, and unlash all timber on the upper deck.

Two lifeboats were sent to the Aboukir, but before the launch could get away the Hogue was struck on the starboard side amidships by two torpedoes at intervals of ten to twenty seconds. The ship at once began to heel to starboard.

After ordering the men to provide themselves with wood, hammocks, etc., and to get into the boats on the booms and take off their clothes, I went, by Capt. Nicholson's direction, to ascertain the damage done in the engine room. The artificer engineer informed me that the water was over the engine room gratings.

While endeavouring to return to the bridge the water burst open the starboard entry port doors and the ship heeled rapidly. I told the men in the port battery to jump overboard, as the launch was close alongside, and soon afterward the ship lurched heavily to starboard.

I clung to a ringbolt for some time, but eventually was dropped on to the deck, and a huge wave washed me away. I climbed up the ship's side and again was washed off. Eventually, after swimming about from various over-laden pieces of wreckage, I was picked up by a cutter from the Hogue, Coxswain L. S. Marks, which pulled about for some hours, picking up men and discharging them to our picket boat and steam pinnace and to the Dutch steamers Flora and Titan, and rescued, in this way, Commander Sells of the Aboukir, Engineer Commander Stokes (with legs broken), Fleet Paymaster Eldred, and about 120 others.

Finally, about 11 a.m., when we could find no more men in the water, we were picked up by the Lucifer, which proceeded to the Titan and took off from her all our men except about twenty who were too ill to be moved.

A Lowestoft trawler and the two Dutch ships Flora and Titan were extraordinarily kind, clothing and feeding our men. My boat's crew, consisting mainly of Royal Navy Reserve men, pulled and behaved remarkably well. I particularly wish to mention Petty Officer Halton, who, by encouraging the men in the water near me, undoubtedly saved many lives.

Lieut. Commander Phillips-Wolley, after hoisting out the launch, asked me if we should try to hoist out another boat, and endeavoured to do so. The last I saw of him was on the after-bridge, doing well.

Lieut. Commander Tillard was picked up by a launch. He got up a cutter's crew and saved many lives, as did Midshipman Cazalet in the Cressy's gig. Lieut. Chichester turned out the whaler very quickly.

A Dutch sailing trawler sailed close by, but went off without rendering any assistance, although we signalled to her from the Hogue to close after we were struck.

The Aboukir appeared to me to take about thirty-five minutes to sink, floating bottom up for about five minutes. The Hogue turned turtle very quickly - in about five minutes - and floated bottom up for several minutes.

A dense black smoke was seen in the starboard battery, whether from coal or torpedo cordite I could not say. The upper deck was not blown up, and only one other small explosion occurred and we heeled over.

The Cressy I watched heel over from the cutter. She heeled over to starboard very slowly, dense black smoke issuing from her when she attained an angle of about 90 degrees, and she took a long time from this angle till she floated bottom up with the starboard screw slightly out of water, I consider it was thirty-five to forty-five minutes from the time she was struck till she was bottom up.

All the men on the Hogue behaved extraordinarily well, obeying orders even when in the water swimming for their lives, and I witnessed many cases of great self-sacrifice and gallantry.

I have the honour to submit that I may be appointed to another ship as soon as I can get a kit.

Source Records of the Great War, Vol. II, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923, http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/cressycommander.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Captain William Suttor RICH

Virtually nothing is known of this Officer other than he was the son of William Morton Rich, of Mount Victoria, New South Wales, Australia. However, after his death it is apparent their were no obvious heirs, as in wife or children, as the following notice appeared in the London Gazette (Issue 28912 published 22 September 1914. Page 3):

Captain WILLIAM SUTTOR RICH, Deceased.
Pursuant to the Statute 22 and 23 Victoria, c. 35.
ALL persons having any claims against the estate of William Suttor Rich, a Captain in the Cheshire Regiment, late of 115, Jermyn-street, London, W., and of the King's West Africa Regiment, Sierra Leone, West Africa (who died on the 9th November, 1914, at Douai, France), are hereby required to send particulars, in writing, of such claims to the undersigned, on or before the 25th day ,of June, 1915, after which date the executor of the estate of the said deceased will proceed to distribute such estate, having regard only to the claims of which he shall then have said notice -Dated this 14th day of May, 1915.
BULL and BULL, 3, Stone-buildings, Lincoln's Inn, London, Solicitors for the Executor, Sir William Bull, M.P.


http://grandadswar.mrallsophistory.com/douai_cem.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Charles Collet

Charles Herbert Collet DSO (4 February 1888 - 19 August 1915), was a British Naval airman during the First World War, regarded as one of the best Naval airmen of his day. (...)

On 22 September 1914, Flight Lieutenant Collet flew two hundred miles to Düsseldorf and bombed the Zeppelin shed there. Despite being hit, he returned safely. For this act he received the Distinguished Service Order.

Collet's feat was described by Frederick A. Talbot:

Flight Lieutenant Collet approached the Zeppelin shed at Düsseldorf at an altitude of 6,000 feet. There was a bank of mist below, which he encountered at 1,500 feet. He traversed the depth of this layer and emerged therefrom at a height of only 400 feet above the ground. His objective was barely a quarter of a mile ahead. Travelling at high speed he launched his bombs with what proved to be deadly precision, and disappeared into cover almost before the enemy had grasped his intentions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Collet
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

'Tijdens den Slag bij Soissons'

Uit ‘Het Leven Geillustreerd’ Jaargang 9, No. 38, 22 September 1914 - Amsterdam

http://www.greatwardifferent.com/Great_War/Somme/Soissons_01.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?

‘Aan het eind van het dorp stond ons rode huis met zes glazen deuren en begroeid met wilde wingerd. Een groot binnenplein en een washuis gaven met een poort, langs de voorkant uit op het dorp. Naar het noorden toe begon, achter een metalen hek, een weg van drie kilometer, die naar het station leidde. Aan de achterkant, in het zuiden, lagen velden, tuinen en weiden die tot aan het dorp reikten.’ (...)

Het bovenstaande citaat komt uit Het avontuur van de grote Meaulnes (Le grand Meaulnes, 1913) van Alain Fournier. De vertaling is Vlaams, van Walter Roland. Ik ken de goede man niet en er is ook bitter weinig over hem te vinden. Een beetje slordige vertaling. In het origineel staat: ‘...une longue maison rouge, avec cinq portes vitrées sous des vignes vierges...’ Nu heb ik slechts vier jaar Frans gehad op de Mulo, en dat is héél lang geleden, maar ik weet nog wel dat cinq portes vitrées geen zes glazen deuren zijn. Eerder een stuk of vijf. Maar ik ben geen kniesoor, het gaat me om het verhaal. (...)

Fournier heeft maar één roman geschreven. Daar had hij een goede reden voor. Hubert Lampo schrijft in het nawoord van de editie die ik heb: ‘Op 3 oktober 1976 zal het precies negentig jaar geleden zijn dat Henri-Alban Fournier, gezegd Alain-Fournier, te La Chapelle d’Angillon geboren werd. Achtentwintig jaar later, op 22 september 1914 verdween hij bij Les Eparges, in het woud van Saint Rémy, gedurende de slag voor de overtocht van de Maas. Nooit werd enig spoor van hem weergevonden, geen lichaam, geen wapen, geen kledingstuk - niets.’ Tja, dan komt er niets meer van schrijven. Na een lange speurtocht werd in 1991 zijn lichaam geïdentificeerd, maar dat wist Lampo natuurlijk nog niet in 1976.

http://www.bloggen.be/adriaanbontebal/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Zeppelin Airships - Zeppelins of the Great War 1914 - 1918

Usage: military

First Flight: 22 September 1914

LZ-28 participated in 47 reconnaissance missions over the North and Baltic Seas, proving especially useful in discovering enemy mines. She flew two attack missions on the eastern front, dropping 700 kg of bombs. She was damaged beyond repair by Russian air defence on 7 August 1915.

http://www.pugetairship.org/zeppelins/list_2.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Stijn Streuvels, In oorlogstijd. Het volledige dagboek van de Eerste Wereldoorlog

22 september 1915 - Op wat wondere gronden zijn toch de zedelijkheidswetten van de mogendheden gebouwd. - Wat werd er al niet geschreven en getwist over dat leveren van kanonnen en schietvoorraad van Amerika aan Engeland. - Nu dat de volkeren aan 't vechten zijn schijnt dat leveren een overtreding van 't geen men noemt het volkerenrecht - maar hoe knoopt men dat aaneen - waar het wel toegelaten is buiten oorlogstijd, en wapens en voorraad een handelszaak zijn die vrij gedreven wordt over heel de wereld en ook zelfs aan landen die vermoedelijk tegenover elkaar zullen staan. Zie maar hoe Jules Huret zijn bezoek beschrijft aan Ehrhardt en Krupp.1 - (Bl. 266 (Rhin et Westphalie))

‘Allons, se dit M. Ehrhardt, fabriquons de solides canons, des lances inébranlables, des fusils à toute épreuve, et de bonnes balles bien pénétrantes pour qu'un jour les Chinois et les Japonais, les Turcs, les Russes et les Anglais ajustent plus sûrement les têtes et les ventres des soldats et des marins allemands...’.

Zou men dit niet mogen noemen... blindelings medewerken aan de inzichten van het noodlot?

En hoe moet men het noemen kluchtig of triestig 't geen bij Krupp gebeurt die er een speciaal hotel op nahoudt waar de afgezanten van de verschillende mogendheden op de kosten van de firma prinselijk ontvangen worden en er soms jaren verblijven en goede sier maken in afwachting of om de kanonnen te zien gieten die zij besteld hebben. Jules Huret schetst ons het leven in het hotel Krupp ‘Essener Hoff’ waar al de afgezanten van de wereldmogendheden verenigd zijn.

‘Rien ne peut montrer mieux qu'une réunion pareille ce que notre civilisation actuelle a d'artificiel. A la fin du repas, les vins français ayant échauffé les têtes, les voix montaient et tous ces ennemis trinquaient longtemps comme des frères, au milieu des rires et de la fumée de gros cigares, aux frais de la princesse, à mille lieux de songer aux raisons qui les avaient amenés là. Tous ces gens s'entre-tueront peut-être un jour prochain avec les canons qu'ils sont venus voir forer. Mais en attendant que 1'acier soit refroidi, ils “godaillent” - comme disait Guillaume II à Jules Simon. Les peuples trinquent avant de s'égorger!’

Die boeken van Huret zijn onder veel opzichten heel belangrijk maar bijzonderlijk nu in deze tijden en sommige uitspraken pas enige jaren gedaan tonen hoe de zaken buiten alle verwachting uitdraaien kunnen - Zo lees ik:

‘La Russie ne tentera jamais rien contre l'Allemagne.

L'Angleterre ne peut aider en rien la France dans une guerre continentale puisqu'elle n'a pas d'armée. Et même en supposant qu'elle en fasse une, avant que cent mille Anglais débarquent à Boulogne, à Calais et à Dunkerque, la guerre serait finie...’

En die andere uitspraak die als de algemeen aangenomene vermeld wordt:

‘L'Angleterre que la France a appelée pendant des siècles “la perfide Albion”, sait très bien que nous ne nous battrons pas avec elle qui a une flotte quatre fois supérieur à la nôtre. Ce qu'elle veut, c'est que vous, Français, vous vous battiez avec nous. Pendant ce temps, sous prétexte d'alliance avec la France, elle détruirait ce qu'elle pourrait, de notre marine marchande et tâcherait de faire sortir de nos ports nos cuirassés qui s'en garderaient bien... Le sort de la guerre continentale ne lui importe pas: quoi qu'il arrive, elle n'a rien à y perdre.’ (Rhin et Westphalie bl. 500).

Het geschut houdt altijd om ter hevigst aan - ten westen uit goed,1 ten oosten uit leute2 - daar zijn 't de recruten die geoefend worden en wij hier te midden in leven alsof het ons niet aanging omdat niets van al wat ons omgeeft zijn gewone uitzicht verloren heeft. We moeten onze gevoelens aan onze hersenen opdringen. We moeten ons wakker schudden om niet te versuffen in de gewoonte en te vergeten dat er grote dingen gebeuren - waarvan de toekomst en 't uitzicht van Europa afhangt - de tragiek moeten we ons gedurig herinneren en denken dat er bij elk kanonschot dat1 we schier2 niet meer naar luisteren - mensen vallen en mensen vermoord worden.

http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/stre009inoo02_01/stre009inoo02_01_0015.php
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kroniek van Baarle in de Eerste Wereldoorlog (1915)

22 september 1915 - “Volgens de laatste officiele telling, bevinden zich nog 1.318 Belgische vluchtelingen in Tilburg.” (Tilburgse Courant)

http://www.amaliavansolms.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=188:06-kroniek-van-baarle-in-de-eerste-wereldoorlog-1915&catid=90:oorlog&Itemid=118
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

22 September 1915 → Commons Sitting

MENTAL AND NERVOUS CASES (MILITARY).


HC Deb 22 September 1915 vol 74 cc439-40 439

Mr. RENDALL asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether it is possible for the War Office to continue indefinitely its present practice of retaining under the control of the Secretary of State all cases of nerve shock, including the graver forms of mental disorder which in civil life would be certified and sent to county asylums; and how any change of practice will affect those cases now under the Secretary of State's control?

Mr. TENNANT The subject of the disposal of the more serious mental cases has been receiving consideration, and has caused the authorities considerable 440 anxiety. Owing to the increasing numbers of incurable cases, I have to say that it will not be possible to continue indefinitely the system of retaining, under the control of the Secretary of State cases of general paralysis, chronic epilepsy, and chronic insanity which have had previous asylum treatment. Such cases will in future be dealt with in the manner laid down in paragraphs 403, 404 and 408 King's Regulations. This new system will apply to the cases now under the Secretary of State's control in so far as they come within the three categories I have named.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1915/sep/22/mental-and-nervous-cases-military
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Herbstschlacht in der Champagne (22. September bis 6. November 1915)

Zur Entlastung der russischen Front begann die Entente am 22. September 1915 in der Champagne eine Großoffensive. Mit einem gegenüber der Winterschlacht nochmals gesteigerten Menschen- und Materialeinsatz wollten die Alliierten einen entscheidenden Durchstoß erzwingen. Den 27 französischen Divisionen mit 1.650 Geschützen standen nur 7 deutsche Divisionen mit 475 Geschützen gegenüber. Nach mehrtägigem massivem Artilleriebeschuß begann der Angriff der alliierten Truppen auf einer Frontbreite von 32 Kilometern. Ein konzentrierter Vorstoß führte zu einem bis zu drei Kilometern tiefen Einbruch in die deutschen Linien, womit auch die rückwärtigen Stellungen in Gefahr gerieten. Vor der unzerstörten zweiten Verteidigungslinie kam der Infanterievorstoß der Franzosen zum Stehen und brachte die Offensive ins Stocken. Die Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL) konnte die bedrohten Frontabschnitte durch Reserven von der Ostfront verstärken und so einen Durchbruch der Alliierten verhindern. Auch die seit dem 6. Oktober 1915 intensivierten Angriffe der Franzosen wurden von den Deutschen abgewehrt, die ihrerseits ab Mitte Oktober zu einzelnen Gegenangriffen übergingen. Anfang November stellte die Entente ihre Operationen ein, da auch der enorme Materialeinsatz mit rund 5,4 Millionen Granaten zu keinem greifbaren Erfolg geführt hatte. Die Alliierten hatten durch diese Herbstschlacht in der Champagne etwa 250.000, die Deutschen rund 150.000 Soldaten verloren.

http://www.dhm.de/lemo/html/wk1/kriegsverlauf/champagne2/index.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Arthur Lowe

Arthur Lowe (Hayfield, Derbyshire, 22 september 1915 - Birmingham, 15 april 1982) was een Engels acteur.

Lowe werd onder andere bekend van zijn rol als Captain Mainwaring in Daar komen de schutters en speelde talloze rollen in (met name komische) Britse televisieseries.

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Lowe
Zie ook http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daar_komen_de_schutters
of hier http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dad%27s_Army (véél uitgebreider)
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 20:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Captain William Allcock - Royal Flying Corps 1915-1917

Allcock was appointed as a probationary 2nd Lieutenant Special Reserve in the Royal Flying Corps on 12 June 1915. He went to the Central Flying School to undertake his military flying training. Having completed this he was confirmed in his rank on 22 September 1915 and appointed to No 2 Squadron in France.

http://www.wtla.airwar1.org.uk/

From the diary of Captain William Allcock RFC

Editor's note: Lt.. Allcock's first operational appointment was to No 2 Squadron at Hesdigneul, nr Bethune, in France. The Squadron was equipped with BE2c machines plus one Bristol Scout and operated in a reconnaissance and artillery support role but also conducted occasional bombing missions. He served with the Squadron from September 1915 through to February 1916.

1915
Sept 22nd - Joined No 2 Squadron RFC at Hesdigneul, France, CO Major Becke.
Sept 23rd - 1 hr First test flight on 70HP BE2C - practised landings.

http://www.wtla.airwar1.org.uk/no%202%20sqn.htm
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The determination felt by London’s civilians in response to the German airship raids of 1915.

Drawn by G. L. Stampa and published in Punch on 22 September 1915 this cartoon was in print two weeks after London’s third and fourth raid. Showing a traditional British family-run grocery in complete ruins and totally inhabitable, by showing the elderly owner writing on the external walls of the grocery ‘Business as usual’, it confirmed what the press had depicted with regards to the population of London remaining ‘…cool and free of panic.’ Even King George V - cousin to the Kaiser by their Grandmother Queen Victoria - and his wife Queen Mary acted in this unity and defiance, for example they publicly expressed their sympathy by visiting hospitals caring for raid victims. Constantly portraying the unwillingness of Londoners to fall victim to this terrorism, as The Times stated following London’s fourth raid, had Germany conducted the war decently then London’s civilians might never have fully awakened from their slumbers until it was over; Germany’s decision to wake them with their bombs was consequently ‘...the costliest of all their psychological mistakes.’

Cartoon... http://www.londonairshipraids1915.co.uk/zep_d.htm
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Corporal James William Powley

(...) James enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in Stratford on the 18th of January, 1915 with the Stratford company of the 34th Battalion. On the 21st of July, 1915 his wife Maria obtained his discharge by purchase. James was determined to go overseas to do his bit and re-enlisted on the 22nd of September, 1915 in B Company of the 71st Battalion in Stratford. James sailed with the 71st from Halifax on the 1st of April 1916 aboard H. M. T. Olympic. After arrival in England the 71st Battalion was broken up for replacements and on the 25th of May, 1916 James was transferred to the 73rd Battalion in Bramshott. On the 18th of June, 1916 he was again transferred to the 13th Battalion Royal Highlanders of Canada (Black Watch) at the Canadian Base Depot in France.

On the 3rd of September 1916, while the 13th Battalion was supporting an attack by the 5th Australian Brigade, James was killed in action near Monquet Farm, La Boisselle, Somme Region, France. He has no known grave. He is memorialized on the Vimy Memorial in France and the War Memorial in Stratford, Ontario. (...)

http://www.kingandempire.com/powley1.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 21:11    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lieut. Hon. Edward Wyndham Tennant

Birth 1 July 1897 38 26 Stockton House, Wiltshire
Occupation War poet, close friend of Raymond Asquith ‎(I10112)‎, killed in France a week before Tennant
Occupation Served in the 4th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards
Death 22 September 1916 ‎(Age 19)‎ Les Boeufs, France
Note: killed in action by a sniper during the Battle of the Somme

http://auden.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/auden/individual.php?pid=I10401&ged=auden-bicknell.ged
Zie ook http://www.cwgc.org/search/certificate.aspx?casualty=534742

THE MAD SOLDIER

I dropp'd here three weeks ago, yes ~ I know,
And it's bitter cold at night, since the fight ~
I could tell you if I chose ~ no one knows
Excep' me and four or five, what ain't alive
I can see them all asleep, three men deep,
And they're nowhere near a fire ~ but our wire
Has 'em fast as fast can be. Can't you see
When the flare goes up? Ssh! Boys; what's that noise?
Do you know what these rats eat? Body-meat!
After you've been down a week, 'an your cheek
Gets as pale as life, and night seems as white
As the day, only the rats and their brats
Seem more hungry when the day's gone away ~
An' they look as big as bulls, an' they pulls
Till you almost sort o' shout ~ but the drought
What you hadn't felt before makes you sore.
And at times you even think of a drink...
There's a leg acrost my thighs ~ if my eyes
Weren't too sore, I'd like to see who it be,
Wonder if I'd know the bloke if I woke? ~
Woke? By damn, I'm not asleep ~ there's a heap
Of us wond'ring why the hell we're not well...
Leastways I am ~ since I came it's the same
With the others ~ they don't know what I do,
Or they wouldn't gape and grin. ~ It's a sin
To say that Hell is hot ~ 'cause it's not:
Mind you, I know very well we're in hell.
~ In a twisted hump we lie ~ heaping high
Yes! an' higher every day. ~ Oh, I say,
This chap's heavy on my thighs ~ damn his eyes.


http://www.scuttlebuttsmallchow.com/listbri4.html
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“I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, l hope you have the strength to start all over again.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 21 Sep 2010 21:19, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 21:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Snapshots of war

Canadian troops returning victorious from the Battle of Courcellette. This Battle took place from the 15th to the 22nd of September, 1916, when the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions stormed Sugar Trench and Fabeck Graben. Mouquet Farm was overrun in the Battle.

Foto's... http://www.cliffchadderton.ca/blog/?m=200909
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 21:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Geschiedenis van Zijtaart

Op 22-25 september 1916, tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog, werden er door een doortrekkende spoldaten veel schade aangericht in Veghel. Het Ministerie van oorlog keerde een schadevergoeding uit. Ook personen uit Zijtaart worden genoemd in deze lijst:

Toen het leger langs het kanaal trok werd er een weiland van Antoon van de Nieuwenhuizen (huidig adres Pastoor Clercxstraat 10) in de Valstraat beschadigd, doordat er doorheen gereden werd.
De soldaten deden zich te goed aan de appel- en perenbomen van Johannes van de Schoot (huidig adres Pastoor Clercxstraat 2). Naar schatting verloor die 100 kilo appels en 10 kilo peren.
Ook bij de weduwe van Johan van de Ven (huidig adres Doornhoek 1) werden er peren gestolen, en ook wer daar een zinken emmer met appels die al geplukt waren meegenomen.
Toen het leger over de Biezendijk trok, werden aangelegen percelen beschadigd. Bij Frans van Asseldonk (huidig adres Biezendijk 23) werd een eiland aan zijn huis beschadigd doordat er met kanonnen doorheen gereden werd.
Bij Marinus Pennings (later adres De Kampen 6) gingen op die manier ¼ hectare bieten, rapen en haver verloren.

De hele lijst vermeld meer dan 60 namen van personen die een schadevergoeding kregen. Behalve veel schade aan landerijen en diefstal van fruit door de soldaten, wordt ook nog andere schade vermeld. Een greep uit de lijst:
Er werden bomen kapot gereden op de Eerdse Dijk.
Op de Schijndelse dijk werd prikkeldraad doorgeknipt en een stuk met 2 à 3 jonge bomen eruit gegooid. Ook op veel andere plaatsen werd draad doorgeknipt en vreepalen afgebroken. Het vee werd hier en daar enkele dagen op stal gezet, en de melkproductie leed daar onder.
Paarden van het leger beschadigden een dorsmachine.
In Eerde werd een houtmijt uit elkaar gegooid.
Een kar werd beschadigd door aanrijding, een paardenkuip vernield.
Op het Beukelaar werd bij Van de Zanden de deur vernield en de soldaten stolen er 5 pond spek uit de schouw en namen ook een emmer mee.
Op het Havenplein werden paardendekens gestolen en werd een ruit van een rijtuig ingedrukt.
De soldaten schoten een kanon af, waardoor er vijf ruiten sneuvelden in de Sluisstraat. Op het Marktplein sneuvelden door het afschieten van een kanon ook 5 ruiten.
Bij Van de Sluijs aan de Leest werden groenten in de tuin vernield en 2 leggende kippen meegenomen. Paarden trapten er eikenplanken stuk.
Bij Van Dam in Eerde braken de paarden los en werden er ruiten en flessen vernield.
Bij Van Rijbroek aan het Beukelaar werden wagens en paarden gestald, waardoor het weiland vernield werd.

http://www.oudzijtaart.nl/Kroniek/K1916.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 21:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

A DISCIPLE OF MARX

Evening Post, Volume XCIV, Issue 72, 22 September 1917, Page 4

Mooi artikel... http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=EP19170922.2.26
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 21:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

3rd Brigade - US

The 3rd Brigade was established as the 1st Provisional Brigade on 11 August 1917 in Syracuse, New York. Shortly after, it was re-designated on 22 September 1917 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Infantry Brigade and was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. A month later the brigade was sent to France where it saw heavy fighting as part of the AEF (American Expeditionary Force). The brigade contained the 9th Infantry Regiment, 23 Infantry Regiment, and the 5th Machinegun Battalion.

While in France, the 3rd Brigade participated in a period of harsh training in the Bourmont area. The main reason for this was to ready themselves for the German enemies. The 3rd Brigade fought in many battles in France, including the battles of Chateau Thierry, the St. Michial Salient, and Meuse-Argonne. Throughout these battles the soldiers of the 3rd Brigade were greatly decorated and in fact were the highest decorated in the AEF.

Lees verder op http://www.stewart.army.mil/tfm/units/3SBCT/home.asp
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 21:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Portrait of Harry Patch

Object of the Month - August 2009 Portrait of Harry Patch.
Portrait of Harry Patch (1898 - 2009) by Bill Leyshon, the Somerset-born artist. This portrait was commissioned by the Western Daily Press in 2007.

Harry Patch, of Wells, Somerset, was the last surviving British soldier to have fought in the trenches during the First World War. He was born at Combe Down, near Bath, on 17 June 1898, and was called up in October 1916, serving as a private in the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry. He fought in the Battle of Passchendaele as part of a Lewis Gun team. On 22 September 1917 he was seriously wounded by shrapnel from a shell which killed his three closest friends.

He did not talk about the war for 80 years, but then contributed to war documentaries, and returned to Belgium for the 90th anniversary of Passchendaele. His memoirs of life in war and peace, The Last Fighting Tommy, were published in August 2007. Harry Patch died on 25 July 2009 aged 111 years.

'It was just shell holes, and the team made its way forward in a line. It was absolutely sickening to see your own dead and wounded, some calling for stretcher-bearers, others semi-conscious and beyond all help, and the German wounded lying about too, and you couldnt stop to help them.'
- Memories of 16 August 1917.

This film was recorded prior to Harry Patch's death.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq-C91_mBjc

Cadets from Wells and Street lay wreath for Harry Patch
Friday, 10 September 2010

(...) Robin White, chairman of the Wells branch of the Royal Legion and a friend of Harry, said: "The 22nd September 1917 was when a German shell dropped on Harry and the rest of his machine gun team and killed three of his mates and very much went and wounded him.

"He has always said the 22 September is his remembrance day so we have been coming out here for several years on the second weekend in September." (...)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/somerset/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8987000/8987595.stm

Harry Patch - Britain's last fighting Tommy, he broke his decades-long silence on the first world war to describe it as 'legalised mass murder'Saturday 25 July 2009

(...) With war, Patch waited for October 1916 call-up and, by June 1917, was a lance corporal in France with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Two weeks after the third battle of Ypres, Passchendaele, had begun on 31 July 1917, Patch duly went over the top. "Others were just blown to pieces," he would write in the 21st century, "it wasn't a case of seeing them with a nice bullet hole in their tunic, far from it, and there I was, only 19 years old. I felt sick." Impassioned yet cool, he saw weeks of horror; a dying comrade called, "shoot me" but immediately died with the word, "mother". Haunted by that, and shielded by a dead German, Patch, a crack shot, fired mercifully at a German's shoulder, but the man stumbled on, bayonet ready; an easy kill, but still Patch "shot him above the ankle, and above the knee. I brought him down. He called out something in German, I don't suppose it was complimentary".

Then, on 22 September, Patch was badly wounded in the chest. Recuperating back in the West Country, he combined recovery with plumbing studies and met his future first wife, Ada. Chest pains precluded a return to France, but he was not demobilised for another year, not until after Armistice Day. Indeed, after 11 November 1918 he was on a firing range with other Tommies when a jobs- worth officer so riled them that there was a stand-off between his revolver and their rifles: "Had he not backed down, he would have been shot, there's no doubt about it." A brigadier, alert to the officer's attitude, vindicated them, but for a moment it had looked a close call.

Patch had always felt, he wrote in The Last Fighting Tommy, that "politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/25/harry-patch-obituary
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- F. Scott Fitzgerald


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 21 Sep 2010 21:42, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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23rd Machine Gun Company [3rd Machine Gun Battalion]

Formed in England February 1917 as 23rd Machine Gun Company. Renumbered 16th Machine Gun Company June 1917. Renumbered 23rd Machine Gun Company August 1917. Assigned to Third Division September 1917. Joined 3rd Division in France and inspected by Field Marshal Haig 22 September 1917. Assigned to 3rd Machine Gun Battalion 2 March 1918.

http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8888/Machine_Gun.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 21:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Decorated and Mentioned in Despatches.

NELSON, Capt. John B., Indian Army; awarded Military Cross for brilliant work in Palestine killed on 22nd September, 1918. — Son of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Nelson, St Olave's, Ramsey.

NELSON, Sergeant Berkeley, Canadian Forces ; awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. — Son of Mr. C. B. Nelson, Ramsey; Brother of above.

http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/exans/rh4_1918.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 21:59    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

What is War Art

The National Collection of War Art is composed of about 1,500 artworks, including portraits, battle scenes, landscapes and abstracts, depicting those who served New Zealand in times of war, and the arenas in which they served.

It includes both official pieces of war art, by artists formally commissioned by the New Zealand government, and other unofficial art works that were acquired by or donated to the collection.

The majority of artworks in the collection depict World War One and World War Two, however official war art continues to be commissioned by the New Zealand Defence Force up to the present day.

World War One Art

The collection has its origins in World War One, when countries appointed official war artists to provide a record of their involvement in the conflict. New Zealand did not appoint official war artists until late in the war, due to concerns about the costs involved. However many works of art prompted by the war were produced before that time, and some were later purchased for, or donated to, the collection.

New Zealand’s first officially appointed war artists were Nugent Welch, George Edmund Butler and the English artist, Alfred Pearse. Their appointments were made in 1918, following the example of the British, Canadian, and Australian governments, each of whom had their own war artists in the field. Sir Andrew Russell, Commander of the New Zealand (NZ) Division in France, acted first, asking for a return of artists in the Division. In April, he appointed the landscape artist Nugent Welch as Divisional Artist, attaching him to the Headquarters of the New Zealand Division. In July, Welch returned to London where he painted his first works from photographs and sketches.

Prime Minister Massey approved the employment of further artists in June. Consequently George Butler and Alfred Pearse were enlisted as official New Zealand War Artists for a six month period from September 1918.

Welch returned to France on 22 September 1918, followed by Butler and Pearse on 27 September. There the artists completed sketches and watercolours. Pearse returned to London by the end of October to work on large canvases, while Butler and Welch remained working in France, up to and following the November armistice.

The War Artists were demobilised in March 1919, but further artworks were commissioned by the new War Museum Committee in September 1919. The Committee authorised the commissioning of six portraits of the New Zealand Victoria Cross winners, for which they paid £50 pounds each, and also authorised Butler to enlarge some of his sketches to oils. The number of portraits was subsequently increased to seventeen, with the works being completed by 1921.

http://warart.archives.govt.nz/whatiswarart
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 22:04    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dead horses on the banks of the River Jordan near Jisr ed Damieh

These horses may have been killed during attempts by the New Zealand Mounted Brigade to secure the river crossing at Jisr ed Damieh, 22 September 1918.

The capture of the Damieh pontoon bridge was the first major objective of ‘Chaytor’s Force’ – a multinational force made up of New Zealand, Australian, West Indian, and Jewish volunteer troops.

After a determined Turkish counter-attack was repelled, the bridge was finally secured following a daring bayonet charge by West Indian infantry, supported by squadrons of the Auckland and Canterbury Mounted Rifles. The capture of the Damieh crossing allowed Chaytor’s Force to cross the Jordan and advance towards Es Salt and Amman, which fell to the New Zealanders on 23 and 25 September.

Foto... http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/dead-horses-river-jordan
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 22:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Steel strike of 1919

The Steel Strike of 1919 was an attempt by the weakened Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers (the AA) to organize the United States steel industry in the wake of World War I. The strike began on September 22, 1919, and collapsed on January 8, 1920.

The AA had formed in 1876. It was a union of skilled iron and steel workers which was deeply committed to craft unionism. However, technological advances had slashed the number of skilled workers in both industries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel_strike_of_1919
Zie ook http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~epf/1994/reds.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2010 22:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The burning of Lahinch Wednesday 22 September 1920

Story by an eye-witness

Describing the beginning of the night of terror, the lady in Lahinch says:-

“About 2.30 a.m. I was awakened by a sound of shots and the most fiendish yelling imaginable. I slipped on my dressing gown and shoes and went out to call Aunt Nora. She was terrified and wanted to get up, but I persuaded her that on account of the shots from all directions, she would be safer in bed for the present. I never dreamt that they would burn a house where there were only two defenceless women and a baby. I went down and called Joe, who had come over to spend the night with us and told him that the trouble had started.

In the meantime they had broken into Tommy Flanagan’s and drunk all the whiskey they could lay hands on. They then went down to Paddy Walsh’s, yelling for the men to come out now and bring out their rifles. Here they shot a young man named Salmon from Feakle – a married man with two children – who was here on holidays and was at the time helping an old man of 75 years to escape.

A Mass of Flames

“The next thing I saw was Tommy Flanagan’s, Susan Flanagan’s, Paddy Walsh’s and Matt Reynolds’s houses in a mass of flames, and above all the din could be heard the hellish laughter and shouts of revenge from the raiders. I got the holy water and sprinkled it all over the house. Every time I passed a window I had to crawl along the ground on account of the bullets. The next thing was that they rushed up the street, breaking windows and kicking doors on the way. They stopped at Micko Vaughan’s, yelled to them to come out and then set the place on fire. The next thing we heard was a bomb exploding in the shop, and in less than half a minute the house was in flames. When the bomb exploded Joe ran into the room off the drawing room for his shoes, but already the flames were coming through.

To Rescue the Baby

“He and Aunt Nora went to the top of the house to rescue the baby. I ran down to see which way was clear for us to escape. I opened the hall door, peeped out and saw that we had a good chance of escaping that way unnoticed. By this time Aunt Nora, the baby and Joe had reached the first landing but the fumes were so suffocating that Aunt Nora fell and said she could not go any farther. I ran up the stairs, shouted at her to throw me the baby and called to Joe to drag Aunt Nora down. In this way we escaped with our lives. We ran over to the Barrack Lane and had only reached Pat O’Donnell’s when the staircase on which we had been standing fell.

We Struggled On

“We had only gone another few steps when they came around the corner, saw us escaping, yelled something at us and fired a shot which missed us. We struggled on down the rocks, Joe and I carrying the baby in turn. She awoke coming down the stairs but was too terrified to cry. The poor little thing! I will never forget the grip she caught of me and ever since she is so frightened that she cries whenever she loses sight of me. We never stopped until we reached the middle of the sand hills. About half way down Aunt Nora gave up and Joe had practically to carry her. We spent three and a half hours lying flat on the wet grass in our night dresses, terrified to move for fear they would see us with their search lights, follow us and make their vengeance complete by murdering us.

They knocked at the doors and gave the people from four to seven minutes to escape. While we tried to escape they fired a shot after us. They burned all the other houses with petrol only; but they bombed us first, then sprayed the house with petrol.

Because He would not tell

“When they left our house they burned Halpin’s and Howard’s. Then they lit their cigarettes and ran up the hill shouting for the Lehane’s. They dragged poor old Dan Lehane, brought him out on the hill and in the presence of his poor wife shot him in the head because he would not tell where his sons were. At that time, poor Pake, his son, was burned alive in Flanagan’s House but neither Dan nor his wife knew of it yet. Poor Pake got no time to prepare for death, but he was present at a public Mass we had here for the Lord Mayor the previous Tuesday. Nobody dared try to save any of the houses, because they kicked, shot and burned Mickey Linnane’s son in Ennistymon for attempting to save his neighbours house.

“We haven’t a stitch of clothing, house, linen, ware or anything except what kind neighbours are lending us and the poor creatures can ill afford to lend to anybody because they already have hardly enough for themselves and all the well to do people are burned out. All I saved from the flames was a nightdress, dressing gown, slippers and Rosary beads. Everything else I possessed us gone, every keepsake I held dear – my jewellery, clothes autographs, antiques, books, music medals and prizes, home first aid outfit – everything. But I will be ever grateful to Almighty God for saving our lives and leaving us our senses, since it was his adorable will and the Cause demanded it, that we should lose all. We willingly lay our humble sacrifice at the feet of God and Dark Rosaleen and once again more fervently than ever, we pledge our lives’ service to God and Ireland.

Sight in Sand hills

You never saw anything so sad as the sight in the sand hills that morning – groups of men and women, some of them over 70 years, practically naked, cold, wet, worn looking and terrified, huddled in groups on the wet grass. I met two mothers with babies not three weeks old, little boys, partly naked, leading horses that had gone mad in their stables with the heat, and then when we got near the village a group of men standing around the unrecognisable corpse of Salmon., distracted people running in all directions looking for their friends with the awful thought haunting them that the burned corpse might be some relative of their own. Oh it was awful.

“Every evening since then there is a sorrowful procession out of the village. The people too terrified to stay in their homes sleep out in the fields.

To the Hills again

“Last night was the first night we slept in, and we were only in bed about an hour when a report went around that there were four burnings in the direction of Ennistymon. Of course we thought we were in for a repetition of Wednesday night’s happenings so we took to the hills again. This morning we heard it was hay they were burning last night. They also shot some cattle and horses. I believe when the Black and Tans broke into Susan Flanagan’s she went on her knees to them and begged of them for God’s sake not to burn the house, as she had an invalid sister there whom she could not remove. They said they didn’t care if she had five invalid sisters and immediately proceeded with the burning. She had to run upstairs, drag the sister out of bed, carry her on her back downstairs and run with her to the end of the yard and leave her there to escape as best she could. She is in the workhouse now and Susan is homeless and destitute. I believe before they burned Miko Vaughan’s they started to burn the post office but the Officer came running don the street shouting” Damn you put out that fire at once – can’t you see that is the post office.”

http://www.lahinchschool.org/opencms/site/history/otherhistory/history_0003.html
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- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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PUNCH, OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI. Vol. 159, September 22nd, 1920

A curious story reaches us from the Midlands. It appears that it had been decided to call out the workmen in a certain factory, but the strike-leader had unfortunately mislaid his notes and could not remember their grievance.

"The ex-Kaiser," says The Western Morning News, "goes in daily fear of being kidnapped." This is said to be due to the presence at Amerongen of an enterprising party of American curio-hunters.

A headline in a weekly paper asks, "What will Charlie Chaplin Turn out this Year?" "His feet," is the answer.

"Drink is Scotland's greatest sin," said a Prohibitionist speaker at Glasgow. The gentleman does not seem to have heard of haggis.

According to a weekly journal the art of camouflage played a most important part in recent naval warfare. It is, of course, quite an open secret that the Naval authorities are aware that one of our largest Dreadnoughts is somewhere in a certain English harbour, but, owing to the excellence of its camouflage, they have not yet been able to locate it.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17653/17653-h/17653-h.htm
_________________

“I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, l hope you have the strength to start all over again.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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War Of Independence

Online archive chronicling the War Of Independence in Clare and south Galway in the IRA's 1st Western Division area.

Rineen Ambush 22 September 1920

In the early autumn of 1920 Anthony Malone and the other officers of the 4th Battalion had been ordered by the Brigade council of the Mid Clare Brigade I.R.A. to prepare an ambush for British motor patrols in the Milltown Malbay and Ennistymon areas. I.R.A. intelligence reported that a patrol of regular R.I.C. men and Black and Tans travelled in a Crossly Tender lorry from Ennistymon to Milltown Malbay at half past ten each Wednesday morning. The Brigade Council decided to attack the R.I.C. and Black and Tans the next Wednesday the 22nd of September.The countryside along the R.I.C.‘s weekly route was examined an ambush site was selected at Rineen about two miles from Milltown Malbay on the Ennistymon road. The site was a low cliff where the West Clare Railway rose sharply above the road commanding a good view of Lahinch and the surrounding coastline to the West. A curve in the road would force vehicles travelling from Ennistymon to Milltown to slowdown as they reached the ambush site.The ambush at Rineen was to be the first major attack on the British forces in the area and the officers of the Mid Clare Brigade decided to use a large force of I.R.A. Volunteers from eight companies in the 4th Battalion area to take part in the attack. The morning of the attack each of these I.R.A. companies were to supply seven Volunteers to form the attacking party or to act as scouts and messengers. On the 21st of September John Joe Neylon was detailed to select seven men from the Ennistymon Company of the I.R.A. to take part in the ambush: “On the night previous to the attack, I paraded the Ennistymon Company and called for Volunteers to take part in it without disclosing any details of what was about to come off. Nearly every man present and there was a parade of about seventy strong the same night – volunteered. I had to select only seven and that was a difficult job indeed. When I had made my selection I instructed these men to report to Lehanes at Lahinch that night and went off myself on a bike to see Ignatious O Neill with whom I had some other business to discuss.”Ignatius O Neill was still recovering from the wounds he had received at the Crowe’s Bridge ambush and was staying at safe house at Lisdoonvarna. The officers of the Mid Clare Brigade had decided not to include O Neill in the attack because he was still recovering from his wounds and had kept all information regarding the planned attack at Rineen from him. When John Joe Neylon met him that night, O Neill had heard of the preparations for the attack and was furious: “O Neill met me with a violent reception. He was raging mad because he had heard from some source that we had decided to bring off the ambush without asking him taking part. He described the battalion officers as ‘a shower of bastards’, and accused me of being a ‘double crosser’. In order to placate him I said ‘All right the ambush is coming off and you’ll have to take charge.’ Although he did not want to be in charge I Insisted that he should and outlined to him what our plans were and told him of the arrangements which had been made. As far as I remember he made no change in them. We arrived in Lahinch about three or four o clock in the morning. And there found between sixty and sixty five men assembled. All the companies had supplied the seven men they were asked to do and, in addition, there were the officers of the battalion staff.” At four o clock in the morning O Neill and Neylon led the I.R.A. Volunteers towards Carrig at Ballyvaskin where the Moy company of the I.R.A. scouted the route to Rineen while the members of the attacking party followed on foot. Thomas Mc Donough drove a number of I.R.A. Volunteers from Ennistymon to meet the main I.R.A. force at the final assembly point about a mile from the ambush site at Rinneen. By six that morning fifty members of the I.R.A. had assembled for the ambush. O Neill posted sentries guarding the roads to Milltown Malbay and Lahinch while the main force of the I.R.A. settled down for a brief rest along the boreen leading from the railway line down to the roadway. O Neill and Neylon reviewed the ground with the different company captains and discussed the advantages and possible problems posed by their chosen position. Both the R.I.C. and British Army had a habit of suddenly changing the formation and strength of their transport patrols, if the strength of the R.I.C.‘s patrol was increased to more than one lorry, the attacking formation would have to be changed quickly. A number of signallers were posted along the hilltops near Rinneen and Thomas Moroney was placed in charge of the scouts posted on the roads leading to the ambush site; whose job was to watch for the approach of the R.I.C. patrol and to give advanced warning of a change its strength or the arrival of British re-enforcements. As daylight approached O Neill assembled the remaining forty I.R.A. Volunteers and with the help of John Joe Neylon and Patrick Lehane divided them into three different attacking parties. O Neill repeatedly explained to them in detail the plan of the operation until he was satisfied that each individual I.R.A. volunteer and section leader knew what their task was.To the north and west of the I.R.A.’s position at Rineen, open ground and fields swept towards the sea. To the south and east of the railway line small fields gave way to open bog land leading towards Milltown Malbay. Ignatius O Neill made an inspection of the I.R.A.’s arms and rejected a number of old shotguns. The remaining arms included the six Lee Enfield rifles, three Carbine rifles, a large number of shotguns a few revolvers. Anthony Malone and Patrick Kerins were given rifles ordered to take up position in the behind a low fence twenty yards directly to the north of the road, two other riflemen Stephen Gallagher and Sean Bourke were stationed about two hundred yards further west towards Milltown Malbay. These four had orders to prevent the R.I.C. and Black and Tans leaving from the lorry and taking cover in the fields, or from attempting to retreat towards the sea and back to Lahinch. O Neill gave the remaining rifles to John Joe Neylon, David Kennelly, Dan Lehane and Michael O Dwyer. Peter Vaughan an experienced ex-American soldier who had served on the Western front during the First World War was equipped with two hand grenades. These five men were to form the main attacking force and were stationed at the north western end of a small by-road which connected to the Lahinch road. The main body of I.R.A. volunteers were stationed about fifty yards further up this by-road where it crossed the railway line. This group commanded a good view of the ambush site being were in a raised position about forty feet above the level of the road at a distance of thirty yards. They were mostly armed with shotguns and were to act as a secondary attacking force with orders to cover the position of O Neill’s group. A number of large furze bushes had been cut to provide camouflage for the these men. At O Neill’s command, a single rifle shot from John Joe Neylon was to be the signal to open the attack. The riflemen in the first attacking group had orders to shoot the driver of the lorry to prevent it breaking out of the ambush position. Peter Vaughan was to throw his two grenades into the back of the R.I.C. lorry. If the I.R.A. came into difficulties they were to fall back to the railway line crossing the hill at Rineen and use it as a secondary line of defence while they retreated. It was now past seven o clock and the republicans settled down to a long wait before the expected arrival of the R.I.C. patrol. That morning eleven miles from Rineen, the 2nd Battallion of the I.R.A.’s West Clare Brigade were also waiting in ambush. Captain Alan Lendrum an ex-British Army officer from Tyrone had been appointed Acting Resident Magistrate at Kilkee by the British authorities. Captain Lendrum occasionally travelled to and from court in an R.I.C. Crossly Tender with a number of Black and Tans for security, but more often he travelled alone in his ford car. The 4th battalion of the West Clare Brigade watched his movements for several weeks, and decided to hold up Lendrum at gunpoint and commandeer his car. On the morning the 22nd of September while the I.R.A. lay in ambush at Rineen, William Shanahan and another I.R.A. Volunteer waited for Captain Lendrum at a level railway crossing at Caherfeenick two miles north of Doonbeg. As Lendrum drove towards the level crossing the gates were closed by the two I.R.A. Volunteers and he was ordered at gunpoint to surrender his car. Captain Lendrum drew his automatic pistol but was mortally wounded before he had a chance to fire. The second I.R.A. Volunteer drove the ex-British officers car from the scene while William Shanaham took the mortally wounded Captain Lendrum to an outhouse in a nearby field. Shanahan, thinking Lendrum was already dead took him to Doolough Lake tied a weight to him and threw him into the lake, where the unconscious Captain died of drowning. This action was to have serious consequences for the I.R.A. ambushers at Rineen later that morning.Thomas Mc Donough had just arrived back at Ennistymon after driving some I.R.A. Volunteers from the town to the ambush site at Rineen, and reported for work at Roughan’s Garage when he saw the patrol of R.I.C. and Black and Tans preparing to travel to Milltown Malbay: “I was standing at the garage door and watched a lorry of police move off from the barracks across the road. It was driven by a Black and Tan named Hardiman and manned by I think six R.I.C. men including Seargent Hynes and constables Kelly, Harte and Hodnett all of whom I knew well.” As the Crossly tender roared out of Ennistymon towards Milltown Malbay a young I.R.A. Volunteer watched the R.I.C. and Black and Tans disappear in a cloud of dust from his work at Roughans shop and was overheard saying to himself, ‘They are going now but, will they ever come back?’After eleven o clock the I.R.A. ambushers hidden at Rineen heard the sound of a train coming from the south and hid from view behind ditches until the train had passed. As the I.R.A. Volunteers scrambled back into position, the scouts watching the road from Lahinch signalled the approach of the R.I.C. John Joe Neylon could hear the sounds of the R.I.C patrol approaching when the I.R.A.’s scouts reached him and O Neill with reports that the enemy force was much larger than expected: “About noon, word was received from the scouts that the three lorries were coming from the Ennistymon side. O Neill had a quick consultation with myself and a few of the officers beside him. He had expected only one lorry and the plans had been made accordingly. His force was mainly composed of raw material and the ground did not lend itself to quick deployment. In the circumstances he decided, in view of the scouts message, to withhold fire. When only one lorry passed he realised a mistake had been made by one of the scouts.” The message ‘Police lorry coming.’ had been misinterpreted by one of the I.R.A.’s scouts as ‘Three lorries coming.’ The result was that the R.I.C.’s Crossly Tender was allowed to pass through the ambush without a shot being fired.Realising the mistake, O Neill dispatched Jack Clune, an I.R.A. Volunteer from Inagh, to cycle to Milltown Malbay and report on the activities of the R.I.C. patrol and to report back immediately if it appeared that the R.I.C. and Black and Tans had seen the I.R.A. Volunteers waiting in ambush and were calling for re-enforcements. O Neill moved the riflemen in the first attacking party into a more suitable position to attack the Crossley tender on its return from Milltown Malbay and made a few other changes to the I.R.A.’s other positions while he waited for Clune to return with news about the R.I.C. patrol. Clune returned from Milltown Malbay two hours later and reported that the R.I.C. patrol had not detected the ambush and their lorry was parked outside the R.I.C. barracks in the town facing the direction of Rineen. Clune’s information was confirmed when of the republican scouts signalled the return of the police lorry and the I.R.A heard the sound of the R.I.C. crossly tender approaching. A few minutes later the Crossley Tender re-appeared. It passed about ten yards beyond the laneway to O Gorman’s house on the northern side of the road when O Neill gave the order to Neylon to fire the opening shot. Patrick Vaughan stood up and threw his first grenade at the police lorry, his second grenade missed and landed on the northern edge of the roadway exploding harmlessly. Already the I.R.A. Volunteers in the first and second attacking parties had opened fire blasting the R.I.C. and Black and Tans in the back of the vehicle with rifle and shotgun fire.Within seconds of John Joe Neylon firing the opening shot the attack had ended: “immediately all the party opened up. The attack was over in a matter of seconds. There was no reply from the lorry and our fellows rushed towards it to find five dead police men lying inside. One of the police managed to get off the lorry and had gone about three hundred yards towards Milltown when he was seen and shot by Donal Lehane of Lahinch in a field near O Connors house” A short distance away on the northern side of the road Anthony Malone had joined the first attacking section in taking aim at the driver: “The pre arranged signal shot was fired. There was an immediate volley from the different positions. I fired three or four rounds at the men sitting in the cab and next I saw the driver slump over the wheel as blood pumped from a wound in his neck. He seemed to be staring directly at Kerins and myself. The men on the other side of the road poured several rounds into the tender and, in a matter of minutes the attack was over.” As soon as the firing stopped O Neill gave the order to cease fire and search the vehicles. The I.R.A. searched the Crossly Tender and recovered a six Lee Enfield and Carbine rifles, six .45 Webbly and Scott revolvers, a number of Mill’s bomb hand grenades and almost three thousand rounds of .303 ammunition. After the weapons and ammunition were recovered the lorry was set on fire. Patrick Kerin rushed onto the roadside with Anthony Malone and began to search the bodies of the dead R.I.C. men and Black and Tans for intelligence papers and official documents: “When the firing stopped Malone and myself rushed over to the tender. I searched one of the dead men and, from correspondence which he had received from lady admirers in London, I learned that his name was Reggie Hardman, obviously a Black and Tan.” Reginald Hardman was the first Black and Tan killed in Clare, he was twenty one years old and came from East Finchley in London. He had served in the Royal Artillery Regiment before joining the R.I.C. The other five members of the patrol were all regular R.I.C. men; Constable Michael Harte from Sligo, Constable John Hodnett from Cork, Constable Michael Kelly from Roscommon and Constable John Mc Guire from Mayo. Sergeant Michael Hynes from Roscommon was fatally wounded in the ambush and died two days later.While the Crossly Tender and the bodies of the dead R.I. C. men were being searched, I.R.A. Volunteers sat on the roadside smoking and talking until Dan Kennelly, who had served in both the British Army and R.I.C., urged the men to get back up the hillside to safety quickly. The I.R.A. shared out quantities of the captured .303 ammunition and began moving back up towards the railway line crossing the hill. Seamus Hennessy heard the sound of lorries approaching from Lahinch and shouted to Stephen Gallagher, who had gone to collect the rifle and ammunition from the dead R.I.C. man who had tried to escape from the ambush, to hurry back towards the hill. Next Hennessey shouted a warning to a group of I.R.A. Volunteers who had halted below the first hill and indicated in the direction of the noise. A few minutes later a British Army lorry came around the bend in the road below the railway. The driver stopped when he saw the blazing R.I.C. Crossly Tender and the soldiers jumped out and rushed up the hillside towards the railway line. Moments later a second British lorry halted a short distance behind the first and more British soldiers poured out to pursue the I.R.A.Ten lorries of British soldiers had left Ennistymon to search for Captain Lendrum who had been killed by the West Clare Brigade of the I.R.A. at Caherfeenick near Doonbeg earlier that morning. Captain Lendrum’s wife regularly phoned the military and R.I.C whenever he was due to make a journey and when he failed to arrive at Ennistymon the British military had set out to look for him. As they approached Rineen they heard the distant gunfire from the ambush and saw the smoke rising from the burning crossly tender and members of the I.R.A. crossing the hillside. When the British soldiers appeared in view advancing toward the I.R.A. the republican scouts let out a warning cry of ‘Military!’ and O Neill gave the orders to retreat across the railway line back towards Ballyvaskin. A small group, including Ned Lynch, Michael O Keefe and the Bourke brothers, who had been separated from the main force of the I.R.A. and made off towards the sea shore in the opposite direction without being noticed by the British soldiers.As the British soldiers closed ground on the main force of the I.R.A. scrambling over the hilltop O Neill and John Joe Neylon stood their ground along the railway line to cover the others escape: “Those who had already been making their way towards the top of the hill, as well as the party who were starting to do so all came under heavy fire, rifle and machine gun from the newly arrived troops. … As the big majority of our men had only shotguns, they were of no use in meeting the British forces who, in a short time had reached the hilltop a quarter of a mile or so east of the scene of the ambush. There was only one course open to us and that was to use the riflemen to fight a rearguard action while the others with the shotguns were making their way to cover and safety on the Ballyvaskin side. Unfortunately only a few of the riflemen were available for this purpose. They included O Neill himself, Michael Dwyer, Patrick Lehane and myself. The other men with rifles had gone off in different ways and it was not possible to collect them. The four of us took up positions in a field adjacent to Honan’s house and engaged the military who were using a machine gun behind a stone wall at the corner of a field about three hundred yards almost due east.” Their opening volley felled the leading British soldier advancing towards them, and his comrades took cover in the heather. The four riflemen spread out and commenced rapid fire returning the captured British .303 ammunition to its previous owners at a generous rate. This gave the British soldiers the impression that they were facing a much larger group of riflemen. Seamus Hennesy was headed towards a gap in a bank when Patrick Vaughan shouted a warning to them ‘Don’t go out that gap, for they’re like to set the gun on it. Roll over the bank when I shout.’ When Vaughan gave the word the shotgun men tumbled over the bank while the British soldiers on the hill raked the gap of the bank and its edges with machine gun fire.While O Neill and Neylon’s group began firing on the British soldiers in an effort to halt their advance Patrick Kerin and the other I.R.A. Volunteers continued their retreat towards Ballyvaskin across open ground: “We went in extended formation and had gone a hundred yards or so when we came under heavy machine gun fire from the north-east. The military had reached the top of Dromin hill and placed a machine gun in position four hundred yards away from us. Our party at this stage were in the middle of a ten acre field through which ran a stream in the direction of Ballyvaskin. Pat Frawley and myself made for the stream. On the way I was stunned by a bullet which passed between my ear and head. Recovering after a few seconds, I got into a shallow drain where I remained for ten minutes or so, and then dashed twenty or thirty yards further on to a cock of hay. There I found Pat Mc Gough, O/C of the Inagh Company. With him I got as far as a low stone wall. The firing was still fierce and was coming mostly from a machine gunner. Here we began to time the machine gun burst and reckoned that a pan was being changed. We dashed across another fifty or sixty yards of open ground behind another stone fence where we met two more of our crowd, Dave Kenelly and John Crawford. Kenelly who had a rifle was in an exhausted state and enquired if any of us were in a condition to return the fire. Crawford had a carbine which he captured from the tender, but the ‘cut off’ had jammed. This I put right by forcing it with my teeth, and we both opened fire. I exhausted all the ammunition I had, a total of fifty two rounds. Our fire enabled the men in our vicinity to retreat in more safety and, when my ammunition was finished, we went after them.”On the side of Dromin Hill, John Joe Neylon’s group were coming under increasing pressure as the rest of the I.R.A. Volunteers reached Ballyvaskin. They had concentrated their rifle fire on the machine gun grew and thought they had wounded one of them because the fire halted for a short period but longer than a normal stoppage. When the machine gun resumed firing a second volley from the four riflemen silenced it again, Neylon and his comrades used this opportunity to retreat. As they scrambled town the hillside the British soldiers fire was so close to them that Neylon had his leg grazed by a bullet which passed through the leg of his trousers: “O Neill was wounded in the thigh early at this stage of the fighting and as we retreated he had to be removed. This was done by Michael Dwyer who carried him on his back. Gradually we made our way towards Ballyvaskin taking advantage of whatever bit of cover was available … ultimately the whole party got into the Ballyvaskin country and dispersed”With the British soldiers in hot pursuit the republicans had no time for an ordered retreat and broke up into a number of smaller groups which would be harder for the British forces to pursue. Local farm labourers who had been making trams of hay near the edge of the bog when the running battle started helped carry the two wounded I.R.A. Volunteers to safety and sent for doctors to Milltown and Lahinch. The wounded were then placed on stretchers and carried across country to Moy. Patrick Kerin and Michael Curtain expected British forces to arrive in the area at any time and hid their rifles and the papers they had taken from the R.I.C. men’s bodies in a stone wall near Molohan’s house. It was now after four o clock and the British military had sent for reinforcements as soon as they had arrived at the ambush site at Rineen two hours earlier. O Neill and Curtin were the only I.R.A. members were wounded in the withdrawal though neither was wounded seriously. However the British forces suffered much heavier losses, in addition to the six dead members of the R.I.C. several British soldiers had been wounded.O Neill had expected the British forces to carry out raids and reprisals in the area following the ambush and had asked Andrew O Donoghue, Commandant of the Mid Clare Brigade’s 5th Battallion, to meet the members of the ambushing party at Ennistymon to mount fresh attacks on the British forces and prevent them carrying out reprisals. O Donoghue travelled to Ennistymon with six I.R.A. Volunteers, but because of the chaotic withdrawal from Rineen no members of the 4th Battalion were there to meet them.When the last of the I.R.A. Volunteers reached Ballyvaskin, they looked back towards Rineen to check if the British soldiers were still in pursuit. Instead they saw the first clouds of smoke rising from burning houses near the ambush site, as the British forces began taking their revenge on the local civilian population. When the British soldiers realised that the I.R.A. had narrowly escaped their attack, they returned to their lorries on the roadside at Rineen. On seeing the bodies of their dead comrades they flew into a rage and descended on Honan’s farm, the nearest house to the ambush site, and set it on fire. They returned to their lorries and drove the short distance to O Gorman’s farm in whose fields the R.I.C. man who had attempted to escape had been shot. The O Gorman’s were dragged from their home, abused and terrorised by the British soldiers before their home was also set on fire. As the British soldiers drove from O Gorman’s blazing house they spotted Sean Keane, an elderly man out in his fields building a rick of hay. The soldiers shot at him from their lorries mortally wounding him. Keane died of his wounds on the 1st of October. After dark, a mixed British Army and R.I.C. raiding party arrived at the home of Dan Lehane, at Cragg in Lahinch. His eldest sons, Patrick and Donal, had taken part in the Rineen ambush. At gunpoint they questioned Dan Lehane about his son’s involvement in the I.R.A. and arrested his fourteen year old son Jimmy. Dan Lehane gave them curt answers before finally telling them to ‘go to hell.’ They beat him and dragged him to the gates of the near by railway crossing and shot him through the throat within view of his horrified wife and son. Two R.I.C. men were about to shoot his son Jimmy when a British military officer intervened. Dan Lehane died of his wound early the next morning, a few hours later the R.I.C. returned and burnt his home to the ground. The British search parties sent to look for Captain Lendrum in the Doonbeg area gave up their search at nightfall and began raiding and burning roadside houses at Bealatha, Creagh, Doonbeg and Kilkee. On their way back to Ennistymon they stopped again at Doonbeg and Milltown Malbay to burn stacks of turf and fields of crops. The silent darkness on the streets of Ennistymon was broken by the sound of Crossley Tender lorries, as R.I.C. reinforcements and Black and Tans arrived in the town. They were enraged by the official police report on the Rineen ambush which claimed that the I.R.A. had mutilated the bodies of the six dead policemen. The Black and Tans began their atrocities shortly after nine o clock when they set the town hall on fire. An hour later an R.I.C. Sergeant and a force of twenty R.I.C. men and Black and Tans arrived at the home of Tom Connole the local secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers union. Connole’s house was surrounded by the R.I.C. while a number of them broke in his door. The Sergeant arrested Connole, threw him into the street, and tied his hands and feet. The police threatened to shoot his wife when she attempted to fetch a coat for him. She was forced from the house and refused permission to get a shawl to wrap herself and her four month old child in. At gunpoint she was taken to a neighbours house leading her four year old son by one hand and carrying her infant in the other. The R.I.C. set fire to his home and executed Tom Connole in the street; shooting him in the head at point blank range. Before leaving they took his body and threw it into the blazing building, while his wife watched from a neighbour’s window. To make the act even more horrific the R.I.C. and Black and Tans involved in Connolles murder were all sober at the time. Early the next morning, a piece of his blood stained skull was found on the street near his home and his charred corpse was found inside the remains of his house.The R.I.C. and Black and Tans broke into Flanagan’s shop and stole a large amount of spirits and then began knocking on the doors of a row of houses giving the occupants seven minutes to leave their homes before they set them on fire. True to their word the policemen returned seven minutes later and set Flanagan’s home and the first four houses on fire. As the R.I.C. set to work burning Flanagan’s home, Susan Flanagan pleaded with them to spare the house because she was unable to remove her invalid sister who was still inside. One of the R.I.C. men replied to her, ‘We don’t give a damn if you have five invalid sisters, were going to burn.’ Susan Flanagan dragged her sister down the stairs and carried her out of the house on her back to the bottom of the garden while the house went up in flames. After this the R.I.C. took a break to loot more alcohol and then returned to Michael Vaughan’s house where without warning they threw an incendiary bomb through the window. As the occupants, and elderly woman, a mother and her child, fled from the house they were fired upon. As the R.I.C. and Black and Tans were leaving the burning buildings they captured and shot dead P.J. Linnane a fifteen year old boy who had been sent by his mother to warn an elderly neighbour that her home was in danger of being burnt. The next day his body was found near the local R.I.C. barracks with four bullet wounds.The R.I.C. made their way back through the town setting fire to Davitt’s Drapery shop and looted Madigan’s pub, drinking their fill before leaving to set more buildings on fire and shoot randomly at anyone they saw fleeing or attempting to quench the fires. Some of the local people stayed in the town to try and put out the fires but others fled to the surrounding countryside as the R.I.C. s campaign of terror spread. At one stage a few of British soldiers stationed in Ennistymon made attempts to put out the fires set by their comrades in the R.I.C., to prevent the whole town from being destroyed. With the town of Ennistymon well ablaze, a group of R.I.C. travelled to Lahinch and repeated their usual round of looting and burning. They raided seven homes and set fire to them. A farmer from East Clare, Joseph Samon, who was on holiday in Ennistymon was shot dead by the R.I.C. while helping a woman out of one of these houses. Next the R.I.C. turned their attention to Flanagan’s shop where Patrick Lehane was hiding in the attic. After wrecking the shop and looting its goods the Black and tans and R.I.C. set fire to the building and Patrick Lehane was burnt alive in his hiding place.At midnight the R.I.C. and Black and Tans left their barracks in Milltown Malbay determined to make the town’s people suffer for the ambush. A number of them had been demanding free drink in the local pubs for several hours, before emerging onto the streets. Drunken Black and Tans fired indiscriminate volleys through the streets, while the R.I.C threw hand grenades at shop fronts splintering the woodwork and shattering the windows. A group of R.I.C. men broke into the hardware shop belonging to Ignatius O Neill’s father and set it on fire. In an spammer of arson attacks the R.I.C. then proceeded to burn Collins’ pub and the home of Michael Hayes. A second group of R.I.C. arrived in the town by Crossly Tender and joined the local R.I.C. and Black and Tans in breaking into several pubs and homes in search of drink. They then began looting houses and shops in the town still firing their guns and smashing windows at random. When they were sufficiently drunk and tired of looting, they again turned their attentions to arson and burnt Michael Marinan’s home, Jones’ grocery shop and bar and Casey’s drapery shop. The R.I.C. and Black and Tans ended their rampage at five o clock that morning and returned to barracks leaving several buildings in the town still blazing. As the fires spread some members of the British Army stationed in Milltown Malbay attempted to keep the rapidly spreading fires in check, but by then it was too late the damage had already been done. By morning eight houses were destroyed by fire and many others had suffered serious damage, the streets were a mass of rubble, charred wood, broken glass, empty bottles of spirits and charred shop goods.According to Anthony Malone the success Rineen ambush and the British forces reprisals had a strong effect on local people and I.R.A. Volunteers: “The ambush had as far as our battalion area was concerned two very direct results. The enemy became more hostile and active, but he used large convoys when travelling. The people became very much embittered against him and adopted a more defiant attitude towards the military and Black and Tans. The women and the older people did not hesitate to show their feelings when they encountered these forces in the course of raids and searches. As far as the I.R.A. organisation itself went, the men became keener at their at their drill and showed more enthusiasm in the different duties which they were called upon to perform eg; road cutting, scouting and dispatch carrying.”Far from being a random acts of cowardly drunken violence, the British attacks on the people of Ennistymon and Milltown Malbay had been deliberately pre-meditated. The R.I.C. and Black and Tans had organised supplies of petrol, extra hand grenades and reinforcements for their rampage of arson and killing. R.I.C. drivers and Crossly Tender lorries had to be made available for these reprisals and Irish members of the R.I.C. guided the Black and Tans and British soldiers to their destinations and prepared lists of houses to be burnt in reprisal.The atrocities committed by the British forces were widely reported in British newspapers and were raised in the British parliament by Mr. Arthur Henderson M.P. who moved the resolution “That this house regrets the present state of lawlessness in Ireland, and the lack of discipline in the armed forces of the Crown, resulting in the death or injury of innocent citizens and the destruction of property ; and is of the opinion that an independent inquiry should at once be instituted into the causes, nature and extent of the reprisals on the part of those whose duty is the maintenance of law and order.” Unsurprisingly the resolution was opposed by the British government. Sir Hammar Greenwood the British government’s Chief secretary for Ireland claimed that the R.I.C. and British soldiers who had murdered five people and attempted to burn three towns in a single night were ‘brave men’ who had been driven wild by alleged republican atrocities. The House of Commons voted against Henderson’s resolution.However Field Marshall Sir Henry Wilson expressed outrage at the reprisals, not because he was upset by the killings of innocent Irish people, but because he was unhappy with the way the killings were conducted, commenting; ‘If these men ought to be murdered then the Government ought to murder them.’ Killing republicans was perfectly acceptable to Wilson as long as they were ‘murdered’ in an official fashion by the British Government. Winston Churchill was also pressuring the government to make the British forces campaign of ‘murder’ in Ireland official and respectable by calling for the execution of republican prisoners. Five weeks later both men got their wish when I.R.A. Volunteer Kevin Barry was hung in Mountjoy Prison. He was the first of twenty four republicans officially executed by the British Government.Having had their terrorist acts excused in the British parliament, the British forces threatened to resume their murderous campaign against the people of West Clare.In the early autumn of 1920 Anthony Malone and the other officers of the 4th Battalion had been ordered by the Brigade council of the Mid Clare Brigade I.R.A. to prepare an ambush for British motor patrols in the Milltown Malbay and Ennistymon areas. I.R.A. intelligence reported that a patrol of regular R.I.C. men and Black and Tans travelled in a Crossly Tender lorry from Ennistymon to Milltown Malbay at half past ten each Wednesday morning. The Brigade Council decided to attack the R.I.C. and Black and Tans the next Wednesday the 22nd of September.
The countryside along the R.I.C.‘s weekly route was examined an ambush site was selected at Rineen about two miles from Milltown Malbay on the Ennistymon road. The site was a low cliff where the West Clare Railway rose sharply above the road commanding a good view of Lahinch and the surrounding coastline to the West. A curve in the road would force vehicles travelling from Ennistymon to Milltown to slowdown as they reached the ambush site.
The ambush at Rineen was to be the first major attack on the British forces in the area and the officers of the Mid Clare Brigade decided to use a large force of I.R.A. Volunteers from eight companies in the 4th Battalion area to take part in the attack. The morning of the attack each of these I.R.A. companies were to supply seven Volunteers to form the attacking party or to act as scouts and messengers. On the 21st of September John Joe Neylon was detailed to select seven men from the Ennistymon Company of the I.R.A. to take part in the ambush: “On the night previous to the attack, I paraded the Ennistymon Company and called for Volunteers to take part in it without disclosing any details of what was about to come off. Nearly every man present and there was a parade of about seventy strong the same night – volunteered. I had to select only seven and that was a difficult job indeed. When I had made my selection I instructed these men to report to Lehanes at Lahinch that night and went off myself on a bike to see Ignatious O Neill with whom I had some other business to discuss.”
Ignatius O Neill was still recovering from the wounds he had received at the Crowe’s Bridge ambush and was staying at safe house at Lisdoonvarna. The officers of the Mid Clare Brigade had decided not to include O Neill in the attack because he was still recovering from his wounds and had kept all information regarding the planned attack at Rineen from him. When John Joe Neylon met him that night, O Neill had heard of the preparations for the attack and was furious: “O Neill met me with a violent reception. He was raging mad because he had heard from some source that we had decided to bring off the ambush without asking him taking part. He described the battalion officers as ‘a shower of bastards’, and accused me of being a ‘double crosser’. In order to placate him I said ‘All right the ambush is coming off and you’ll have to take charge.’ Although he did not want to be in charge I Insisted that he should and outlined to him what our plans were and told him of the arrangements which had been made. As far as I remember he made no change in them. We arrived in Lahinch about three or four o clock in the morning. And there found between sixty and sixty five men assembled. All the companies had supplied the seven men they were asked to do and, in addition, there were the officers of the battalion staff.”
At four o clock in the morning O Neill and Neylon led the I.R.A. Volunteers towards Carrig at Ballyvaskin where the Moy company of the I.R.A. scouted the route to Rineen while the members of the attacking party followed on foot. Thomas Mc Donough drove a number of I.R.A. Volunteers from Ennistymon to meet the main I.R.A. force at the final assembly point about a mile from the ambush site at Rinneen. By six that morning fifty members of the I.R.A. had assembled for the ambush. O Neill posted sentries guarding the roads to Milltown Malbay and Lahinch while the main force of the I.R.A. settled down for a brief rest along the boreen leading from the railway line down to the roadway. O Neill and Neylon reviewed the ground with the different company captains and discussed the advantages and possible problems posed by their chosen position. Both the R.I.C. and British Army had a habit of suddenly changing the formation and strength of their transport patrols, if the strength of the R.I.C.‘s patrol was increased to more than one lorry, the attacking formation would have to be changed quickly. A number of signallers were posted along the hilltops near Rinneen and Thomas Moroney was placed in charge of the scouts posted on the roads leading to the ambush site; whose job was to watch for the approach of the R.I.C. patrol and to give advanced warning of a change its strength or the arrival of British re-enforcements. As daylight approached O Neill assembled the remaining forty I.R.A. Volunteers and with the help of John Joe Neylon and Patrick Lehane divided them into three different attacking parties. O Neill repeatedly explained to them in detail the plan of the operation until he was satisfied that each individual I.R.A. volunteer and section leader knew what their task was.
To the north and west of the I.R.A.’s position at Rineen, open ground and fields swept towards the sea. To the south and east of the railway line small fields gave way to open bog land leading towards Milltown Malbay. Ignatius O Neill made an inspection of the I.R.A.’s arms and rejected a number of old shotguns. The remaining arms included the six Lee Enfield rifles, three Carbine rifles, a large number of shotguns a few revolvers. Anthony Malone and Patrick Kerins were given rifles ordered to take up position in the behind a low fence twenty yards directly to the north of the road, two other riflemen Stephen Gallagher and Sean Bourke were stationed about two hundred yards further west towards Milltown Malbay. These four had orders to prevent the R.I.C. and Black and Tans leaving from the lorry and taking cover in the fields, or from attempting to retreat towards the sea and back to Lahinch.
O Neill gave the remaining rifles to John Joe Neylon, David Kennelly, Dan Lehane and Michael O Dwyer. Peter Vaughan an experienced ex-American soldier who had served on the Western front during the First World War was equipped with two hand grenades. These five men were to form the main attacking force and were stationed at the north western end of a small by-road which connected to the Lahinch road. The main body of I.R.A. volunteers were stationed about fifty yards further up this by-road where it crossed the railway line. This group commanded a good view of the ambush site being were in a raised position about forty feet above the level of the road at a distance of thirty yards. They were mostly armed with shotguns and were to act as a secondary attacking force with orders to cover the position of O Neill’s group. A number of large furze bushes had been cut to provide camouflage for the these men. At O Neill’s command, a single rifle shot from John Joe Neylon was to be the signal to open the attack. The riflemen in the first attacking group had orders to shoot the driver of the lorry to prevent it breaking out of the ambush position. Peter Vaughan was to throw his two grenades into the back of the R.I.C. lorry. If the I.R.A. came into difficulties they were to fall back to the railway line crossing the hill at Rineen and use it as a secondary line of defence while they retreated. It was now past seven o clock and the republicans settled down to a long wait before the expected arrival of the R.I.C. patrol.
That morning eleven miles from Rineen, the 2nd Battallion of the I.R.A.’s West Clare Brigade were also waiting in ambush. Captain Alan Lendrum an ex-British Army officer from Tyrone had been appointed Acting Resident Magistrate at Kilkee by the British authorities. Captain Lendrum occasionally travelled to and from court in an R.I.C. Crossly Tender with a number of Black and Tans for security, but more often he travelled alone in his ford car. The 4th battalion of the West Clare Brigade watched his movements for several weeks, and decided to hold up Lendrum at gunpoint and commandeer his car. On the morning the 22nd of September while the I.R.A. lay in ambush at Rineen another group of I.R.A. Volunteers waited for Captain Lendrum at a level railway crossing at Caherfeenick two miles north of Doonbeg. As Lendrum drove towards the level crossing the gates were closed by two I.R.A. Volunteers and he was ordered at gunpoint to surrender his car. Captain Lendrum drew his automatic pistol but was shot dead before he had a chance to fire. This action was to have serious consequences for the I.R.A. ambushers at Rineen later that morning.
Thomas Mc Donough had just arrived back at Ennistymon after driving some I.R.A. Volunteers from the town to the ambush site at Rineen, and reported for work at Roughan’s Garage when he saw the patrol of R.I.C. and Black and Tans preparing to travel to Milltown Malbay: “I was standing at the garage door and watched a lorry of police move off from the barracks across the road. It was driven by a Black and Tan named Hardiman and manned by I think six R.I.C. men including Seargent Hynes and constables Kelly, Harte and Hodnett all of whom I knew well.” As the Crossly tender roared out of Ennistymon towards Milltown Malbay a young I.R.A. Volunteer watched the R.I.C. and Black and Tans disappear in a cloud of dust from his work at Roughans shop and was overheard saying to himself, ‘They are going now but, will they ever come back?’
After eleven o clock the I.R.A. ambushers hidden at Rineen heard the sound of a train coming from the south and hid from view behind ditches until the train had passed. As the I.R.A. Volunteers scrambled back into position, the scouts watching the road from Lahinch signalled the approach of the R.I.C. John Joe Neylon could hear the sounds of the R.I.C patrol approaching when the I.R.A.’s scouts reached him and O Neill with reports that the enemy force was much larger than expected: “About noon, word was received from the scouts that the three lorries were coming from the Ennistymon side. O Neill had a quick consultation with myself and a few of the officers beside him. He had expected only one lorry and the plans had been made accordingly. His force was mainly composed of raw material and the ground did not lend itself to quick deployment. In the circumstances he decided, in view of the scouts message, to withhold fire. When only one lorry passed he realised a mistake had been made by one of the scouts.” The message ‘Police lorry coming.’ had been misinterpreted by one of the I.R.A.’s scouts as ‘Three lorries coming.’ The result was that the R.I.C.’s Crossly Tender was allowed to pass through the ambush without a shot being fired.
Realising the mistake, O Neill dispatched Jack Clune, an I.R.A. Volunteer from Inagh, to cycle to Milltown Malbay and report on the activities of the R.I.C. patrol and to report back immediately if it appeared that the R.I.C. and Black and Tans had seen the I.R.A. Volunteers waiting in ambush and were calling for re-enforcements. O Neill moved the riflemen in the first attacking party into a more suitable position to attack the Crossley tender on its return from Milltown Malbay and made a few other changes to the I.R.A.’s other positions while he waited for Clune to return with news about the R.I.C. patrol. Clune returned from Milltown Malbay two hours later and reported that the R.I.C. patrol had not detected the ambush and their lorry was parked outside the R.I.C. barracks in the town facing the direction of Rineen. Clune’s information was confirmed when of the republican scouts signalled the return of the police lorry and the I.R.A heard the sound of the R.I.C. crossly tender approaching. A few minutes later the Crossley Tender re-appeared. It passed about ten yards beyond the laneway to O Gorman’s house on the northern side of the road when O Neill gave the order to Neylon to fire the opening shot. Patrick Vaughan stood up and threw his first grenade at the police lorry, his second grenade missed and landed on the northern edge of the roadway exploding harmlessly. Already the I.R.A. Volunteers in the first and second attacking parties had opened fire blasting the R.I.C. and Black and Tans in the back of the vehicle with rifle and shotgun fire.

Within seconds of John Joe Neylon firing the opening shot the attack had ended: “immediately all the party opened up. The attack was over in a matter of seconds. There was no reply from the lorry and our fellows rushed towards it to find five dead police men lying inside. One of the police managed to get off the lorry and had gone about three hundred yards towards Milltown when he was seen and shot by Donal Lehane of Lahinch in a field near O Connors house” A short distance away on the northern side of the road Anthony Malone had joined the first attacking section in taking aim at the driver: “The pre arranged signal shot was fired. There was an immediate volley from the different positions. I fired three or four rounds at the men sitting in the cab and next I saw the driver slump over the wheel as blood pumped from a wound in his neck. He seemed to be staring directly at Kerins and myself. The men on the other side of the road poured several rounds into the tender and, in a matter of minutes the attack was over.” As soon as the firing stopped O Neill gave the order to cease fire and search the vehicles. The I.R.A. searched the Crossly Tender and recovered a six Lee Enfield and Carbine rifles, six .45 Webbly and Scott revolvers, a number of Mill’s bomb hand grenades and almost three thousand rounds of .303 ammunition. After the weapons and ammunition were recovered the lorry was set on fire. Patrick Kerin rushed onto the roadside with Anthony Malone and began to search the bodies of the dead R.I.C. men and Black and Tans for intelligence papers and official documents: “When the firing stopped Malone and myself rushed over to the tender. I searched one of the dead men and, from correspondence which he had received from lady admirers in London, I learned that his name was Reggie Hardman, obviously a Black and Tan.” Reginald Hardman was the first Black and Tan killed in Clare, he was twenty one years old and came from East Finchley in London. He had served in the Royal Artillery Regiment before joining the R.I.C. The other five members of the patrol were all regular R.I.C. men; Constable Michael Harte from Sligo, Constable John Hodnett from Cork, Constable Michael Kelly from Roscommon and Constable John Mc Guire from Mayo. Sergeant Michael Hynes from Roscommon was fatally wounded in the ambush and died two days later.
While the Crossly Tender and the bodies of the dead R.I. C. men were being searched, I.R.A. Volunteers sat on the roadside smoking and talking until Dan Kennelly, who had served in both the British Army and R.I.C., urged the men to get back up the hillside to safety quickly. The I.R.A. shared out quantities of the captured .303 ammunition and began moving back up towards the railway line crossing the hill. Seamus Hennessy heard the sound of lorries approaching from Lahinch and shouted to Stephen Gallagher, who had gone to collect the rifle and ammunition from the dead R.I.C. man who had tried to escape from the ambush, to hurry back towards the hill. Next Hennessey shouted a warning to a group of I.R.A. Volunteers who had halted below the first hill and indicated in the direction of the noise. A few minutes later a British Army lorry came around the bend in the road below the railway. The driver stopped when he saw the blazing R.I.C. Crossly Tender and the soldiers jumped out and rushed up the hillside towards the railway line. Moments later a second British lorry halted a short distance behind the first and more British soldiers poured out to pursue the I.R.A.
Ten lorries of British soldiers had left Ennistymon to search for Captain Lendrum who had been killed by the West Clare Brigade of the I.R.A. at Caherfeenick near Doonbeg earlier that morning. Captain Lendrum’s wife regularly phoned the military and R.I.C whenever he was due to make a journey and when he failed to arrive at Ennistymon the British military had set out to look for him. As they approached Rineen they heard the distant gunfire from the ambush and saw the smoke rising from the burning crossly tender and members of the I.R.A. crossing the hillside. When the British soldiers appeared in view advancing toward the I.R.A. the republican scouts let out a warning cry of ‘Military!’ and O Neill gave the orders to retreat across the railway line back towards Ballyvaskin. A small group, including Ned Lynch, Michael O Keefe and the Bourke brothers, who had been separated from the main force of the I.R.A. and made off towards the sea shore in the opposite direction without being noticed by the British soldiers.

As the British soldiers closed ground on the main force of the I.R.A. scrambling over the hilltop O Neill and John Joe Neylon stood their ground along the railway line to cover the others escape: “Those who had already been making their way towards the top of the hill, as well as the party who were starting to do so all came under heavy fire, rifle and machine gun from the newly arrived troops. … As the big majority of our men had only shotguns, they were of no use in meeting the British forces who, in a short time had reached the hilltop a quarter of a mile or so east of the scene of the ambush. There was only one course open to us and that was to use the riflemen to fight a rearguard action while the others with the shotguns were making their way to cover and safety on the Ballyvaskin side. Unfortunately only a few of the riflemen were available for this purpose. They included O Neill himself, Michael Dwyer, Patrick Lehane and myself. The other men with rifles had gone off in different ways and it was not possible to collect them. The four of us took up positions in a field adjacent to Honan’s house and engaged the military who were using a machine gun behind a stone wall at the corner of a field about three hundred yards almost due east.” Their opening volley felled the leading British soldier advancing towards them, and his comrades took cover in the heather. The four riflemen spread out and commenced rapid fire returning the captured British .303 ammunition to its previous owners at a generous rate. This gave the British soldiers the impression that they were facing a much larger group of riflemen. Seamus Hennesy was headed towards a gap in a bank when Patrick Vaughan shouted a warning to them ‘Don’t go out that gap, for they’re like to set the gun on it. Roll over the bank when I shout.’ When Vaughan gave the word the shotgun men tumbled over the bank while the British soldiers on the hill raked the gap of the bank and its edges with machine gun fire.
While O Neill and Neylon’s group began firing on the British soldiers in an effort to halt their advance Patrick Kerin and the other I.R.A. Volunteers continued their retreat towards Ballyvaskin across open ground: “We went in extended formation and had gone a hundred yards or so when we came under heavy machine gun fire from the north-east. The military had reached the top of Dromin hill and placed a machine gun in position four hundred yards away from us. Our party at this stage were in the middle of a ten acre field through which ran a stream in the direction of Ballyvaskin. Pat Frawley and myself made for the stream. On the way I was stunned by a bullet which passed between my ear and head. Recovering after a few seconds, I got into a shallow drain where I remained for ten minutes or so, and then dashed twenty or thirty yards further on to a cock of hay. There I found Pat Mc Gough, O/C of the Inagh Company. With him I got as far as a low stone wall. The firing was still fierce and was coming mostly from a machine gunner. Here we began to time the machine gun burst and reckoned that a pan was being changed. We dashed across another fifty or sixty yards of open ground behind another stone fence where we met two more of our crowd, Dave Kenelly and John Crawford. Kenelly who had a rifle was in an exhausted state and enquired if any of us were in a condition to return the fire. Crawford had a carbine which he captured from the tender, but the ‘cut off’ had jammed. This I put right by forcing it with my teeth, and we both opened fire. I exhausted all the ammunition I had, a total of fifty two rounds. Our fire enabled the men in our vicinity to retreat in more safety and, when my ammunition was finished, we went after them.”
On the side of Dromin Hill, John Joe Neylon’s group were coming under increasing pressure as the rest of the I.R.A. Volunteers reached Ballyvaskin. They had concentrated their rifle fire on the machine gun grew and thought they had wounded one of them because the fire halted for a short period but longer than a normal stoppage. When the machine gun resumed firing a second volley from the four riflemen silenced it again, Neylon and his comrades used this opportunity to retreat. As they scrambled town the hillside the British soldiers fire was so close to them that Neylon had his leg grazed by a bullet which passed through the leg of his trousers: “O Neill was wounded in the thigh early at this stage of the fighting and as we retreated he had to be removed. This was done by Michael Dwyer who carried him on his back. Gradually we made our way towards Ballyvaskin taking advantage of whatever bit of cover was available … ultimately the whole party got into the Ballyvaskin country and dispersed”
With the British soldiers in hot pursuit the republicans had no time for an ordered retreat and broke up into a number of smaller groups which would be harder for the British forces to pursue. Local farm labourers who had been making trams of hay near the edge of the bog when the running battle started helped carry the two wounded I.R.A. Volunteers to safety and sent for doctors to Milltown and Lahinch. The wounded were then placed on stretchers and carried across country to Moy. Patrick Kerin and Michael Curtain expected British forces to arrive in the area at any time and hid their rifles and the papers they had taken from the R.I.C. men’s bodies in a stone wall near Molohan’s house. It was now after four o clock and the British military had sent for reinforcements as soon as they had arrived at the ambush site at Rineen two hours earlier. O Neill and Curtin were the only I.R.A. members were wounded in the withdrawal though neither was wounded seriously. However the British forces suffered much heavier losses, in addition to the six dead members of the R.I.C. a number of British soldiers had been wounded including a Royal Army Service Corps driver.

Lees voer! http://www.warofindependence.net/?page_id=154
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Sep 2019 10:39    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Een vergeten scheepsdrama van het kaliber Titanic
René Didde - VK - 2014

Honderd jaar geleden voltrok zich een scheepsramp van het kaliber Titanic voor de kust van Scheveningen. Over dit volkomen vergeten drama gaat vandaag een documentaire in première.

Amper zeven weken is de Eerste Wereldoorlog oud als op dinsdag 22 september 1914 drie Britse kruisers op de Noordzee patrouilleren. HMS Aboukir, HMS Hogue en HMS Cressy zijn verouderde oorlogsschepen. Ze hebben onder meer geen goede bepantsering van de onderwaterlijn. Aan boord bevinden zich in totaal 2.300 bemanningsleden, een inderhaast opgeroepen allegaartje van reservisten, veteranen en zelfs dertien jongens van 15 en 16 jaar. De laatsten, zijn plompverloren van de cadettenopleiding geplukt.

Het is namelijk alle hens aan dek voor de Britse marine. Koste wat het kost moet de bevoorrading van de Engelse troepen in België intact blijven. De aanvoerroute via het Kanaal is heilig.

Het is zwaar weer geweest medio september 1914 en de torpedojagers die de logge en trage patrouilleschepen moeten begeleiden, zijn gevlucht voor de storm. Ook een vierde patrouilleschip, met aan boord de admiraal die leiding geeft aan het bataljon, heeft zich ijlings teruggetrokken naar de veilige Engelse kust. De drie schepen koersen in de ochtend na de storm zuidwaarts, onbeschermd, traag, levend lokaas.

Ook de Duitse U9, een kleine, fonkelnieuwe onderzeeboot, de negende pas die de Duitsers bouwden, is door het slechte weer uit koers geraakt. Op 22 mijl (40 kilometer) uit de kust van Scheveningen weet kapitein Otto Weddigen niet wat hij ziet als hij door zijn periscoop de drie Britse kruisers in het vizier krijgt. Van een afstand van nauwelijks 500 meter vuurt hij een torpedo af op het eerste schip, de Aboukir. Een voltreffer. Vervolgens richt hij twee torpedo's op de Hogue, beide keren raak. Dan schiet hij twee keer op de Cressy, waarvan er één mist. De laatste torpedo aan boord treft ten slotte de Cressy.

'In een tijdsbestek van anderhalf uur voltrekt zich de grootste scheepsramp uit de Britse maritieme geschiedenis. De drie schepen zinken naar de zeebodem. Van de 2.300 bemanningsleden komen er 1.459 om het leven, onder wie bijna alle tieners. Het aantal slachtoffers evenaart het aantal doden op de Titanic, twee jaar eerder. Maar het blijft decennialang stil rond deze scheepsramp', vertelt de voice-over in de documentaire The Live Bait Squadron (het levend lokaas-squadron) die vandaag in première gaat in Pathé Scheveningen.

Scheepsdrama - Filmmaakster en onderwatercameravrouw Klaudie Bartelink blikt aan de hand van interviews met nabestaanden terug op het scheepsdrama, dat zich honderd jaar geleden pal voor de Nederlandse kust voltrok. Ze ontmoet in Engeland een achter-achterneef van Duncan Stubbs, een van de 15-jarigen, die de aanslag op de eerste boot overleeft, maar verdrinkt bij een poging een oudere man te redden. De achter-achterneef, die Duncan Barrigan heet, beheert het archief van zijn oudoom en is verbijsterd over het gebrek aan belangstelling voor de scheepsramp tijdens de honderdste verjaardag van het begin van de Eerste Wereldoorlog in Engeland.

In de film komt ook een nazaat aan het woord van de Duitse kapitein die de fatale voltreffers afvuurde. 'Ik denk dat hij zich niet bewust was van het drama dat hij aanrichtte', zegt ze. 'Hij zag het meer als eerzucht en een sportieve topprestatie om alle drie de schepen te raken.' Het doet haar pijn dat haar vaderlandslievende voorvader, die de keizer adoreerde en een jaar later omkwam, in de geschiedschrijving daarna werd misbruikt door de nazi's. Met trucage voorzagen ze foto's van Van Weddigen in uniform achteraf van nazisymbolen.

Beelden van de gesprekken met de geïnterviewden worden afgewisseld met historisch materiaal over de ramp, foto's en geschriften uit persoonlijke archieven. Veel onderzoek naar het drama is verricht door Henk van der Linden. Hij is al jaren gefascineerd door de Grote Oorlog en stuitte bij toeval op een begraafplaats in Den Haag waar meer dan twintig Britse militairen uit de Eerste Wereldoorlog lagen begraven. Dat bleken bemanningsleden van de drie kruisers die op het strand van Scheveningen aanspoelden.

Pas in 1955 worden de drie scheepswrakken gevonden door een Hollandse visser. De Engelse regering, onder leiding van premier en oorlogsheld Winston Churchill, besluit onmiddellijk de wrakken te verkopen aan een Duits bergingsbedrijf, een nogal respectloze handelwijze die bij de nabestaanden kwaad bloed zet. Ook de nazaat van de Duitse kapitein van de U9 heeft er geen goed woord voor over. 'Lijkschennis', oordeelt ze resoluut.

Verder dan een eenmalige berging van 25 ton staal komt het echter niet. Meer en meer vormen de scheepswrakken een prachtig kunstrif, hard substraat waarop zich een bonte verzameling van schelpdieren, poliepen, anemonen en zeesterren afzet. De documentaire toont prachtige beelden van een reusachtige kabeljauw die uit een soort patrijspoort koekeloert. Scholen van duizenden zilvergrijze visjes zwemmen door vreemde bogen boven achteloos verspreide granaten. Luipaardgrondels schieten schichtig weg achter geribbelde munitiekisten en een Noordzeekrab scharrelt langs staafjes explosief cordiet die als mikadostokjes op de zeebodem liggen.

Meest bedoken wrakken - Het honderd jaar oude trio oorlogsschepen staat in de topvijf van meest bedoken wrakken in de Noordzee. Tientallen lijken zijn aangespoeld, maar HMS Aboukir, HMS Hogue en HMS Cressy moeten ook het zeemansgraf van honderden bemanningsleden vormen. Vreemd genoeg zijn er nooit botten of schedels gevonden, zegt Klaudie Bartelink.

Ze maakt zich zorgen over het gebrek aan cultuurhistorische bescherming van de wrakken. 'Ze zijn niet alleen geliefd bij bevlogen duikers die hun vondsten oppoetsen en naar een museum brengen, maar ook talloze souvenirjagers die hun schoorsteenmantel verfraaien of bergers die brons en staal optakelen weten intussen de weg naar de plek te vinden', zegt Bartelink.

Ze hoopt dat het tij keert voor de drie wrakken en hun ongelukkige bemanning. Het is een merkwaardige situatie met veel losse eindjes. Hoewel de schepen zich in de Nederlandse territoriale wateren bevinden, kan Nederland noch werelderfgoedorganisatie Unes -co iets uitrichten, aldus Bartelink. 'Formeel zijn ze eigendom van het Duitse bergingsbedrijf dat ze naar verluidt voor 500 pond kocht. Dat bedrijf is echter van de aardbodem verdwenen.'

En Engeland geeft tot nog toe geen sjoege. 'We zien nu dat de wrakken steeds kleiner worden en verder aftakelen. Dat is niet in het belang van de natuur en getuigt vooral niet van respect voor de slachtoffers. Misschien dat de Engelsen deze tragiek nu eindelijk onder ogen gaat zien, getuige het feit dat ze 22 september een bijeenkomst organiseren.'

Achter-achterneef Duncan onderneemt in de documentaire een duik naar het 30 meter diepe zeemansgraf. Ontroerd komt hij boven water. 'Het is een stad daar beneden. Ik heb zo veel gezien. Bogen waar je doorheen kunt zwemmen en overal wilde zeedieren. Het is heel passend dat een plek waar zoveel mensen zijn omgekomen nu wordt bewoond door zoveel leven van een totaal andere soort.'

Vanaf 25 /9 t/m 15/2 2015 draait The Live Bait Squadron dagelijks in Muzee Scheveningen, Neptunusstraat 90-92, 2586 GT Scheveningen, tijdens een tentoonstelling over de vergeten scheepsramp.
De documentaire is op dvd verkrijgbaar en te bestellen via www.duikdenoordzeeschoon.nl


https://www.volkskrant.nl/cultuur-media/een-vergeten-scheepsdrama-van-het-kaliber-titanic~b180cd1d/?referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F
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