Author Topic: Custom House Burning - Part 1 / John Wilson  (Read 80671 times)

Offline Gary Deering

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Custom House Burning - Part 1 / John Wilson
« on: Tuesday 01 September 09 20:42 BST (UK) »
Hi All just wondering is there anyone here with an interest in the War of Independence.My Great Uncle John Wilson (also known as Jack or Johnny)was arrested for his part in the burning of the Custom House in 1921, I can never find any information on him online, Just wondering has anyone ever heard him mentioned in anything to do with the War of Independence or the Civil war which he was an officer in the free state army according to family legend.Gary
Deering Dublin,Hickey Dublin,Wilson Dublin,Murphy Dublin/Carlow.

Offline tommobecket

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Re: Custom House Burning / John Wilson
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 05 September 09 16:48 BST (UK) »
Hello Gary

Yes, it would be great to start a new thread on this and ask the good people at Rootsweb for advice on how to find out more as I too am really struggling to find any details about (ordinary) participants in the WOI - my grandfather Denis Byrne was active and has the WOI medal with bar and I have a few miniscule references from his pension application to torment me! Just to let you know I have done a posting about 'Marino Lodge' which is related to the war of independence and had some great help. I also 'think' he was in the free state army as we have a photo of him in uniform, but he does not refer to this in the pension.

There doesn't seem to be much online but there are several books that I have jsut ordered that may help.

Ernie O'Malley - 'on another mans wounds' and 'raids and rallies'.
Tom Barry - 'Guerilla days in Ireland'.
Easter 1916 Sinn Feinn Rebellion Hanbook' (only from a library I think, unless you have a few bob!)
Some great interviews on YouTube.
I'm sure there are loads more as I've only just started researching this aspect of my grandfathers involvement in the war.

And have you accessed your great uncles pension application as this is where some detail can be found?

Should we start another link for 'war of independence' which may help us get more support and advice?

Good luck

Denis
Byrne, Stapleton, Kennedy, Dougherty, Clishan/Clisham. Easter 1916 Dublin, in Ireland.
Sharp, Houlgrave, McCarrick, Quinn, Dougherty in Liverpool.
Japha in Liverpool and Prussia (Poland)

Offline Quaxer

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Re: Custom House Burning / John Wilson
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 05 September 09 18:37 BST (UK) »
Dear Dennis & Gary
The Custom House was attacked by men under the command of Oscar Traynor on 25th May 1921 and set alight.The fire lasted until  the 31st but the stonework continued to crack until the month of October. Most of the Irregulars involved were captured when an alert British Army patrol threw a cordon around the building and summoned reinforcements. Clearly the object was to destroy the Local Government Board records therein as without them the Board was "in the dark' when dealing with the local authorities which in the South were mainly under Sinn Fein Control.
The building was severely damaged and although rebuilt is not the same internally as it was.
The Bureau of Military History 1913-1921  (formerly in Westland Row) I believe is now open to the public and doubtless will contain material of relevance to you. If the Sinn Fein book  to which reference is made'is the one that was produced by the Irish Times newspaper then it is not relevant to the period 1919-1921.
Regards    Quaxer


Offline Taidquest

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Re: Custom House Burning / John Wilson
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 05 September 09 23:21 BST (UK) »
Hi folks, wonder if this link will be of use to you,
Also if you check Irish defence forces website there
should be a link there to the military archives in
Cathal Brugha barracks.
                                        Anne
http://www.irishsoldiers.com/Research/tracing.htm
<br />UK Census information is Crown Copyright http://www.nationalarchive

Offline Alicat84

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Re: Custom House Burning / John Wilson
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 06 September 09 23:10 BST (UK) »
My great grandfather apparently supplied the petrol/fuel that helped burn it down!  :P

My gran even had the receipt! But she can't find it at the moment, she says it's "somewhere" in the house  :(
Coyne (Dublin)
Donnelly (Dublin)
Duggan (Dublin and also Cork on another side of the family)
Higgins (Dublin)
Hyland (Dublin)
Keating (Cork)
Keely (Dublin)
Killackey (Tipperary)
Langstaff (married in Dublin but no idea where from originally)
Moriarty (Cavan but moved to Dublin at some stage)
Treacy (Tipperary)
Waters (Tipperary)

Offline Gary Deering

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Re: Custom House Burning / John Wilson
« Reply #5 on: Monday 07 September 09 04:38 BST (UK) »
Thanks all for the advice, Denins my grandfather (William Deering 1900) too was in the British Army around the time of WW1, he also was involed in the War of Independence & my Dad said he had a Picture of Michael Collins on the wall for years ! so not hard too work out which side he went for in the civil war ! Have you tried too see if the National Archives of the UK have a medal card for your Grandfather ?
Deering Dublin,Hickey Dublin,Wilson Dublin,Murphy Dublin/Carlow.

Offline tommobecket

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Re: Custom House Burning / John Wilson
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 15 September 09 17:35 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the clarification Quaxar, and apologies for misdirection. What was the source of that detail on the Custom House?

Alicat84, what other goodies might be hidden in your grans house, thats a great piece of history there ...

Sorry Gary, Denis Byrne wasn't in the British army, the WOI medal I referred to is the Irish War of Independence medal and I didn't think the UK National Archives held this detail, but I have had  information from Cathal Barracks.
Going back to your original question, apart from the well known protagonists, I too would really value any advice on how to obtain information on who took part in raids and actions for the Irish Army in Dublin, if such a thing exists? The statements at the Irish National Archives may contain references but it took a dedicated researcher a year to read through them all, so I wondered if the names of activists had been documented anywhere!

Denis
Byrne, Stapleton, Kennedy, Dougherty, Clishan/Clisham. Easter 1916 Dublin, in Ireland.
Sharp, Houlgrave, McCarrick, Quinn, Dougherty in Liverpool.
Japha in Liverpool and Prussia (Poland)

Offline Quaxer

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Re: Custom House Burning / John Wilson
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 15 September 09 19:47 BST (UK) »
Tommobecket
Your No.6 refers
Information from various sources made up my response including the following:
      The Black & Tans by Richard ........
       Lost Dublin by Frederick O'Dwyer
       Public Works by the A.A.I.    (Office of Public Works 1831-1987)
My later mother (in her childhood ) was a witness to the fire being trapped on the Quays at the time. She was rescued with other civilians by a British Army patrol and taken by a truck to Portobello Barracks as she lived in nearby Leinster Square. In her lifetime she related that adventure to me.

Regards       Quaxer

Offline california dreamin

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Re: Custom House Burning / John Wilson
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 15 September 09 20:21 BST (UK) »
Hi All just wondering is there anyone here with an interest in the War of Independence.My Great Uncle John Wilson (also known as Jack or Johnny)was arrested for his part in the burning of the Custom House in 1921, I can never find any information on him online, Just wondering has anyone ever heard him mentioned in anything to do with the War of Independence or the Civil war which he was an officer in the free state army according to family legend.Gary

Hi all
I was really interested to see your postings. My Grandfather was a Corporal in the Irish Free State Army (this was listed as his profession on my Dad's birth certificate!).  As I understand it alot of men of Irish decent joined the Free State Army after they were demobed from their units after WWI.  My Grandad had served as a Private in the Royal Scots Fusiliers during this time.  His time in the Irish Free Army is something I have not attempted to find out about....yet. :)