Hazelwood House during the Emergency Years

Hazelwood House (pic. Wikipedia)

By Terence O’Reilly

 

“Officers and other ranks are drafted in and soon begin to take a pride in their new unit; local legends and jokes are born and flourish and a distinctive atmosphere grows. Then all is ended, the personnel disperse and all that is left is a bundle of yellowing files and a few increasingly vague memories.”  Defence Forces Handbook 1974

Although the Defence Forces were founded in 1922, the Military Archives were not established until sixty years later, leaving many units unrecorded and forgotten. One such was the garrison of Hazelwood House during the Second World War or the Emergency; it has transpired however that a few of these men left accounts of their time here, giving a rare and unusually vivid insight into this episode of Irish history.

During the Emergency, Hazelwood House, County Sligo was occupied by a cyclist squadron of the Irish Army.

In the summer of 1940, Hitler’s panzers reached the Atlantic coast of France and Ireland faced the very real threat of invasion. Following an appeal by the government, thousands of young Irishmen enlisted in the Irish Defence Forces which by 1941 reached a strength of 38,000. One history of the time notes that:

“For a start there was an accommodation problem; the existing barracks, most of  them inherited from the British regime, were inadequate to house the expanded forces and many derelict and semi-derelict castles in different parts of the country were taken over and restored, if only temporarily, to something of their former vitality”[1]

One such was Hazelwood House, the magnificent 18th-century Palladian mansion on Lough Gill near Sligo. As early as May 1940, the Department of Defence was preparing the building for its new role as a military establishment. Hazelwood’s future garrison were by then doing their basic training in the midlands; at the end of that summer a hundred of these young men packed their kit and boarded trucks for Sligo. One of them, Trooper P Neville, would later recall:

“We arrived at Hazelwood on that glorious day, pitched our bivvies (tents) in orderly rows and remembered another man from these parts who had a vision of something similar, but sure he knew nothing of bivvies. The following day we were told the official title of our new unit-a terrible beauty was, indeed, born.”[2]

 

Cyclist Squadrons

 

The units title was the 12th Cyclist Squadron. As a unit of the Cavalry Corps, the squadron members wore the Cavalry’s distinctive Glengarry headgear.

The notion of soldiers mounted on bicycles seemed amusing then as now, but in fact most armies of the time employed such units. Indeed, the Swiss Cycle Regiment was only disbanded in 2001. According to a later account by Colonel D Hurley:

“The Cyclist Squadrons were small self contained units – often referred to as “The Piddling Panzer’s” who during the World War II years soldiered under very adverse conditions. They occupied many of the worst outposts – usually along the border or the coast. All things considered, the men of these squadrons carried out their tasks well and, having soldiered with them for two years, I consider that they had many of the finest soldiers it was my privilege to meet during the War.

The Squadrons had their limitations, but these were mainly caused by the manner of their establishments. [In 1940] the Army authorities appreciated the need for light mobile forces to watch and guard the frontiers. With financial/ equipment problems very acute, fourteen cyclists squadrons were formed.

The personnel of these Cyclists Squadrons consisted of Volunteers of the 1934-39 vintage – a sprinkling of Reservists and Regulars and the majority consisted of these gallant men who answered the call to arms in ’39-’44. Personnel, in some instances. were posted from battalions and in many cases these did not meet the requirements of the cyclist squadrons. The Volunteer element were usually magnificent cyclists. Soldiers who had no physical ability in that direction had little use trying to match prowess with them. The Squadron Commander was mounted on a motor cycle- the remainder travelled on push cycles.

The organisation of the Squadron was: Headquarters and three troops, with an establishment strength of: 5 Offrs, I Coy/Sgt, I CQMS, 3 Sgts, 13 Cpls. and 97 troopers: Total: 120.

The Squadrons were stationed in, amongst many other out posts, Finner.Castlebar, Cavan, Kingscourt, Dundalk, Rosslare, Wexford, Wellington Bridge, Portlaoise, Navan, Bantry Bay and Curragh Camp. They had to carry out the administration of out-posts and to maintain their unit A&Q Records, the squadron being an accounting unit.

The organisation allowed no worthwhile staff for this and in many cases administrative troubles arose.
The units were also isolated in the Army organisation – they belonged to the Brigades and Cavalry, but when the strengths dwindled replacements were seldom made available. Compatible with its size and the manner in which it was equipped, the Squadron was as useful as any other unit in the Army. Our greatest drawback was that of Isolation which is almost inevitable for a junior unit.”[3]

A Cyclist Squadron was comprised of young men in the peak of physical fitness, and was often required to cover over sixty miles in a day.

A Cyclist Squadron was comprised of young men in the peak of physical fitness, and was often required to cover over sixty miles in a day. The men were equipped with BSA Mark V bicycles (with Lee-Enfield rifle mounted on the frame) with the officers using the reliable BSA M20 motorbike. It should be observed that the road network in the west of Ireland at that time was at best rudimentary and the Cyclists could travel to places where truck borne soldiers could not, and a great deal more silently besides.

Ghosts, foxes and stolen bacon

By Trooper Neville’s recollection:

“Guards, Training, Route marches, this was our lot for the next three months, and in retrospect aa very happy time. Like all the Stately Homes, ours had its resident ghost and, perhaps .would have it still had not an over-conscientious sentry fired a shot…Our postman, Charlie Braden, could never forgive the sentry who fired the shot, and, as he said, ‘himself, “I often saw the ghost when I was on guard and sure everyone must be let live.”

Braden was one of the many characters who made their presence felt in a short time. A man whose signature on the payroll was truly the sign of redemption. Charlie could find his way out of any situation, Food was in short supply and many a guard thanked Heaven for his presence on duty with them.

Men coming off duty boasted of the wonderful feeds of rabbit that tasted like lamb and same even suggested chicken, A local farmer asked our C.O. for a man to shoot foxes which seemed to be plaguing the area, and Braden whispered to the lads, “Sure foxes never kill in their own area.” May we add, Charlie was not from the area either…Cold bacon with toast toasted on the point of the Lee Enfield ‘bayonet washed down with porter, especially after lights out was another recipe.

Our Cook Sergeant, on the verge of cardiac failure, ‘burst into the Orderly Roam. Six pounds of cooked bacon had disappeared from the Cook- house. Old Dan, our Company Sergeant, a strict disciplinarian, smiled. .Indeed, he was of the opinion that only one billet need be searched, and he knew which one. The Adjutant decided that he himself would conduct the search, and accompanied by the C/S he came to our billet.

Entering, the C/S roared, “Stand to your ‘beds and open your boxes,” and the Adjutant came forward in a dignified way to the table in the centre of the floor’. Placing his gloves on the table, he addressed us, “I know the bacon is here,” and looking at Braden who looked like Adam before the Hallow’een incident, he went on, “I can be lenient if the culprit steps forward, but if I have to search, and search I will, then may God help him.” An hour’s search, and nothing found, and may we add, the Adjutant never found his gloves either.”[4]

In the Field

Training intensified. The following vignettes paint a picture of a Cyclist Squadron in the field.

“Dusk had fallen, the rain had not ceased, and still they cycled on, on down the narrow twisting by-road that seemed to have no end, on with hands frozen on the handlebars and faces without feeling, on with their minds unthinking, their calves and thighs like bunched lead, and their bodies heavy with weariness. They had cycled over eighty miles since dawn that day, the whole squadron, probing here, attacking there, always striving to break through the belt of country blocked and held by the L.D.F., and in the end they had succeeded after manhandling their bikes across a trackless mountain. Now they were dog-weary and tired, but they had to push on and attack their objective, an enemy Headquarters some two miles ahead.”

At the conclusion of the exercise:

“The head of the column had arrived and the men were stacking their bikes under the trees. The rest of the squadron kept pouring in. A trampling of undergrowth and a cracking of sticks announced that some of them were foraging for firewood. Others could be heard digging a fire pit inside the gates.

Within a few minutes a flame shot up and a fire had been started. Three dixies filled with water from a nearby stream were already on it …the rain ceased. They built big camp fires and dried themselves out around them. Two hours later the lorry with the bivouacs arrived. In a short time all were snuggling down between dry blankets. By eight o’clock the following morning camp had been broken, the bivouacs taken down and packed on the lorry, slit trenches filled in, the fire smothered, and the squadron paraded in troops ready to move out.”[5]

Since the Cyclist Squadrons was trained in explosive demolition, they were required to provide temporary detachments to other outposts. Lieutenant Tom MacAndrew (in civilian life a journalist with the Dublin Evening Mail) later recalled:

“I rode into Ballinamore, in north Leitrim, on November 6, 1941, to take over the local military post from the 12th Cyclist Squadron, who had a troop there. The post consisted of the village hall and two army huts. It raison d’etre was on the stage of the village hall on which were stacked 50 x 25 lb land mines, the detonators for same being in the officer’s room. The mission was to use the land mines to blow certain bridges and roads if John’s Lot [ie the British Army] started to make a move south, Cyclist troopers being trained demolition men.”[6]

In the month of December 1941, any doubts as to the value of cyclist soldiers in modern warfare were shattered when the Imperial Japanese Army employed thousands of such troops in the invasion of Malaya, continuously outpacing and outflanking Allied infantrymen through the jungle paths of the peninsula and bringing about the stunning capture of  Singapore the following February.

In early 1942, Lt MacAndrew was posted to 12th Cyclist Squadron as second in command. By then the Squadron had been posted to Cavan and later was attached to 2nd Division headquarters at Carton House near Maynooth. Hazelwood House was temporarily occupied by the 6th Cyclist Squadron and was soon joined by 2nd Lieutenant Owen Quinn, who although a Glengarry wearing cavalry officer was The District Officer of No 14 District of the Coastwatching Service. As such he was responsible for four permanently manned Look Out Posts (LOP) based at Lenadoon Point, Aughris Head, Roskeeragh and Mullaghmore. By his own account:

There had never been a disciplinary problem among my thirty-two loyal retainers until the N.C.O. at Easky phoned me one evening to say that Volunteer “Kipling” had reported for
duty drunk, and requested remedial action. By the time I had saddled my old bronc and ridden the thirty miles to Easky, Kipling had sobered up and the Corporal had cooled down. I had borrowed a charge sheet from the 6th Cyclist Squadron with whom I now resided in Hazelwood House, and I went through the motions of summary justice and warned Kipling to try and arrange for future weddings to coincide with a period of leave, and to treat the local distillation with the respect it deserved.

In a sequel to this event Volunteer Kipling was to exact a degree of poetic justice. On a wild winter’s night the “survivors adrift” alert was passed on from the Belmullet area. Again I saddled up and headed for Easky but this time in the teeth of a vicious south-west blizzard: By the time I had arrived at the Lookout Post the inadequacies of wartime protective clothing were all too evident. My upper body and arms were frozen. The engine of the bike had kept some heat in my thighs and legs but I could not dismount. The gale raged and swept my shouts away. But for the dip switch on my headlight I might be there yet, like Brian Boru.

Volunteer Connolly, a big, gentle bear of a man, picked up my signal and lifted me like an infant into the meagre comfort of a board of works L.O.P. As he laid me beside the little turf fire Kipling began to massage my arms. Connolly said he would slip down home and get a pinch of tea, but Kipling restrained him. “Tay’s bugger-all good in the officer’s condition!” he insisted. Connolly took him aside and I heard a heated, if subdued argument in which Kipling was warned that that Stuff had got him into enough trouble with the officer already but the little man persisted, and, when he took his torch and headed out into the storm I got Connolly to lift me to the window where I could watch.

Kipling moved along a stone wall as if he were counting the stones. Then he stopped, fumbled awhile and retraced his steps. When he re-entered the L.O.P. he cradled a quart bottle of poitin in his arms, and there was no cuddly damsel I would rather have had my arms around at that moment. When I was supercharged with a shot of Easky ‘liquid killowatts I  bade my rescuers farewell and plunged back into the blizzard on my bike. But this time it was Tón Gaoith and the quart bottle snuggling cosily inside my leather jerkin. Like Pandora’s Box the Easky Bottle was to let loose quite a few surprises in the months to come.

On my return from a patrol one Sunday afternoon I found Hazelwood House deserted except for the Orderly Officer, Lieut. Slim, and his guard. He was bored and dry. As the post was so small we did not operate a bar in the Mess, and Slim asked me would I run back to Sligo for half a dozen beer. I was tired and I declined, but rather than let him suffer the drought of his long night’s vigil I produced the Easky Bottle and carefully measured out two taoscans of the rocket fuel. Greatly diluted, they lasted for half an hour or so. Before retiring to my room I measured out two more and joined Slim in a nightcap.

The bottle was concealed in a recess in my bedroom wall and effectively camouf1aged by massive timber shutters. In the morning I was in the saddle early to check on a report of an unidentified metal cannister which had been beached near Aughris Head. On my return I spotted Captain Pat, Officer Commanding the Post, standing on the forecourt and pulled my bronco up to a skidding halt inches from his immaculate toe-caps. “Welcome back, Pat.” I greeted. but was met with a scowl. “You’re not so bloody welcome yourself. Lieutenant”, he growled. “What have you done to my Second in Command?”Pat was being uncharacteristicallv formal and I glanced around in bewilderment to behold two figures on the sweep of steps up to the door.

One was Slim, striking something of an Errol Flynn pose, except that his bonnet ribbons were tickling the tip of his nose rather than the nape of his neck. His Webley 45 was prominently slung on his hip. I turned back to the OC and remarked “are you not overworking Slim? He was Orderly Officer yesterday”. “He thinks it is still yesterday”, was the grunted rejoinder. A hasty examination of my cellar showed that the Bottle had been disturbed during the night. The seeming deficiency in its contents was not great, but, with Easky Essence the effect had obviously been disproportionate. After that the Bottle joined my cans in my Petrol Store which had been adapted from the Kennels, and of which I held the only key.”[7]

In the Autumn of 1942, the 12th Cyclist Squadron returned to Hazelwood House. The Spearhead ( journal of 2nd Infantry Division) noted that “The Jolly Pedallers left the plains for their winter quarters recently. Before leaving they collected a few athletic scalps. Boxing against the 3rd Squadron they had eight out of 13 contests and later in the Corps novice tournament they won 9 out of 25 bouts, competing with men from six other Squadrons. Later again in Dublin, they beat the crack soccer team  of the Artillery, the 6th Batt and at Gaelic the 6th Motors proved no match for them.”[8]

Flying boat

The Catalina on Lough Gill in November 1942.

On the 17 November 1942, at 16.25 hours, a PBY Catalina flying boat en route from Bermuda to Scotland was forced to land on Lough Gill. Lt Quinn remembered the incident well….

“The steak was tender and thick. So were the onions. Only Trooper Conway could have salvaged such a morsel from the Officers’ kitchen. Late for the meal as usual, I sat in splendid isolation beside a Georgian kitchen range and lashed into the drum-up. Sgt. Fitzgerald stuck his impish grin through the kitchen door:” Plane circling overhead, Sir,” he announced, “Catalina by the looks of her.” This was sheer impertinence-or maybe keen observation, coming from a Cavalry Sergeant to a Coastwatching Second Lieutenant. Fitz had been studying the aircraft identity silhouettes which covered some of the damp spots on the Orderly Room wall of Hazelwood House, Sligo.

In 1942 the squadron rescued the American crew of a downed flying boat on Lough Gill

He was right. It was a Catalina flying boat and she spoiled my steak, for she had no business circling dangerously over a heavily wooded area. By the time I was astride my M.20  the Catalina had dropped out of sight through the trees and Lieut. Murphy (Cavalry) was ten lengths ahead of me on his M.20 heading for Lough Gill. But local knowledge is the essence of the problem; Spud overshot the boreen and I cut inside him, arriving on the lakeside cobbles with sufficient headway to claim the salvage, and save my face. The Catalina had touched down and was now miraculously sailing like one of Willy Yeats’s swans in the lee of his Isle of Inisfree. Miracle is no understatement because that Yankee pilot put her down on the only half mile of open water in the lake. Like a deus-ex-machina from a Greek play, one of the Sligo Gallaghers appeared in a rowboat.

” You are under contract,” says I without waiting to contact S4, “row me out to the flying- boat.”

We took Spud aboard just to show there were no hard feelings, and we were only a few cable– lengths ahead of an outboard launch manned (and womaned) by the Red Cross from Dromahair. There were six people aboard the flying boat, looking a bit shook, but not a feather out of any of them. Five of them came ashore but the Skipper would not budge-must stay with his ship. We knew he was carrying the current top secret equipment, a Norden bombsight. but he couldn’t know that we knew” and he had to keep his secret. The aircraft guns were sealed in protective tapes -a point which the Skipper made clear before we took the five into protective custody.

We  left the Skipper to the tender mercies of the Dromahair Red Cross who were last seen following a Christmas hamper into the bowels of the Catalina.We made our landfall on the isthmus of Hazelwood and were welcomed by Captain Pat Cahalane, OC Cyclists, and current incumbent in the Hazelwood living. I can only remember the names of three of the five, Lt. Buchanan, R.A.F.; Flight Sgt. Tony Baxter, R.A.F., and an American civilian whose name I could not spell. He spelled it out F-U-C, and I winced as I waited for the H-S.We proceeded in Capt. Cahalane’s bug-chaser but not before the unnamed Texan knelt down, literally kissed the sacred soil of Sligo and plucked a small green plant.”Is this a shamrock?” asked he, and I cast a botanical eye on it and said “No, it is a four- leafed Clover” and so Tinpan Alley was in business.

On arrival at Hazelwood I phoned my headquarters at Castlebar, and was kicked-to-touch to Athlone where everything else stopped. “We will phone you back,” said the anonymous voice and I put up the receiver which bounced back from Dublin.I outlined the Facts. ” We will phone you back,” came the familiar echo, and the Sligo exchange began to develop earache. The next call was from Western Command Headquarters. ” May we take your men into Sligo for a meal,” I asked the Power-That-Was, for Troopers Conway and Ryan had exhausted their foraging prowess with the steak.”You must stay with them,” came the warning voice from Athlone.

“Two of them are in uniform,” said I. ” They can’t go,” said the voice. So we fitted Lt. Buchanan and Sgt. Baxter out with sweaters and sports coats, and headed for Noone’s pub in Wine St. where we knew we would be secure. Mine host did us well as he phoned the Grand Hotel and ordered victuals for five shipwrecked mariners. On arrival at the Grand we found all Sligo had anticipated us, or so it seemed from the clamour in the bar where everyone wanted to  buy a round for the house. A judge, who was on circuit at the time, saved the situation by sending dawn his card from his chambers upstairs and ordering the castaways to take audience of him, on the plea that the Yanks had given him one hell of a swell do when last he crossed the Herring Pond.

In the meantime we gleaned the cause of the forced landing. Some discrepancy in the navigational instruments had caused the navigator to zig-zag along his directional beam (to somewhere in Scotland). As a result they had to call on emergency fuel tanks but the pump was kaput. Faced with the prospect of touching dawn on a foul shore off Easky they made a last desperate effort to make Laugh Erne. Shortage of fuel forced them down on Lough Gill.

Meantime we had to protect the Catalina and our neutrality from repercussions. The OC Cyclists., being the senior officer present, ordained that no boat should approach within three hundred yards of our sitting duck, as all Sligo turned out on picnic to Lough Gill on the third day. One boat broke bounds and a camera lens flashed from amidships. The ubiquitous Sgt. Fitz put one round, live, through the bows of the offending craft and the sound of that round was the only report made on the matter. The cameraman sheered off, but probably made his kill.

With fuel and assistance from Baldonnel the Catalina was groomed for take off and, like one of the Children of Lir, she took off majestically, did a circuit of Ben Bulben for our edification and was gone forever from our ken. If the Skipper was nervous about his bombsight he was NOT nervous about his flightmanship. He took the topmost acorns off the Hazelwood oaks as a souvenir to match the Texan’s four-leafed clover.[9]

Some 25 years later Quinn added a further detail;

“One night on our return to our billets in Hazelwood a member of the aircrew expressed a wish for a nightcap of gin. Our emergency stock, laid on for the occasion, had run out. The Bottle, perforce, was pressed into service with the satisfactory result of putting our guest into a dreamless sleep next morning after a normal breakfast he wondered why that nice feeling had returned, and he was advised to reduce his intake of all liquids even water, until the afternoon when the citizens of Sligo took over again.”[10]

In December 1942, Trooper MacNally took a bride and had to transfer, there being no provision in Hazelwood House for married quarters. Sadly, he penned the following ballad for “The Spearhead.”

MacNally’s Lament

(Or a Trooper’s Farewell to His Bike)

 

No more to hear the call of “Boots and Saddle”

Awakening the echoes on the square

No more to feel the pressure of a pedal

Or to say “It’s only 60 miles to there”

 

For I’ve got to leave the “Jolly Pedallers”

As “Loved and Lost’s not my philosophy,”

But in my sleep I’ll dream of Mark V Cycles

Or swimming in full war kit in the sea

 

My fine pull-ups I’ll leave to Trooper Beggy

My carrier straps to trusty Timoney

My spanners three I’ll leave to CS Taylor

If he’ll just say a prayer for me

 

My bike, I fear, I must leave to the “Gangster”

(For he’ll collect the other stuff as well)

But I wouldn’t feel the parting half as much, Sir

If I could only keep my little bell

 

For through the passing years it would remind me

Of sweeping moonlit trails with comrades true

With Bangalore Torpedoes and Anti-Tank mines

And the fragrant smell of stale manoeuvre stew!

 

And so goodbye to all you Pedallin’ Panzers

Shock troops of the “Spearhead” though you be

But with “stripped drill” in the cold grey dawn of morn

It’s no place for a married man like me![11]

 

A cyclist squadron in the field

In April 1943, the 12th Cyclist Squadron took part in a pilgrimage of sorts when they participated in an Easter Rising commemoration in St Patrick’s College in Maynooth during which the unit colours were blessed by Monsignor Edward J. Kissane.  [12]

By November 1943, the Squadron was back in Hazelwood House with a detachment in Castlebar. [13] When a US Flying Fortress crashed on Ballintrillick mountain in County Sligo on 9th December, 1943 with three fatalities and several injuries, the 12th Cyclist Squadron was among several army units to render assistance.[14]

At about 1000 hours on December 28th, 1943 a Miles Martinet crashed west of Scotstown in County Monaghan, killing the pilot. From Edinburgh, Flight Sergeant (F/Sgt) John MacMillan aged 32 was married with a son, Thomas. The 12th Cyclist Squadron was tasked with securing the crash site and participated in the removal of F/Sgt McMillan’s remains handing these over on the Clones – Newtownbutler border post on the evening of December 29th.[15]

By late 1944 it was obvious that The Emergency was coming to an end and cost saving measures were implemented, including the scrapping of several military units.

By late 1944 it was obvious that The Emergency was coming to an end and cost saving measures were implemented, including the scrapping of several military units.

By Trooper Neville’s recollection:

“Christmas 1944 with its quota of peace on earth to men of good will had a very special meaning for us that year. The Emergency was more or less over and so much for the peace part of it. We hadn’t a common enemy so our unit selected our very own and Charlie Braden, sitting on his bed gave us a  list of people he never wanted to meet again so we, in our wisdom have decided that the goodwill part comes only every second year.

The OC of our stately home outpost was relaxed for the first time in five years, he was seen to remove his cap on the parade ground; such behaviour had a drastic effect on Captain Stitcher who worked all day in the orderly room with his tunic off and worse still our man in the Officers Mess said very few Lieutenants came for breakfast. Actions such as these drew from Ned Farrelly the cook the comment “We’re getting close to the gate” and we were.

Slackness was the order of the day it seemed and fellows sat about making plans, recounting old tales, some sat enthralled as Braden recalled his amorous adventures, all awaited farewell to arms – it was that kind of time.

The CQMS and the storeman Bugs Moran were seldom seen nowadays, we rarely met them anyhow, they worked in some obscure store in the courtyard of the mansion. The garrison as a whole looked forward to the Christmas that would be their last in the Army.”[16]

The Cyclist Squadrons were disbanded in January 1945 and by March the military had vacated Hazelwood House. The men were transferred to units around Western Command.

Many years later, Tom MacAndrew would remember:

During my permanent service I was with six different units at various times but when I think back on those days I can thoroughly agree with George MacDonald Frazer when he wrote: “Generally sharing that astonishing experience, which for some reason men seem to prize so highly: having been a soldier! It does not matter what happens to them afterwards, or how low, or how high they go; they never forget that ageless company to which they once belonged.” For me “that ageless company” was the 12th Cyclist Squadron.[17]

 

Trooper Neville remained in the Army and would retire in the seventies as a senior NCO.  He recalled:

We could write for weeks about our old comrades. We ‘thankfully meet them here and there still; and as for poor Charlie Braden, he winters in Camden Town and does road surveying in Ireland during the Summer. When last we met him and showed concern for his welfare, he answered in ‘his inimitable Way, ” Sure, when you have a good ould pair of shoes and a good ould bed you’re sound, when you’rnt in wan you’re in th’other.” A matured version of his old-time philosophy. We have so many memories of those wonderful guys and their lunatic pranks that we forget that they were splendid soldiers to a man. [18]

References

[1] Bernard Share, The Emergency, Gill & MacMillan p76

[2] P. Neville, Another June, An Cosantóir July 1974

[3] D. Hurley, Cyclist Squadron, An Cosantóir 1976

[4] P. Neville, Another June, An Cosantóir July 1974

[5] Jaspar Tully, Proudly The Note, The Kerryman 1945 p29-37

[6]Tom MacAndrew, Soldiering On, An Cosantóir, January 1979

[7] Owen Quinn, More Coastwatching, An Cosantóir September 1983

[8] The Jolly Pedallers, The Spearhead October 1942

[9] Owen Quinn, On a WIng and a Prayer , An Cosantóir September 1968

[10] Owen Quinn, More Coastwatching, An Cosantóir September 1983

[11] P MacNally, MacNally’s Lament, The Spearhead January 1943

[12] Time and Tradition March On, The Spearhead April 1943

[13]Donal O’Carroll, The Emergency Army ,  Irish Sword 75/76 1994

[14] http://www.ww2irishaviation.com/42-31420.pdf

[15] http://ww2irishaviation.com/Article_5.htm

[16] P. Neville, Survival We Call It,  An Cosantóir December 1975

[17] Tom MacAndrew, Soldiering On, An Cosantóir, January 1979

[18] P. Neville, Another June, An Cosantóir July 1974

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: