August 18, 2011 at 10:09 am #12072
As a new and more focused to the RDF WW1 awards, I was lucky to pick up this Royal Dublin Fusiliers trio from ebay. During the research, it turned out a very interesting project and there is still more to find out.
At the moment text is not fully finished if I can find out more and sorry because English mistakes:August 18, 2011 at 10:10 am #14843
James McIntosh (1885 – 22.06.1921)
8th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers
James Mcintosh was born in Maryborough, Co. Laois (known then as Queen’s Co.) in 1885.
He was a son of Edward McIntosh and Mary (previously Prendergast) and based on the 1901 Census of Ireland, were located 75 New Road, Maryborough (1). Their family listed their trade as general labourer and they were Roman Catholics.
James had four sisters Mary Ellen, Bridget, Elizabeth and Emily he also had two brothers George and Edward.
Regarding notes from medical examination, he was 5 feet and 6 inches tall and weight 194 pounds. His eyes were blue and hair brown (2).
After finishing school, James moved to Dublin and worked as a Butcher. He was not married at this time and he was renting a room in Patrick Street, Dun Laoghaire (Kingstown) from an Irish couple Michael and Kate Keogh (1/12).
When the Great War started, James enlisted at Naas recruiting depot on the 1st October 1914 under the New Army scheme (often referred to as Kitchener’s Army) to the lately formed battalions, where each man would sign up for new "general service" terms of three years or the duration of the war (whichever was the longer) and would agree to serving anywhere the army needed them (4).
He was posted to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers as a private and his regimental number was 15075.
He received his initial training in Naas at the Royal Dublin Fusiliers depot where he was listed to the 8th Battalion which was part of the 48th Brigade in 16th (Irish) Division (2/4/6).
8th Battalion was moved to Buttevant Co.Cork, then in June 1915 to Ballyhooley and in September 1915 to Blackdown near Aldershot in Surrey for 16th (Irish) Division final training (4).
However, exercises weren’t intensive, mainly marching and limited target practice. On the 2nd December 1915, the troops were visited by Queen Mary (6).
Probably because good conduct, on the 11th February 1915 Private McIntosh was appointed to the rank Lance Corporal and at end of the year, on the 9th December 1915 promoted to the rank Corporal.
After more then year training, his battalion was ready for action and they received orders on the 14th December 1915, embarked to France on the 18th December 1915 and landed at Le Havre a day later on the 19th December 1915 (2/3/4).
It was almost end of the qualification period for Lance Corporal McIntosh’s first award; 1914-1918 Star what was issued to the soldiers in the British Expeditionary Force who served in any theatre of the War on the 5th August 1914 to 31st December 1915. Recipients of this medal also received the British War Medal and Victory Medal (13).
They learned trench warfare in the Loos area in January and February 1916 because British Army received their lessons previously, when they moved “fresh” troops to the front line without any “acclimatisation” period close to the front lines.
Even so their time came soon, when they were moved to the trenches around Hulluch near village of Loos.
8th Battalion and whole 16th (Irish) regiment suffered heavy casualties during the Battle of Hulluch 27th – 29th April, same time when the Easter Rising took place in home (8). Main casualties were caused by horrifying gas attack on the 27th April, when whole Irish Division lost 2,128 men, approx 538 were killed. Most of the men received chronic lung and breathing damages, what staid with them rest of their lives and many died years later. Main casualties received 48th and 49th Brigade (8).
July they were moved to Somme Valley and engaged in the Battle of the Somme (1st July–18th November 1916). James wasn’t able to take part much of this engagement because he was sent home on because his health.
Maybe previous gas damages or wet trenches, he picked up bronchitis and was admitted to the hospital. From there he was sent to England by Hospital Ship on the 6th July 1916 and staid first in the Military Hospital in Colchester and Southbourne Convalescent Hospital, where he was admitted on 29th July (2).
After his recovery, he is listed to the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion on the 16th September 1916, which was based in Mullingar at this time.
James was sent back to France on the 14th December 1916 and he was posted back to his previous 8th Battalion of Royal Dublin Fusiliers (2).
April to June 1917 they train for attack on Messines Ridge and on the 7th June 1917, they main objective was to capture Belgian village Wytschaete what was major achievement in the Battle of Messines (8).
As a memory for Irish soldiers, villagers of Wytschaete built a Celtic Cross in a plot near the British Commonwealth Cemetery and Father O’Connell blessed the cross on the 26th August 1926. The inscription on the Cross says “Do chum Gloire De agus Onora na hEireann’ ie” To the glory of God and the honour of Ireland’ (15).
This battle was also well-known of mining operation, when Corps of Royal Engineering tunnelling companies laid 22 mines (455 tonnes of ammonal explosive) into the tunnels under the German trenches. Night before the attack, commander General Herbert Plumer said to his staff "Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we shall certainly change the geography.” (14).
In June Corporal McIntosh moved to the Ypres battlefields with his 8th Battalion, when the Division was transferred to the Fifth Army.
Early in August 1917 they found themselves in Zonnebeke sector under constant heavy shelling.
James received shrapnel wounds to his eyelid and nose during the Battle of Passchendaele (31st July – 31st November) on the 11th August 1917 (2/7). He was moved first to the 83rd General Hospital at Boulogne. Next he was admitted to 1st Convalescent Depot and finally No. 3 Rest Camp on 19th August.
At this time, some another illnesses or old wounds caused more serious condition and he was transported to 4th London General Hospital, Denmark Hill S.E.5 on the 18th September 1917 where he stayed in following 135 days until 31st January 1918 (2).
As stated on the medical board statement, he had some old wounds in his face and damaged left leg. However, main diagnosis is written "peripheral neuritis" (2).
After a short time to rest, he was back in the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, which was in Brocklesby, at this time, to get him back in shape for a service in front line.
From 1st May 1918 he is listed to the 3rd Battalion of Royal Dublin Fusiliers what was in Grimsby area as part of Humber Garrison (6).
During the Demobilizations following year, James volunteered on the 10th March 1919 under Army Order 55 of 1919 to stay in service with the A Company of 3rd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
However, he was charged with disciplinary action, after he lost some of his kit in March 1919 and was forced to pay out of its cost.
The following year, the medical commission found him unfit for a future service and granted his army pension. His disablement is listed 40% and to be reviewed in 26 weeks. James McIntosh left the service 23rd February 1920 (2).
James moved back to Dun Laoghaire near Dublin, when the Irish War of Independent was ongoing, James joined the Dun Laoghaire IRA Active Service Unit. At this time it was purely guerrilla war against the British authorities and troops in Ireland (9).
Towards the end of the war, one assassination attempt failed in Dun Laoghaire on the 19th June 1921 eve, where James had a vital role;
Actually James was on the way home with his girl from the Pavilion, when he met one of his mates who told him that the officer, who they were after, stays in the Royal Marine Hotel. James wanted to go home to get his own gun but because there wasn’t time, friend gave him his (10/11/12/18).
There are two different stories about the following events. On the newspapers, they stated that the group of four arrived in a Ford car and entered to the hotel, where they held up the staff and enquired certain officer. This officer opened fire after what raiders ran away. During the gun fight, local Butcher James McIntosh got wounded near to the scene (16).
Other text what I was able to locate told that when James run into the hotel alone, he was spotted by the officer seated on the sofa in the lounge. The officer knew that he was going to shoot some of them and he turned against him. James tried to fire but his gun was jammed and officer shot him first after what he was still able to run out to the street (18).
Articles in the Irish Times (21st June 1921), Freemans Journal (21st June 1921) and Irish Independent (22nd June 1921) all states that James got three gun shot wounds, one of which is in the stomach 916).
Looks like James was able to keep his cover, when he was found on the street and when the articles were made, based on a statement of the Publicity Department, what obviously published only the crown point of view. Maybe his previous service with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers helped him.
Also in the newspapers mentioned four men attack can be true because like is published on the book “The Squad: and the Intelligence operations of Michael Collins” by T. Ryle Dwyer, it was common for War of Independence IRA ASU to work in groups of 3-4 men at this time (17).
What is sure, he managed ran out to the Marine Road where someone took his gun and helped him to the St. Michael’s Hospital where he was attended by Surgeon King and Doctor Walsh. Even all the care what he received, James McIntosh died two days later on the 22nd June 1921 (2/10/11/12/16).
During his funeral on the 26th June 1921 hundreds of people followed it. On the Patrick Street corner, the procession was stopped by Black and Tans and one of the officers tried to remove the tricolour from the coffin.
A young member of Cumann na MBan (Irish republican women’s paramilitary organization) Annie Barnes snatched the flag from the soldier and holt it behind her back. The soldiers took out their rifles and start shooting over the people’s heads, causing panic as people dived for cover.
After things calmed down, procession managed to continue and James McIntosh found his last resting place in the Republican Plot, Deans Grange Cemetery, Blackrock, County Dublin.
His Death Certificate lists his cause of death as “general peritonitis following gun shot wounds (justifiable homicide)". That means he was murdered but with due cause (kill or be killed).
Corporal James McIntosh’s British campaign medals, what he earned during his service with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, where sent ironically out to his parents after his death in November 1921 (14-15 Star) and February 1922 (Victory Medal and British War Medal) (2).
Nowadays there is (incorrectly spelled) MacIntosh Park, off Pottery Road dedicated to his memory in Dun Laoghaire.
(1) National Archives: Census of Ireland 1901/1911
(2) Short Service (Three years with the Colours) Attestation Form
(3) British Army 1914-1918 Service Medal Index Card
(4) The Long, Long Trail – The British Army of 1914-1918 – for family historians
(5) Family Tree, Genealogy and Census Records – Ancestry.co.uk
(6) Royal Dublin Fusiliers – a forgotten regiment
(7) Ireland Unknown Soldiers, The 16th (Irish) Division in the Great War
by Terence Denman
(8) 16th (Irish) Division – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(9) Where’s Where in Dublin
by Joseph E.A.Connell Jnr.
(10) IRA KIA War of Independence
(11) Chronology of Dublin 1900-2000
http://www.chaptersofdublin.com/books/c … 0-2000.htm
(12) James McIntosh – 1432 – Individual Information
http://www.caine.im/genealogy/individua … =caine.GED
(13) British Campaign Medals, 1914-2005 (Shire Library)
by Peter Duckers
(14) Battle of Messines – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(15) Royal Dublin Fusiliers
(16) Irish Times (21st June 1921), Freemans Journal (21st June 1921) and Irish Independent (22nd June 1921)
(17) The Squad: and the Intelligence operations of Michael Collins”
by T. Ryle Dwyer
(18) "The Department of Irish Folklore" in UCD
http://www.ucd.ie/folklore/en/August 18, 2011 at 10:12 am #14844
local articles:August 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm #14846
Very nice bit of research on this man. Thanks very much for sharing this.
JohnAugust 19, 2011 at 1:39 am #14847
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