The words of British servicemen who were there: many British soldiers, sailors and airmen who served in Ireland from 1918-21 left accounts of their service. The author has delved deep into British military archives to unearth never-before published accounts.
Ireland's War of Independence generated a wealth of published material but very little from a British perspective. Yet many British servicemen left accounts of their time in Ireland from 1918 to 1921. They describe military operations, the IRA, the Irish, the actions of their own forces, morale and relationships with local communities. There is Brigadier Vinden's strange tale of a drinking session with Michael Collins and humour in the sending of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders into a public house to eavesdrop in the belief that Sinn Feiners always spoke Irish to each other. The author has gone deep into British military archives to unearth these never-published accounts. Supplemented with unpublished photographs from the Imperial War Museum and the Irish National Library, these accounts form a landmark oral history told through the personal experiences of men from across the ranks.
William Sheehan was born in Kanturk, County Cork, and is a military historian, currently finishing a PhD on the British Army in Ireland during the War of Independence, at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. He is a member of the Royal Historical Society and author of Fighting for Dublin (Cork 2007).