Trim Looting

30 to 35 ADRIC men from N Coy took part in a series of raids on 9 Feb 1921. The fall out from this is the" Looting of Trim". At the time it was said 5 N Coy officers were arrested and 26 men dismissed.

The story of what happen between the raid in February and the courts martial in June is quite complex. The British appear to have an enquiry, as a result of which most of the dismissed men were removed from suspension and reintegrated into ADRIC, however on this date, 22 Apr, men who had not previously been suspended were now suspended.

In the end, courts martial of 18 of them in Jun 1921 resulted in 10 men being acquited of any crime , these were DI3 Clancy S , S/L Cox RB , T/C Tarrant HP, T/C Meredith AC , T/C EJ Lawrence , T/C Smith MC , T/C Drysdale SA , T/C Johnson NS , T/C Brayshay WL. , S/L CE Davies .

And 8 found guilty and sentenced to gaol , these were

Between men on suspension since 12 Feb and men added to suspension on 22 Apr 1921, the result was that

The detail of this is :-

1. 13 Feb - Crozier came to Trim . Contemporary reports say 5 P/Commanders and S/Leaders were arrested. Records show this to be true, and these were they

2. Crozier "Dismissed as unsuitable" 19 men who were immediately reinstated as part of the political repercussions, posted back to "O" Coy and all removed from suspension on 22 Apr 1921

3. More suspensions followed on 22 April. And also on 22 Apr the 19 men who had been "dismissed unsuitable" were removed from suspension. The implication is that a British Inquiry was finalised on 22 Apr 1921, with men deemed to be worthy of trial being put forward to Court Martials from 3 to 7 Jun 1921

4. In addition a number of men who seem to have been tied into the investigation. These include

1921 Feb 9. Trim looting affair took place. A large Auxiliary party took part in a raid on a grocer at Balbradagh, Trim, Co. Meath on the night of 9 February 1921. The police were searching for IRA ammunition, but Mr. and Mrs. Richard Chandler were Unionists. During the search, the Auxiliaries ransacked the store and began stealing from both the store and the living quarters above. They are also said to have mistreated Mrs. Chandler. The Chandlers claimed damages of £325, and several members of the raiding party came forward and reported the incident to Crozier.

This account by a RIC policeman seems to be the only description on record.

1921 Feb 13. Crozier visited Trim.

1. Feb 13, Crozier went to Trim with his Adjutant MacFie. He made an enquiry lasting 3 and a half hours

2. The evidence showed that amount the items looted were 200lb sugar, 20 to 30 chickens. Some jewellery had been taken, a picture, two rugs, brandy, whisky, grocery stores.

3. Everybody, except the five people who gave information, stoutly denied that any looting had taken place at all.

4. Crozier concluded that the Company Commander (Daniel) was not responsible as he was absent on duty with the Divisional Commissioner.

5. Crozier left Trim that afternoon and returned to Dublin, where he immediately discussed the matter with Tudor

6. Crozier now considered everyone who had been on the raid was implicated

7. Crozier proposed that the ringleaders and one temporary cadet against whom was specific evidence should be tried by Field General Court-Martial and that the remainder should be dispensed with as unsuitable for the Auxiliary Division.

8. 14 Feb 1921. All the men implicated arrived at Beggars Bush on the morning of 14th Feb. The five ringleaders were marched over to a prisoner's cage. The five ringleaders were not only the seniors except one temporary cadet seen with the burgundy, but also were themselves seen with stolen property.

9. The Remainder were placed under open arrest, interviewed again by Crozier in the orderly room at Beggars Bush. He removed them form the ADRIC. Having dispensed with their services Crozier phoned to the Castle at noon to say what he had done.

10. The ex-Cadets and oddly Tudor crossed back to England on the same mail boat that night. On board Tudor wrote to Crozier " I think it will be best for you to keep these 30 temporary cadets suspended until I come back. I want to discuss it with the Chief Secretary"

11 Tudor returned from London and had a meeting with all senior ADRIC officers. "There is not the slightest doubt that when General Tudor returned from London and saw me at the Castle with the 17 Company Commanders, the Adjutant, and General Wood, that the intention he stated was to reinstate these men without further inquiry or trial. The 26 cadets returned not under arrest. General Tudor said at the conference: 'I have promised these men they shall be taken back, and will go back to their own Company.' "

1921 Feb 15. The dismissed cadets went to the Irish Office in London where they saw General Tudor (the Chief of Police) to protest. The basis of their grievance was that they had been instantly dismissed without the opportunity to defend themselves, however the 5 men under arrest awaiting Court Martial could exercise that right and potentially be found not guilty. Tudor agreed that Crozier had acted precipitately and reinstated the men on the 17th Feb, subject to further investigation. Crozier and his adjutant (MacFie) resigned in protest on the 19th.

In the event, 8 Auxiliaries were found Guilty of theft, 3 of which had not been suspected by Crozier. The remainder were acquitted. The incident has gone down in history as the 'Looting of Trim'

1921 Feb 13. Crozier visited Trim. His report was read in Parliament by Willie Redmond.

1921 Mar 10. Questions raised in Parliament about the conditions under which suspended cadets were being held

1921 Mar 24. CStA Wake is sent by Crozier to gather evidence on the Trim Looting

1921 Mar 30. CStA Wake was dismissed, according to Crozier because of his work in investigation the Trim incident

Crozier believed that there was a lot going on behind the scenes. The statement below implies that WFR Macartney was involved in getting the dismissed Cadets to complain in London

1921 Apr 21.. Reported that 18 cadets would be tried

1921 May 11. A report in Independent states that Commander Kenworthy had been informed that 18 Cadets were awaiting trial, including 5 dismissed by Crozier, the others being neither arrested or dismissed by him. 19 of the Cadets dismissed by Crozier had been returned to duty. It appears that 37 men were investigated and 19 exonerated, leaving 18 for trial.

1921 Jun 3. 9 Cadets were tried and acquitted.

 

1921 Jun 4. The trial continued

1921 Jun 6. Hansard Reports. Mr. GRIFFITHS asked the Chief Secretary how many of the 18 members of the Auxiliary Division, Royal Irish Constabulary, stated on 20th April to be awaiting trial in connection with the looting at Trim, were included in the five placed under arrest and the 26 dismissed by General Crozier? Sir H. GREENWOOD The 18 cadets who have been brought to trial include the five cadets who were originally placed under close arrest and five of the 26 who were dismissed by General Crozier.

1921 Jun 7 Court martial records show the results of the trial

Those declared innocent were DI3 Clancy S , S/L Cox RB , T/C Tarrant HP, T/C Meredith AC , T/C EJ Lawrence , T/C Smith MC , T/C Drysdale SA , T/C Johnson NS , T/C Brayshay WL. , S/L CE Davies .

 

And the Guilty

1921 Jun 7. Platoon Commander A Richardson was guilty of conspiracy and robbing and sentenced to 12 months hard labour. And on 1921 Sep 26 the unexpired portion of sentence remitted by GOC Ireland. He appears to have been under arrest since 14 Feb 1921, so would have served 7 months of the 12 month sentence

1921 Jun 23. Further questions in Parliament .Major WOOD asked the Chief Secretary how many of the five cadets arrested by General Crozier to stand trial in connection with the looting near Trim have now been released and how many of the 26 whose services were dispensed with by him have now been reinstated; and whether sentence has yet been promulgated on any of those who were tried? Mr. HENRY The five cadets who were originally placed under close arrest have now been tried. One of them was acquitted and released and the other four are awaiting promulgation of sentence. Eighteen of the cadets whose services were dispensed with by General Crozier have been reinstated. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.

1921 Jul . In Mountjoy Prison who appear to be the men eventually court martialed - Platoon Commander C H J Caudell, Platoon Commander D L le Grove, Platoon Commander A Richardson , Section Leader R Mountford, T Spencer

The looters were all in N Coy

The evidence of the ADRIC Roll show the following

Men dismissed include these 36 names. Remembering that initial reports said that there were 31 men on the raid. Grove was the Intelligence Officer, Caudell and Mountford appear to have been Platoon Commanders. 16 seem to have got to trial in Jun 1921 (the first group below)

In addition a number of men who seem to have been tied into the investigation. These include

They all lost their commissions in Reserve of Officers or Territorials

Incidents