A Coy ADRIC Kilkenny

Woodstock House, Inistioge, Kilkenny

1920 Jul 27. A Coy formed. They move to Woodstock House, Inistioge, Kilkenny, and were based there until they left in Jan 1922 to return to England. JHM Kirkwood was the first Company Commander - he joined the ADRIC on 3 Aug 1920.

1920 Aug 26 A Coy ADRIC take over Woodstock House, a mile outside Inistioge. Some sources say that the Auxiliaries were originally at Lissonfield House, which in fact was just a large house that adjoined Portobello Barracks and was used to house Auxiliaries. There were eventually 3 Platoons and 9 Section (ie 3 Sections per Platoon)

There is a full analysis of recruits, Section Leaders and Officers of A Coy

1920 Sep 9 DI2 Biggs is involved in an incident at with T/C AV Piggott and T/C Pratt. Biggs was IO. A Coy were at Woodstock House at this date

1920 Sep 11. Raid on mail bags in Kilkenny Post office. At 2.30 a.m., in the middle of the night, the mail van taking mail from the railway station to Kilkenny Post Office was held up by armed and masked men at the post office yard. The driver was "beaten, tied and gagged" and the postman and clerk waiting to received the mail were also bound and gagged. The mail car was later recovered, some of the bags were returned and some just dumped in a river.

The raid appears to have been carried out by a group of ADRIC men from Woodstock House. A party of ADRIC disguised themselves as IRA Volunteers, bound and gagged the sorters, and took the mail bags back to A Coy base at Innistiogue for examination. An unknown amount of money appears to have been stolen and some mail returned and some dumped in a river. Leeson in "Black & Tans" notes that Tottenham was ADRIC Chief Intelligence Officer at that time - he appears to me to be more IO of A Coy on that date. Bruce carried out the Creamery raid on 10 Oct 1920, so the mail raid must have been before this. Crozier later claimed that he had not authorised the raid nor had Kirkwood, then CO of A Coy. Bruce in one of his trial appeals said "I believe that Mr Tottenham had worked on the fears of the authorities by saying that I had told him that "it seemed a damned dirty game" when I found him writing "Censored by IRA" on the envelopes [picked up in Kilkenny mail train robbery by Auxiliaries] and his pointing out that I left the force a few days later and was the only person outside the force who knew the story of the raid. Now it is rumoured that a large sum of money, between £700 and £1100 was missing when the mailbags were returned and I knew in whose hands they were in from the time the seals were broken until they were returned".


1920 Sep 29 GV Jones is Company commander until 2 Nov 1920

1920 An IRA man Hennessy was picked up by the Auxiliaries from A Coy and interrogated. Hennessy's Witness Statement says that Bruce was the man who beat him up. Bruce apparently was accompanied by a Major Alexander on the day that the beating took place, and Alexander sent Bruce away, warned Hennessy and released him. He could have been the man who reported Bruce to Crozier.

1920 Oct 10. Major Ewen Cameron Bruce and his nephew Temp. Cadet A E T Bruce, hired a car and drove to Thomastown then on to the Kells creamery where they, in the company of a Lt Cooper and Sgt Blake of the Devonshire Regt, proceeded to rob the creamery at gunpoint at Kells and got away with £75 pounds. They were later tried and convicted

1920 Oct 14 Raid involving WL King

1920 Nov 2. GV Jones resigns from ADRIC and ceases to be Company Commander of A Coy

1920 Nov 18. Two members of the ADRIC stationed at Woodstock, County Kilkenny, who are on duty in Cork, were attacked by a crowd of ten or twelve men at Parnell Place. Captain Jones was knocked down and deprived of his revolver. Major W A Moon fired five shots, and the attackers fled. Two of the assailants are believed to be wounded. The two officers escaped without injury.

1920 Nov 14 CWV Webb posted to A Coy as Company 2nd in Command

1920 Nov 15. GLO Shiner was accidentally shot by C J Simons

1920 Nov 23. A whole Platoon of 24 men transferred from A to J Coy, reducing strength of A Coy from 103 to 79

1920 Dec 1. CWV Webb promoted Company Commander

1920 Dec 9. Ernie O'Malley was captured by British Auxiliaries in Inistioge, Co Kilkenny. He had been planning an assault on Woodstock House, but his capture was accidental. The British never found out how important he was, and he escaped eventually in Feb 1921 from a Dublin jail. O'Malley was only held one night in Woodstock House by the Auxiliaries before being sent on to Kilkenny jail the next day. During his brief stay at Woodstock, O'Malley was court-martialed and severely beaten. He was later told that in was only because Brigadier General Wood had intervened that he was not shot on the spot. O'Malley's article in "On another man's wound" does make it clear, but Wood appears to have been the head of the court-martial court. I would have to assume that he had been summoned from Dublin after O'Malley's capture - the British did not know who O'Malley was, but knew he was important.

1920 Dec 17. Hostages and curfew come in.

A Coy Oficers. M McLeod is top left, so it is taken between 1 Jan 1921 (when he was promoted to Platoon Commander and 24 Apr 1921 (when he had a bad car accident)

Centre officer has MC and bar, 2nd man from right has MC and right hand man has MM

I suspect that the photo is taken when Webb assumed command of A Coy in Jan 1921. So probably the 3 platoon commanders - McLeod, Caparn and AN Other at that time, in the back row

And in the front row Coy Commander, 2nd in Command Intelligence Officer, Trandport and CQM

1921 Feb 7. CWV Webb was transferred to Regular RIC. But remained on strength of ADRIC. He must have relinquished command of A Coy at this date.

1921 Feb 27 JG Cooney was court-martialed for deliberately shooting at a hostage in an operation. He was found not guilty at a FGCM

1921 Feb & Mar. Local paper reports a series if raids and arrests

1921 Apr 3. Question asked in Parliament about a raid on this date at Dungarvan. The question was put on 16 June 1921. Mr. MacVEAGH asked the Prime Minister whether he has received the copies sent to him of the affidavits by Mrs. Bridget Fahy, of Abbeyside, Dungarvan, and Miss Bridget O'Neill, of Kilnafrehan, County Waterford, as to looting and overtures and acts of indecency by Black and Tans at Mrs. Fahy's premises on 3rd April; whether he is aware that these ladies attended at the police barracks and identified one of the men concerned; whether he has ascertained why this man has not been prosecuted; whether he is aware that, as a reprisal for the identification, the police returned in the middle of the night on 14th April and wrecked and burned the shop and house, destroyed furniture, stock, and effects, stole money, and left the lady homeless and penniless, the only occupants of the house being these two ladies and a child of six years; whether any action was taken by him on receipt of the affidavits; and, if so, with what result? Sir H. GREENWOOD I have received these affidavits, and the allegations are now being investigated by the Commander-in-Chief in Ireland.

1921 Apr 21 The Ford car in which Driver Biggs, Section Leader F White and Platoon Commander M. McLeod were travelling fell into a trench and injuries were caused

Photo from FF Kitching

1921 Apr 30. Bloodhounds used to investigate mail raid

1921 Jun 10. James Leonard French, an Auxiliary kidnapped and whose body has not been recovered. "Two Auxiliary cadets from Woodstock, Kilkenny, were fired on at 11am on 10th June 1921 by about a dozen armed civilians near Rower. One of the Cadets escaped and reached his barracks safely, and said that he thought that his companion had been captured by the rebels" IRA reports say that they were ambushed by C Coy 5th battalion from the Rower district under command of James Mackey. The Auxiliaries were in civilian clothes at the time and were caught measuring a road when they were captured. They were doing intelligence work under the guise of county council workers, they made a break for it both were hit French was killed and the other having been wounded escaped and made his way back. That night the Tans raided the Rower Village questioned some people and when leaving burned some houses including the licensed premises of Mr Tom Butler.

A later compensation claim from French's parents gave a few more facts. JL French and H Ware went out on a mission. French was captured and Ware escaped. News was given to RW Kirke, Intelligence Offer, in Aug 1921 by the IRA Liaison Officer, that French had been killed by the IRA.

1921 Jun 18. Coolbawn Ambush Capt R W Bovill of Devonshire Regt believed to have been in command. 36 IRA Volunteers in Kilkenny tried to ambush a British Army convoy, at Coolbawn, between Castlecomer and Athy with a mine on the road. However the British were tipped off by a local woman, Florrie Draper. The British troops crept up on the ambushers and opened fire, killing two and injuring one. Ms Draper's house is burned as a reprisal by the IRA.

When the newspaper reports "a mixed crown force" they are right. The Army, ADRIC (who were on a mobile patrol) and the RIC were all involved in the ambush. Capt Bovill with the Devons took the right flank with the RIC which included a Lewis Gun Detachment which killed Mullins and wounded Doyle. Members the ADRIC took the left flank with another Lewis Gun and they shot Hartley all those who killed or wounded were on the left flank of the ambush,

1921 Jul 20 Major Regnart Shot himself in Woodstock House. He had only arrived in the ADRIC there on 14 Jun 1921

1921 Sep 22. Major A Hulse takes over command of A Coy. And continues as Company Commander until the ADRIC leave Ireland

1922 Jan 17. A Coy leave Woodstock House. The quit notice was signed by the Company Commander A Hulse . Local paper says the majority left by special train from Thomastown to Dublin, the remainder going by tender

A Coy arrive at Kingsbridge Station in Dublin, on their way to the boat and Holyhead

1922 Jan 18 . Demobilised in Holyhead

1922 Jul 2. After the ADRIC left, the house was later occupied by troops of the Free State Army, who were withdrawn from the premises during the Irish Civil War, on 1 July 1922. The house, left unguarded, was burnt down the next day.

1923 Jun 12. A House of Lords debate on compensation to the Tighe family - does not add any information on the ADRIC occupation.

Woodstock House remains a derelict empty shell, overgrown with vegetation. The grounds are being restored by Kilkenny County Council and are open to the public.

Woodstock House in 2010



Auxiliary Companies