DI2 T Sparrow, evidence to the Strickland Enquiry

Transcription of his evidence to the Strickland Enquiry

I am 2nd in Command and Adjutant of the Company at Victoria Barracks, Cork. On December 11th about 17.00 hours I received written orders from Colonel Latimer to send two car loads of Cadets to report to him at Union Quay at 19.30 hours. I detailed one car load from No.3 Platoon under Acting Platoon Commander De Havilland. The other car load was from No 1 Platoon under a Section Commander. I had need to see Col Latimer so I went down in the leading car. We left barracks at about 19.15 hours . On arrival at Dillons Cross a whistle was blown, which used to be the signal to halt should a car be in difficulty. We halted and as the other car came up , three bombs were thrown. As a result 12 men were wounded. As the senior officer present, I took charge. I picqueted the roads, collected the wounded and searched the houses. Meanwhile a soldier who was present volunteered to go back to barracks for help and to get an ambulance. Having cleaned up the situation and made certain arrests.

I sent De Havilland. on with one car load to Union Quay. And returned myself to Barracks to make the necessary reports and see to the wounded. Very roughly I would say that it was about 20.30 hours. Later it was reported that Col Latimer was in Barracks and that he was collecting all available men to take down to the town. I was kept very busy with my administrative duties inside the Barracks until 02.30 hours on Dec 12, when I went to bed. I slept on the floor in the Gymnasium with the Cadets. When I went to bed my impression was that most of the men were back. Roll Call when we were in Cork was held nightly at 22.00, but on the night in question, owing to the circumstances such a Roll Call was impossible and was not held. At about 10.00 on the 12th a Platoon Commander reported to me that the company were then present.

This particular Company was raised on paper on 22nd Nov. I myself arrived in Cork on Dec 8th with the final party. These men, to the best of my knowledge, certainly as regards the majority, had not been in Ireland more than a fortnight. On the 11th the Company strength was as follows. 67 Cadets including officers, and 16 Constables. Passes were issued to men in numbers dependent on work and duties anticipated. In the day in question, not more , if as many as, a dozen were issued. The Temporary Constables are not a good stamp of man and unless closely ? and unreliable. This evil was aggravated by the fact that from force of circumstances the Temp Constables were accommodated with the cadets. The means of punishment given to the CO of the Company for a Temp Constable is limited to the imposition of a fine of £1. On the night in question one Temp Constable, a Sergeant , and six Temp Constables were on duty all night.


Strickland Enquiry