J Coy outside Eccles Hotel. The photo shows Seafield Grant as Coy Commander, so must have been taken between 1 Jan 1921 (when Seafield Grant appears to be effectively in command and 13 Feb 1921 when they were in Macroom
1920 Nov 19 first intake for J Coy was of 26 men increasing to a strength of 73 by 29th Nov 1920. On 24 Dec 1920 the commandeered the Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff. And 22 Feb 1921 moved to Macroom. The Company was created almost entirely from internal transfers rather than assigning new men (24 men from F Coy on 19 Nov, 24 men from A Coy on 23 Nov and 23 men on 23rd Nov from B Coy. In other words three existing Platoons were transferred wholesale. The men of J Coy
1920 Nov 19. The first men to J Coy were a platoon transferred from F Coy on this date of 24 men
1920 Nov 23. One further platoon was transferred from A Coy and one from B Coy to complete J Coy
1920 Dec 24 Auxiliaries commandeer from the owner, Mrs Bryce, Eccles Hotel, Glengarriff. There had been ill feeling between the Army and the Bryces, so it is not surprising that they commandeered it. It appears that the Essex Regt moved in when the Auxiliaries moved out. The date is given in an Irish Times report the following week.
1921 Feb 11. J C Fillery was posted back to Depot Coy then 2 weeks later on to M Coy at the reduced rank of Platoon Commander. Seafield Grant joins J" Company as Commanding Officer. .A photo exists of him at Eccles Hotel, so the implication is that J Coy moved to Macroom between 11 Feb and 13 Feb 1921.(when he was ambushed patrolling out of Macroom). The Briar of Life says that Seafield Grant went out on his doomed patrol within hours of arriving in Macroom. The Daily Mail reported on the ambush and said that they had been in Cork 3 days when he died.
1921 Feb 11. 2 tenders with men from J Coy were stopped by a destroyed bridge at Clondrohid . A civilian was shot
Macroom Town Hall
1921 Feb 13. The local IRA mounted an attack on the auxiliaries using the Billiard Room on the ground floor of the Macroom Town Hall. IRA men John Crowley, Jimmy Murphy, Dennis Kelleher were the men attacking. They threw 2 bombs through the window and opened fire. They wounded 3 Auxiliaries from J Coy, indicating the J Coy had arrived at Macroom on this date. From the compensation claims the wounded were T/C H Kemp £600, T/C Jennings £200, T/C Matson £150
An IRA account is given by Charlie Browne in Story of the 7th. An attack was mounted on a party of Auxiliaries at the Town Hall in Macroom, which is directly opposite the Castle Gate . The force had taken over the billiard room on the ground floor of the Town Hall for recreational purposes, and it was decided to bomb them out. John Crowley, O/C A Coy IRA was in charge of the operation, assisted by Jimmy Murphy of A Coy and Denis Kelleher of B Coy. Two bombs were hurled through the window and fire opened. Two of the enemy were wounded.
1921 Feb 22. "J" Company replaced "C" Company in Macroom. J Company was billeted at Dennys Hotel Macroom and the Castle.
1921 Feb 25. The J Company commander, Seafield Grant's patrol is ambushed, Seafield Grant and T/Cadet Soady are killed at Coolavohig Ambush
The new Company commander was WP Gill until CEA Williams took over on 28 May 1921.
The Briar of Life says that the Adjutant of J Company was Mitchel (This is T Mitchel). He looked like a wolf, but had the nature of a sheep. He was middle aged and squat. He wore black leggings, and walked with his toes turned out and his knees partly bent. He drank brandy to make himself drunk, and black coffee to make himself sober for duty. He was flatulant. and passed wind so explosively that the men he commanded called him "Old Hotchkiss".
1921 Feb 26 Twohig "Green Tears for Hecuba" says that an Auxiliary called Jackson from Belfast fired his revolver through the ceiling , narrowly missing the acting CO in the room above. He was drummed out the next day. I cannot substantiate this
1921 Mar. The local IRA mounted an attack on the auxiliaries using the Billiard Room on the ground floor of the Macroom Town Hall. IRA men John Crowley, Jimmy Murphy, Dennis Kelleherwere the men attacking. They threw 2 bombs through the window and opened fire. They wounded 2 Auxiliaries. From the compensation claims the wounded were T/C H Kemp £600, T/C Jennings £200, T/C Matson £150
1921 Apr 1. Auxiliaries reprisals in Macroom Browne - 66 Official reprisals were carried out by the enemy in the area. The house and shop at Casement Street, Macroom, owned by Dan Corkery, was bombed and completely destroyed. As also was the home of Cors. Kelleher at Cushduv, Kilmichael
1921 Apr 21. Shooting of Patrick Goggin
1921 Apr 27. CEA Williams posted to J Coy. 2nd in Command. The Briar of Life describes him as a tall reserved man with a dash of the daring that had brought death to his predecessor. Armed only only with a revolver he would walk alone through the country. He took care to vary his route, and never came back by the same route that he had taken on the way out...he had a narrow escape one day with out being aware of it. Men were lying in wait for him. He took the road that they were on, but turned back before he had come within range of their rifles.
1921 Apr 29. S Jailler and WA Grundy were wounded. "ambushed by rebels" Macroom Shooting
1921 May 15 From the 1933 Ballingeary notes The Column mobilised again on May 15th and moved to Macroom. Under cover of darkness the men climbed over the walls and occupied the grounds of the castle. The Macroom men were then supposed to burn the house of a loyalist who entertained the officers. If the Tans went to his aid they were to be ambushed by them on the Coolehane road. Some of the Column were then to attack and hold the castle gate while the rest were to rush and bomb their way into the castle. However the Macroom men failed to burn the house and after waiting almost two hours, within two hundred feet of the castle the Column withdrew. It caused a lot of anger as the men involved had taken a great risk.
1921 May 21 SS Lawrence "dismissed the force"
1921 May 26 A J Company convoy was ambushed at Clohina . T/C TV Stray was wounded
1921 May 26 Macroom Workhouse was burnt down WS 1719. Intelligence reported towards the end of May, 1921, that the British proposed. to occupy Macroom Workhouse. Arrangements were immediately made to evacuate the occupants and destroy the building by fire. The operation was carried out about midday on May 18th, 1921, by about sixty men drawn from the companies in Macroom town. Before setting fire to the building, several patients and old people had to be removed to safety. The operation was carried out by selected men under Mick Murphy (O/C Macroom "A") and - Crowley (O/C Macroom "B").
1921 May 28. CEA Williams promoted Coy Commander J Coy
1921 May. WS 1426 (Denis Keohane,Vice O/C Bantry Battn Cork 3 Brigade) states that "While a meeting of Bantry Battalion Council was being held in the vicinity of Bantry about the second week in May, 1921, word was received that the Auxiliary force stationed at Glengariff was to evacuate the Eccles Hotel, which they had taken over, next day." I am not sure that this is correct, the whole of J Coy appear to have moved to Macroom in Feb, and some of Essex moved into Eccles Hotel at that time. It is more likely that the WS refere to J Coy leaving in Feb 1920
1921 Jun 10. Daniel Buckley shot in Macroom..
1921 Jun. Sports day with J Coy anyone? In the end it was called off.
1921 Jun 16. Rathcoole Ambush W E Crossey was CO of K company. He wrote in his report Wireless messages were sent out from the billet for assistance and with the utmost despatch "J" Company responded to our signals, arriving at the scene of the ambush at 00.30 hours on the 17th inst., from MACROOM. This unit with the C O . (D.I.I. Williams) in charge did everything possible to assist and help us. After an inspection I found to my regret and sorrow that Cadets Boyd W. A. H. and Shorter F.E. had been killed.
1921 Jun 24 Operation Nad
1922 Jan 20 . J Coy left Macroom
1922 Jan 23. Appears to be the date J Coy was demobilised from men's records. They were paid off in Holyhead