K Company ADRIC

Never believe what people say . Brigadier-General FP Crozier said of K Coy: “I formed the company in November by taking a platoon from each of three other companies without warning the company commanders (so that they should not ‘pack’ their ‘duds’ into the company).” After explaining why the new company had only three platoons, instead of four, Crozier goes on to say: “The men were not ‘new men’ as they had all served together in other companies elsewhere.”

K company had a brief existence. Formed from 3 platoons from other ADRIC companies (according to Crozier, but not true) on 22 Nov 1920. It was wound up on March 1921 following the "Burning of Cork" and the murder of Canon Magner, with the men being transferred out to other companies.

1920 Aug 28 to 1920 Sep 7. One Platoon of K Coy was formed from men who joined ADRIC over this week in early Sep 1920. They appear to have been a platoon within E Coy as 26 men (including officers) were transferred from E Coy to K Coy on 26th and 27th Nov 1920

1920 Sep 11. The Kilkenny Post Office Raid .. Major Bruce's second appeal against his conviction for theft 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" Crozier was later to clam that this raid was not sanctioned by either him nor the A Coy commander, Col Kirkwood. 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 ben 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 (I don't think that is true as he not in A . So it would appear that Tottenham was involved in ADRIC Intelligence prior to the official founding of K Coy in Cork in Dec 1920, and prior to his "official" promotion to DI3 and K Coy Intelligence Officer on 10 Nov 1921

1920 Sep 18.An ambush was carried out in Abbeyfeale co. Limerick, by the IRA, resulting in the deaths of 2 RIC constables and the shooting of 2 local men. WS 1242 (Collins) has a write up that is not accurate with dates. O W R G Latimer arrived on 19th Sep. at Abbeyfeale. They were sent to Abbeyfeale from Newcastle West

1920 Oct 6. Thos Leahy, Batt Wrenn & John Ahern of Tournafulla intercepted the local postman Denis Hunt transferring Mail between Tournafulla & Newcastle West. They confiscated the mailbag being only being armed with hurleys. They then moved inside the ditch and proceeded to search & censor the mail. The postman, proceeding to Newcastle West met a patrol of Auxiliaries to whom he reported the loss. Latimer (who is described as a district inspector) was in charge of this patrol which resulted in the capture of Wrenn & Ahern who was wounded in an attempt to escape. Leahy escaped. Both were incarcerated in Limerick jail for 18 months following court martials. The auxiliary patrol had been responding to an earlier robbery of mail that had occurred the same day.

1920 Oct 10. 1920 Oct 10 As part of a Court Martial of RJW West, JP Mannox and TF Burke, it came out that they had shot at C Baldwin, while he was on sentry duty in Galway. The conclusion is that part at least of K Coy was at Galway on this date

1920 Nov 22. K Company was founded in Dublin ("formed on paper" is the expression used my Latimer in his evidence to Strickland Enquiry) with the addition of the second Platoon of new recruits (30 T/Cadets) joining ADRIC from 22 Nov to 29 Nov 1920.    In the evidence presented to the second military court of inquiry into the burning of Cork - the 'Strickland Report' (WO35/88A) In his testimony, the commander of K Company, District Inspector Latimer, stated that '"K" Company was formed on paper in Dublin on Nov. 22nd. And that the first platoon assembled at Cork on Dec. 2nd. And that the company was completed as it stands at present at Cork on Dec. 8th.

Brigadier-General FP Crozier said of K Coy: “I formed the company in November by taking a platoon from each of three other companies without warning the company commanders (so that they should not ‘pack’ their ‘duds’ into the company).” After explaining why the new company had only three platoons, instead of four, Crozier goes on to say: “The men were not ‘new men’ as they had all served together in other companies elsewhere.”

This is clearly rubbish . K Coy was made up of the following with their date of joining the ADRIC. Quite clearly there is one platoon of 26 T/Cadets who were together as a unit from early Sept with Coy, and went on to join K Coy as it formed in Cork in early Dec. Clearly from these men's records, they were posted into K Coy on joining ADRIC. And the second platoon of 30 T/Cadets, quite clearly is make up on completely new recruits who had joined ADRIC between 22 Nov to 29 Nov 1920, so were not fully trained when they joined K Coy. A third platoon was not formed until Jan 1921 and that was from new recruits

1920 Dec 2. The first section arrived in Cork, and the assembly of the Company was completed on 8th December 1920, making the Company fully operational.   They were based at Moore's Hotel and Victoria Barracks in Cork. Latimer and 5 Cadets were at the Imperial Hotel. . Latimer later said (in evidence to Strickland) that he was satisfied with his powers to discipline the T/Cadets, but that he did not consider he had sufficient powers over the T/Constables

1920 Dec 11. At 7:30 p.m. that evening, two truckloads of Auxiliaries from the newly-formed K Company were ambushed at Dillons Cross: a grenade was thrown onto their truck, wounding ten Auxiliaries and killing one, T/Cadet Chapman.

Later that night, police and Auxiliaries took revenge by setting fire to the city's commercial centre, preventing the fire service from attending the blaze, and shooting seven people. The Burning of Cork is attributed to K Coy by many writers. The British Strickland Report was never published

Latimer in evidence to an RIC enquiry into burning of Cork, said he had 55 men with him that night helping put out the fires. This is out of a total that I calculate to be of 57 T/Cadets plus 13 DI and S/L grades in K Coy available on that date less men wounded in the Dillons Cross bombing (it could have been 9 men in hospital at least overnight) , and a guard on their barracks.

Latimer also said that K Company's headquarters consisted of himself, his second in command, an intelligence officer, eight cadet motor drivers, and five cadets "engaged on Administrative duties." "In addition," Latimer wrote, "there are 17 Temporary Constables who act as Batmen, Cooks etc. but have no status as Policemen." My assumption the 5 Cadets on Admin Duties are the 2 Platoon Commanders, a CQM, assistant CQM and a Transport Officer.

General Tudor told a Cabinet Meeting in London on 15 Feb 1921 that there were about 50 men of K Company in Cork that night, and that he believed that "there were seven or more men unfit to be in the service, and about 20 others ought to be got away from bad influences.The seven had not been dismissed, but they had been 'run in' for other charges at Dunmanway. Four of them were accused of robbing a Bank. The K Company, to which all these men belonged, was being re-organised by getting rid of these men. .. it had not been possible to identify any one particular person as guilty of the Cork burnings. He had himself interrogated the Company..... the burnings took place at 9.30 and the Colonel [Latimer] had taken charge of his men at 10 o'clock. Latimer denied that his men were implicated in the burning. They were, on the contrary, doing their utmost to put out the fires. He was with his men all night....The accommodation was of a very temporary character in Cork. Servants were living with the Cadets. Latimer could not get quarters for himself for an Office so the Deputy Constable allowed him to work at the Police Barracks and he lived in an hotel close by. He was there when the lorries came to him to report for orders. The bombing started at 300 yards off and he went and paraded his men. "

1920 Dec 14. 'K' company, were moved to Dunmanway, in the west of the county, just days after the burning of Cork. Still under Colonel Latimer, they established their barracks at the Dunmanway Workhouse in the town. The speed of this move seems to indicate that the British believed that K had a great deal of the responsibility for the Burning of Cork (the actual government statement said it was planed to move them before the Burning)

1920 Dec 15. An Auxiliary from K Coy Section Leader V A Hart killed a boy and a priest, Canon Magner, in an apparently motiveless attack at Dunmanway, County Cork. He was discharged from ADRIC and declared insane by the British authorities. A witness to the murder who gave evidence, a Resident Magistrate called P S Brady, was kidnapped in July and held prisoner for 3 weeks - although K Coy was no more, some remained in O Coy in Dunmanway I never got to the bottom of this kidnapping

1920 Dec 16 General HW Higginson came to Dunmanway to give the Coy a "straight talk" (see Schulze's letter)

1920 Dec 20 T/Cadet Samuel Baster obtained a cheque for £150 during an unauthorised raid on a civilian house. He resigns.

1920 Dec 25. Local paper, Skibereen Eagle reports that ADRIC have now taken over the workhouse at Dunmanway. They say around 100 ADRIC are now stationed there. (In fact K Coy did not reach 100)

1920 Dec 29. A case of court martial for assault. There was not a man called Edwards in K Coy, nor was there a man called Edwards wounded at Dillons Cross. The court martial record shows he was a T/Constable RP Edwards and he was guilty of assaulting a William Gorey with a revolver in Dunmanway. Sentenced to 84 days imprisonment

1920 Dec 31. Dunmanway Bank Robbery . I don't think that these 4 men actually belonged to K Coy. Their service information indicates that they were attached to Depot Coy, but may have been stationed with K Coy at Dunmanway at that time, for whatever reason, perhaps to give a boost to K Coy numbers after the woundings and death at Dillon Cross..

1921 Jan 2. Witness Statement of Timothy O’Connell, Ahakeera, Dunmanway, arrested on 2 January 1921 and released on 11 May . It does not tie easily with the movement of Latimer out and de Haviland in, to K Coy- I was arrested on the morning of 2 January 1921 about a mile from the scene of the Kilmichael ambush. I happened to be in bed in a friend’s house when someone down-stairs shouted ‘Tans!’ I hopped out of bed and had a look through an upstairs window. I could see two lorries stopped on the road about a few hundred yards away. The occupants of both lorries were out on the road studying the countryside through binoculars. I slipped on my trousers and coat , the latter being the coat Pat Deasy had worn when he was mortally wounded in the ambush at Kilmichael about five weeks earlier. The bullet hole was plain to be seen, and God help me if the Auxies could only guess the truth. I ran from the house a short distance, and tried to put the house between me and the enemy. I then made across the fields for a short cut to some cover and away from the road, when suddenly fire was opened on me from all directions. I then discovered that the whole place was surrounded and any hope of escape gone. I still kept going, dodging in and out through bushes and any cover I could find, but to no avail. I knew I hadn’t a hope of escape, so I lay down by a low stone fence to escape their fire which was still kept up. They were shouting at me to come out. I knew that if I showed myself then I’d get riddled with bullets. They moved up to where I lay, and hauled me to my feet. The first question they asked me was, ‘ Where were you hit ?’ I said that I wasn’t hit. At that they seemed disappointed to have missed me at such short rang e, crack shots and all as they y were supposed to be..... A few days after I was beaten up, I was taken before the big shots, Latimer, De Haviland, and Sparrow, and questioned. All my answers to their questions were to the effect that I didn’t know anyone they mentioned, or what they were talking about - even though I knew plenty which they would have given anything to know. Before I was taken away I was told I had until six o’clock next morning to make up my mind to give them the information I had. On the way back to my cell, I was brought into another small room, the walls of which were smeared with blood as well as marks which looked like bullet holes. I was told how a few Shinners who refused to give information were shot against those walls, and that my turn wasn’t far away ..

1921 Jan 5 . 2 Auxiliaries reported wounded at Dunmanway .

1921 Jan 6 Involved in arrest of Darcy

1921 Jan 3 to Jan 10 40 new T/Cadets join ADRIC and are posted to K Coy. About 30 form a new Platoon and 10 are used to fill gaps left on the strength by VA Hart suspension, S Blaster suspension, Chapman's death and Dillon Cross woundings

1921 Jan 18. T/Cadet J Barker was wounded

1921 Feb 2, MIC for LC Bishop shows K Coy at Dunmanway

1921 Feb 14 . J E Leach VC posted to K Coy. 2nd in Command

1921 Feb. They moved to Devonshire Arms, Bandon

Devonshire Arms, Bandon

1921 Feb 17. P de Haviland posted K Coy as Coy Commander. This ties in with the announcement in parliament that Latimer had been suspended over "Burning of Cork".

1921 Feb 17. A report in Hansard says that the commander of K Coy has been suspended. " [T/Cadet V A Hart] has been tried by court-martial and convicted of murder, but was found to have been insane at the time of committing the crime. He was sentenced to be detained during His Majesty's pleasure and is at present under detention awaiting transfer to a criminal lunatic asylum. The conduct of the other cadets who were present on the occasion of the murders has been the subject of a careful and searching official investigation. The officer commanding (Lt Col Latimer) the company of which these men were members has been suspended." (HC Deb 17 February 1921 vol 138 cc244-6)

Gen .Crozier stated that ... " I received a telegram in code from Downing Street 'ordering' me to suspend a Company Commander on account of the burning of Cork ( which had happened two months previously ) which enabled Mr Lloyd George to get up in the House during the Cork Debate to say a Company Commander had been suspended and several individuals had been punished for their share in the destruction.      Nothing much happened to the Company Commander after the fuss had blown over" .... he further stated  "as I only tumbled to the frame-up after reading the debate in the newspaper, I could do nothing" ........ ( Ireland for Ever, p131 )

1921 Feb 16 to 22. CO of K Coy (Latimer) put up a notice in Dunmanway which included. "The following individuals will be held responsible from and including 16th Feb 1921 up to and including 22 Feb 1921 ,,,, should any outrage occur in Dunmanway, or within 2 miles of the Market Square, the whole of the above mentioned will be put under arrest. The removal of this notice will entail punishment for the entire District Council.

1921 Feb. They moved to Devonshire Arms Hotel, Bandon, Co. Cork.

1921 Feb 28. P de Haviland Posted to O Coy in Dunmanway, and relinquishes command of K Coy

1921 Mar 2. Lt. Col. Latimer reverted to a D.I. 2nd Class and was transferred to "Q" Company

1921 Mar. Deemed to be responsible for the Burning of Cork, K Company was broken up. It would appear that K Company was dismantled by transferring members out to other Companies during the month of March 1921.     O Coy took over in Dunmanway

1921 Mar 11. There was a question in Parliament about K Coy. Greenwoods written reply on 19 Mar said that 7 men from K Coy had been tried for acts of indiscipline and of these 4 were convicted for offences and the 3 others were not convicted but were found guilty of other offences and dismissed as "unsuitable" As noted above these 4 men were not actually in K Coy on the ADRIC records, but do appear to be attached to it. They were fined £30, £30 , £30 and £15

In addition I can only find the following to have been tried -

An analysis of the 2 Platoons of K Coy based in Cork in early December 1920 shows 5 DIs, 8 S/Leaders (plus asst. CQM ) and 55 T/Cadets. Of these

 

1921 Mar 19 and Mar 26 The indications are that K Coy was wound up on these dates. Most men were posted to other Coys on these dates.

The 3rd Platoon of men who joined after 1 Jan 1921 was posted to O Coy as a unit

1921 Mar 26. J E Leach VC, the 2nd in Command of K Coy was posted to P Coy. 2nd in Command

1921 Mar 26 A Question in Parliament

1921 Mar 26. . Lt. Col. Latimer the Commander of the Company, was transferred to "Q" Company as 2nd in Command

1921 Jun 2. An odd question was asked in Parliament.

Mr. HAYWARD asked the Chief Secretary whether a company of auxiliary police at Cork mutinied during March on account of the suspension of a colonel who had been in charge there; whether they threatened to reveal who had burnt Cork and what officers were implicated; and whether, on account of these threats, the colonel in question was reinstated?

Sir H. GREENWOOD There is no foundation whatever for these allegations

Auxiliary Companies