Schultze's intercepted letters

These 2 captured letters appeared in "Who Burnt Cork City" published by the Irish Labour Party and TUC in 1921. Although it is impossible to say if the transcription of the letters is correct, and not been" massaged" , I am convinced the Schultze was the author, the clues being that he served in Cameroon, he had a sister called Dorothy who was a concert musician, and he was called Charles. No other Charles in K Coy fits. However I do think that this letter has been "larded" to give a spin, the statement on compensation for a widow of a man shot on 5 Dec being awarded by 16 Dec is clearly wrong. What exists today is a transcript, not the original

--------------------------------------------------------

16 Dec 1920 ,

Aux Div RIC, Dunmanway, Cork

My Darling Mother,

I have just received your letter of the 10th enclosed with one from Dorothy of the 12th. We came here from Cork and are billeted in a workhouse - filthy dirty, half of us down with bronchitis. I am at present in bed, my camp bed,which I fortunately brought with me, recovering from a severe chill contacted on Saturday night last during the burning and looting of Cork, in all of which I took perforce a reluctant part

We did it all night, never mind how much the well intentioned Hamar Greenwood would excuse us. In all my life and in all tales of fiction that I have read, I have never experienced such orgies of murder, arson and looting as I have witnessed during the past 16 days with the RIC Auxiliaries. It baffles description and we are supposed to be officers and gentlemen. There are quite a number of decent fellows and likewise a number of ruffians.

On our arrival here from Cork, one of our heroes held up a car with a priest and a civilian in it, and shot them both through the head without cause of provocation. We were very kindly received by the people but the consequences of this cold-blooded murder is that no one will come within a mile of us and all shops are closed

The brute who did it had been sodden with drink for some time and has been sent to Cork under arrest for examination by reporting lunacy. If certified sane he will be court-martialled and shot. The poor old priest was 65 and everybody's friend

The burning and sacking of Cork followed immediately on the ambush of our men. I, as Orderly Sergeant had to collect 20 men for a raid and they left the barracks in two motor cars. I did not go as I was feeling sickly. The party had not gone 100 yards from the barracks when bombs were thrown at them from over a wall.(note, this is Dillon Cross Ambush) One dropped in a car and wounded 8 men, one of whom has since died. [note the wounded were in fact split between the two lorries, about 6 in each lorry, and indication tht this might be an IRA addition to Schultze's letter]

Very naturally the rest of the coy were enraged. The houses in the vicinity of the ambush were set alight and from there the various parties set out on their mission of destruction. Many who witnessed similar scenes in France and Flanders say that nothing they experienced was comparable to the punishment meted out in Cork

Reprisals are necessary and loyal Irishmen agree to that but there is a lot which should not be done, of course it is frequently unavoidable and the innocent suffer with the guilty. The sooner the Irish extremists recognise that they will not gain their point by the methods they deploy, the better it will be for this unfortunate and misguided country

You ask what our uniform is. The RIC Auxiliary uniform is khaki tunic and breeches and puttees, dark military greatcoat, dark green tam-o-shanter and harp badge. Harp badges on collar of tunic. Revolver, rifle, bayonet and bombs complete our equipment.

I am today (Friday) feeling a lot better but the accumulated chills have made this appearance on my face which is plastered from forehead to Adam's apple with "cold spots". I am not beautiful to behold with a weeks growth on my face and no immediate prospect of getting it off.

We had a lot of guard duty to do do about four nights each week, 24 hours on duty at a time, and no sleep at all for the sergeant of the guard who has got to post the sentries every 2 hours - that's me - I maintain we would not be overpaid at £5 per diem. It is the hardest life I have ever stuck but we get used to everything in time. A General Higginson arrived this morning to have a "straight talk" to us about discipline, etc, as he put it. I am afraid we struck terror into him for the "straight talk" never materialised. He was most amiable. I could tell you much more, but sufficient for the day, etc

The weather has been bitterly cold, but the frost gave this morning. I wish this play was set in the Cameroons or somewhere near the equator, then I wouldn't mind it so much. The country round here is quite poorly and very hilly. Our friends the gunmen are in their holes and we are here to round them up. They may or may not remain to face the ordeal.

It is as well that you know everything. I have named Monica as my next of kin. Ireland has to pay substantially for every RIC casualty. A mere flesh wound is paid and so on up to £5000 to a man's widow. The widow of a young fellow shot in a raid in which I took part in Dublin received the latter amount.

Please send me the papers about Dorothy's concert and give me all the gossip with it. With much love my darling mother.

Charlie

Note. Brigadier H.W. Higginson commanded the 3,000 troops of the 17 th Infantry Brigade in the city. Higginson had served with RDF, and interestingly his Times obituary does not mention his time in Cork

Schultze did serve in Cameroons, and never served in France.His sister was called Dorothy and was a concert violinist

However I have concern about his statements on compensation. Schulze only joined ADRIC on 29 Nov 1920, so the only death he could have witnessed was of HA Balls on 5 Dec 1920 and no compensation could possibly have been awarded by 16 Dec when this letter was written.

The reference to Monica as his next of kin is odd, I cannot see who Edith and Joyce were. Schulze did not marry

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My Dear Edith

Many thanks for your kind and interesting letter. I am glad to see that you are getting on well in your cinema studies. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that you are making a good thing of it yet

We are having a h.... of a time here. You will have read all about Cork . Suffice to say I was there and very actively employed to boot until the dawn on Sunday. I just escaped the ambush in which 8 of our boys were wounded, but arrived later as a reinforcement. We took a sweet revenge. [note at leat 12 were wounded]

I have had 3 days in bed in the filthy workhouse in which we are billeted here, suffering from an accumulation of chills. Half the company has bronchitis and small wonder but we hope for better things "Christmas day in the workhouse" We have purchased 12 turkeys to cheer us. I am practically all right again and shaved a weeks growth of hair off my face this morning.

The weather has been bitterly cold and careering round the country in open cars conduces to one's health nor comfort. You must forgive me for not writing to you again sooner & excuse delays in days to come for I don't quite know yet whether I am on my head or my heels. I will do my best but don't wait to hear from me when you have a little news to impart. Dorothy will be in Scotland for her 2nd concert which I hope will be as successful as the last.

With love and kisses for yourself and Joyce

Charlie

Please excuse writing. My hand is very shaky

 

 

CFL Schultze