Bourne man in 1916 Irish campaign

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This newspaper carried a first-hand report of the way the British dealt with the Irish rebellion of 1916.

Bourne soldier Lance-Corpl F Greathead, of the Market Place, was serving with the Sherwood Foresters at that time.

He wrote home with a vivid description of his time in Dublin, saying that although the trouble was “over, or practically so” the troops had “had it hot at times”.

Given orders to clear the country of Sinn Fein rebels, they began the task of clearing the streets of the city, his company acting as the advance guard.

They set off cautiously, with loaded rifles, examining all the small roads on the way, right across town with “the way crowded with snipers and rebels”.

The troop numbers must have intimidated the rebels because all was quiet until, “at one place over a bridge they fired at us, and we all had to duck and run over the bridge”.

The rebels were then given until noon the following day to surrender, and the troops waited with their general until noon came with no surrender.

Lance-Corpl Greathead wrote: “We marched down to Dublin Castle, where we found Lancers, Hussars, Irish Rifles, Dublin Fusiliers and artillery. There were thousands of them.

“Terrific firing was going on all round, also sniping from nearly all the housetops.”

An armoured car was used to drive into streets “infested with rebels”, with parties of troops clearing houses one by one under sniper fire, artillery used to shell houses containing large numbers of rebels.

Each street was barricaded off as it was cleared, until eventually all the rebels in Dublin were rounded up.