Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby bannerman on Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:04 am

An idea closer to home so might be the Fenian Raids on Canada in the 1860's. The previous thread here on the 20th Century section mentioned it. Most of the Irish involved were ex- civil war veterans and a lolt of their firearms and equipment were US civil war issue. Look up the fenian raids on wikipedia

Any way lets move the discussion back to the ICA and improving 1916 - 1921 kit generally!
Padraig
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Irish-American on Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:09 am

I will. And let's! So what would I need to get for a basic kit? I left a note in the topic on my report btw. I think a general general topic to take about whatever might be a nice touch.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Dave Mooney on Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:30 pm

Hi Padraig,
You should press that into a final document and up-load it to the 'Up-loads' section as a permanent resource. This thread will eventually fall from memory or off the server. You could turn it into a web page also and put it on your own 'Kaki & Green' website....when you make one.

Dave.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby bannerman on Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:34 pm

Hi Dave,
You kmow me and computers - i dont know how to put it in the downloads section. Im afraid technologicaly Im much closer to living in 1919 than 2009

Thanks for all your help in getting the pictures up.

Padraig
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby the_power on Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:13 pm

http://tutorials.livinghistory.ie is a website intended for this. I'll set you up as an editor, so you can update photos/videos etc.

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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby Dave Mooney on Tue Feb 24, 2009 9:27 pm

Sorry, John, totally forgot. :oops: Too much going on. Of course!

Eh, Padraig, we have a tutorial website :!:
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby euryalus on Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:32 pm

This has been a very interesting and rewarding thread, with a wealth of valuable detail that I had not seen before. Just a small comment on the historical background, however – would I be correct in thinking that Constance Markievicz had initially suggested that members of the Irish Citizen Army would wear simple arm bands, and that the concept of a military style uniform was first introduced by Captain James White, formerly of the Gordon Highlanders, who had designed and paid for the original uniforms? This might explain the "Boer War" appearance of the new organisation, as Captain White's father had played a prominent part in that conflict.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby brendan on Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:38 pm

Padraig,
that is great work and a valuable resource. I hope that you have an offline copy?

Brendan
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby danielsamson on Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:21 pm

Excellent information for getting started, I understand where you are coming from with regards to accuracy. Another book that I read many years ago that I remember being very interesting and unique in many respects was a one called "Dublin's fighting story, Told by the men who made it". I lent it to a man from Wicklow and never saw it again, but it gave detailed accounts from people who were involved in the period.
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Re: Irish Citizen Army Uniforms and Equipment 1916

Postby bannerman on Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:24 pm

Hello all. Im obviously a bit busy this week, but in a week or twos time ill see about re-editing it and fixing it up as a permanent resource.

Euryalus wrote:
"would I be correct in thinking that Constance Markievicz had initially suggested that members of the Irish Citizen Army would wear simple arm bands, and that the concept of a military style uniform was first introduced by Captain James White, formerly of the Gordon Highlanders, who had designed and paid for the original uniforms? This might explain the "Boer War" appearance of the new organisation, as Captain White's father had played a prominent part in that conflict."

I would imagine that the armbands arose out of a need to visualy identify - uniform members of the fledgeling ICA during the Dublin lockout of 1913. Given that Dublin was gripped by an all out strike and the ICA were on the losing side there was no question of the money for, or manufacture of proper uniforms. Also the short history section shows how the ICA evolved from a protection force for strikers into a well armed and trained paramilitary force (For want of a better word!) The competition for recruits with the Irish Volunteers from late 1913 onwards proably spurred the need for a proper uniform.

Captain Jack Whites memoirs "Misfit - A Revolutionary Life" does not mention the uniforms creation. However Sean O Caseys book "The Story Of The Irish Citizen Army" states in chapter 3 "Captain White gave an order to Messers. Arnott for fifty uniforms of dark green serge, and the men eagerly awaited their arrival. For the time being the rank and file wore on their left arms broad bands of Irish linen of a light blue colour, and the officers a band of crimson on the right arm."

So White ordered the uniform but did he design it and was it based on his time in the boer war? Its possible. The Boer style cronge cap was very popular at the time and similar hats were also worn by the I.V. but they had the option of a peaked cap as well, and i've even seen a U.V.F. member in 1912 wearing a similar hat in one photograph. Perhaps they were just in style, cheaper or more readily available in Ireland than peaked caps or maybe your right about Whites influence.

Daniel,
Go down to Wicklow and get that book back its worth a small fortune. If theres no way you can get it back try the bookshop in Georges Arcade or Cathach books off Grafton St. you might be able to get one there but it will cost you!
The Bureau of Military History statements housed in the National Archives in Bishops street are a great eyewitness source of information about the period 1913-1923 and you can go in and read them for free. No photocopying though they will only let you photograph them in the National Archives.

If you are interested in the ICA specificaly get "James Connolly, Liberty Hall & The 1916 Rising" by Francis Devine and Manus O Riordan published by the Irish Labour History Society. Its available from Connolly Books on Essex St. Templebar in Dublin.

As regards to the rifles used by the ICA here is some more info from Fox's History of the ICA

The July 26, landing of arms at Howth. At Clontarf on the way back to Dublin The Volunteers were intercepted by the Police and the Army. While the Volunteer leaders were parleying with the authorities the rear ranks made their way across the fields with the rifles. This was in the vicinity of Croydon Park. Some of the Rifles were left in the surrounding fields and gathered up by Citizen army men. Later in the Day, Col. Moore of the Volunteers went to Clontarf with his Car to assist in bringing rifles back to Dublin. He was directed to Croydon park and rounded up 28 rifles. More rifles were hidden in Stables. It was decided subsequently that the ICA should keep the rifles they had. "Many Volunteers anxious to dump their rifles anywhere rather than risk having them seized by police." The ICA boyscouts helped gather up the Rifles.
Fox Pages 74-75

1871 Mausers are the most desireable weapon to do ICA re-enactment with but are apparently pricey and hard
to come by. The Italian Made Vetterli was also used. The Lee Enfield rifle was not a common weapon amongst the Insurgents before the rising.
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