The Bureau of Military History provides access to over 1,700 witness statements that refer to the revolutionary period in Ireland between 1913 and 1921. These were recorded in a first person manner and provide a fascinating insight into, not only the events of the time, but also the feelings and opinions of those who were directly involved in this period of change and revolution.
Within the collection are 334 sets of documents, 42 sets of original photographs and 13 vocal recordings that were collected by the Irish State between 1947 and 1957, to ensure that primary source material for the critical revolutionary period of 1913 to 1921 was assembled, co-coordinated and preserved. This Collection is among the most important primary sources of information on this period available anywhere in the world.
A Bureau of Military History Witness Statement by an Arthur P. Agnew taken on October 7th 1948 sets out his part in events on Easter Monday. He refers to his recruitment into the IRB in Liverpool in 1910 and later how he was trained to shoot a revolver. He stated that 'miniature rifle clubs were popular in England at the time and we were ordered to join these clubs and make full use of them'. Arthur also stated that his grandfather had fought with the Fenians. He states that on Easter Monday he and the other men 'marched to Harold's Cross where we boarded a tram. Plunkett insisted on paying the conductor for our tickets. We got off at O'Connell Bridge and and formed up and marched to Liberty Hall'. The Rebellion Handbook also lists an Arthur Agnew as one of a total of 289 prisoners removed from Richmond Barracks, Dublin on April 30th 1916 and detained in Stafford Barracks. Agnew's Dublin address is given as 11 Emerald Street and his home address given as 33 Clare Street, Liverpool.
By using any of the available Witness Statements from the Bureau of Military History you can find out more about your 1916 ancestor.
The records of the Bureau of Military History are available to search alongside some 1916 Press Cuttings donated by Mrs Geraldine Dillon, daughter of Count Plunkett: Bureau of Military History