Lance Corporal Thomas Maddox

Lance Corporal Thomas Maddox (aged about 32) of the Essex Regiment (Bandon)

Date of incident: 27 July 1920 

Sources: CE, 28, 29, 30 July 1920; II, 28 July 1920; CWN, 31 July, 7 Aug. 1920; CCE, 31 July 1920; Michael Riordan’s WS 1638, 11-12 (BMH); James Doyle’s WS 1640, 7 (BMH); Sheehan (2011), 25; irishmedals.org (accessed 28 July 2014); Commonwealth War Graves Commission;

http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/list-1921.html;  http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/maddox/maddox.htmlhttp://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/REGIMENTS/regiments/intelligence.html (accessed 1 Aug. 2014).


Note: Maddox was shot dead while conducting an intelligence operation at Bandon; his body was found at about 1 a.m. on 27 July 1920 in a field between the convent grounds and the residence of John Buckley, described in a Cork Examiner report as a ‘gentleman’. See CE, 28 July 1920. It appears that Maddox was killed while seeking Volunteer Seán Buckley, the intelligence officer of the Bandon battalion of the Cork No. 3 Brigade and chairman of the Bandon Town Council. On the nights immediately after the killing of RIC Detective Sergeant Mulherin at St Patrick’s Church in Bandon, officers of the Bandon Battalion had placed IRA guards on Seán Buckley’s house in anticipation of a possible military or police reprisal. Nothing happened on the nights of 25 and 26 July, but on the next night two soldiers (one of them Maddox) unexpectedly encountered the IRA guards, who fired at Maddox from a distance of only about 10 yards. The other soldier dashed back to his Bandon military post, which was within 100 yards. The IRA guards withdrew at once. See Michael Riordan’s WS 1638, 11-12 (BMH). Buckley was made to pay the price for the finding of the soldier’s body so near his residence. His house was burned down almost immediately (‘a few hours’ later). See CE, 28 July 1920. The military authorities had Maddox’s body removed to England for burial without any coroner’s inquest in Bandon. He was buried in Chiswick Old Cemetery in Middlesex near London.

As feared by many local citizens, the troops subsequently rioted in Bandon in reaction to the murder: ‘On Tuesday night [27 July], between 8 and 10 o’clock, soldiers jostled and assaulted several young men, many being ex-service men. Some of the cases were medically treated. The soldiers carried trench sticks, and with these and stones several windows were broken in the houses of the poorer classes. A few shop windows were broken, including a plate glass window [belonging to a publican and a shopkeeper]. . . .’ The Catholic curate of Bandon, Fr John McSwiney, ‘was chased by the soldiers while crossing the bridge’; he ran across Bridge Street and escaped into a private house. Attempts were also made to burn the sheds of Seán Buckley in Watergate Street and to destroy a circular saw in Watergate Street belonging to Seán Hales of Knocknacurra.

Then British forces based in Bandon achieved a coup by capturing two notable IRA leaders: ‘Last night [28 July] about midnight the military arrested on a road near the town Messrs. T. Hales, Knocknacurra, Bandon, and P. Hart[e], Clonakilty, who were on the “run” for a considerable time.’ Thus the murder of Lance Corporal Maddox provided the context for the torture of Volunteer officers Tom Hales and Paddy Harte. The killing of Maddox also prompted the serious ill-treatment of numerous young civilian ex-soldiers on the Catholic and nationalist side in Bandon by serving soldiers of the Essex Regiment. Sergeant Mulherin had also just been murdered in the Catholic church in Bandon; the news of his funeral appeared in print alongside the news of the capture of Tom Hales and Paddy Harte. See CE, 29 July 1920. On the very next day came the news—called ‘a general rumour’—that Tom Hales and Paddy Harte had been ‘badly beaten’ after their arrest. See CE, 30 July 1920.

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