Sergeant Frederick Edwin J. Boxold

Sergeant Frederick Edwin J. Boxold (aged 34) of the 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Drishanebeg train ambush)

Date of incident: 11 Feb. 1921

Sources: CE, 14, 17 Feb. 1921; CC, 14, 17 Feb. 1921; II, 13, 14 Feb. 1921; FJ, 14, 17 Jan. 1921; CCE, 19 Feb. 1921; Kerryman, 19 Feb. 1921; Donegal News, 19 Feb. 1921; George Power’s WS 451, 16-17 (BMH); Cornelius Meaney’s WS 787, 14-16 (BMH); Seán Moylan’s WS 838, 189-91 (BMH); William Reardon’s WS 1185, 7-8 (BMH); James Hickey’s WS 1218, 9-11 (BMH); John O’Keefe’s WS 1291, 2-3 (BMH); Daniel Coakley’s WS 1406, 4-7 (BMH); Cornelius Healy’s WS 1416, 14-16 (BMH); O’Donoghue (1954, 1986), 131-32; Rebel Cork’s FS, 138; ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 142; Ó hÉalaithe (2014), 167; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/millstreet-train/millstreet-train.html;  http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/millstreet-train/boxall/boxall.htmlhttp://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/list-1921.html (accessed 8 Aug. 2014).


Note: Boxold was killed during a successful train ambush carried out on the night of 11 February 1921 by the column of the Millstreet Battalion under Commandant Jeremiah Crowley. The Volunteers identified a train carrying armed soldiers, provided for the protection of civilians on the train, and brought the train to a halt at an exact position (between Rathcoole and Millstreet) indicated by a lighted bicycle lamp placed on the track. The Volunteers called on the troops to surrender but were answered by a volley of rifle fire. A one-sided battle then raged for about fifteen minutes before the British soldiers surrendered, with numerous casualties and the loss of fourteen or fifteen rifles and seven hundred rounds of ammunition. ‘The British wounded’, reported the IRA writer Patrick Lynch, ‘were made as comfortable as possible and given first aid. Seven of the military had been hit, some severely. One was dying, and another, Sergeant Boxall, was already dead. When the I.R.A. sought the body of the officer on the line, he was not to be found. He had shammed injury in the first instance and had made good his escape into the night.’ See Rebel Cork’s FS, 138. Numerous newspaper reports of the incident indicate that a British army sergeant was killed at the scene. See FJ, 14 Feb. 1921; CCE, 19 Feb. 1921; Kerryman, 19 Feb. 1921; Donegal News, 19 Feb. 1921.

After a Solemn Requiem High Mass in the Catholic cathedral in Killarney, Sergeant Boxold was buried in the Killarney New Cemetery with full military honours: “The funeral procession was headed by a firing party. The coffin, draped with the Union Jack, was borne on a gun-carriage and accompanied by a guard of honour from the 1st Batt[alion], Royal Fusiliers, as well as police under Capt. Lancaster, D.I. [RIC]. Many civilians attended, and all business premises in the town were closed.’ See FJ, 17 Feb. 1921.  

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