Private James Arthur Knight
Private James Arthur Knight (aged 26) of the 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment (Bandon)
Date of incident: 23 Feb. 1921 (captured and killed as IRA reprisal)
Sources: CE, 25, 26 Feb. 1921; II, 25 Feb. 1921; CC, 18 March 1921; William McCarthy’s WS 1255, 7 (BMH); Timothy Warren’s WS 1275, 13 (BMH); Denis O’Brien’s WS 1353, 10-11 (BMH); Michael J. Crowley’s WS 1603, 15-16 (BMH); Daniel Canty’s WS 1619, 25 (BMH); Con Flynn’s WS 1621, 19-20 (BMH); Barry (1949, 1989), 103-4; Abbott (2000), 202-3; ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 87, 142; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/essex-feb-21/knight/knight.html; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/list-1921.html; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/essex-feb-21/essex.html (accessed 8 Aug. 2014).
Note: A group of RIC men leaving the cinema in Bandon were attacked by members of the Flying Column of the West Cork Brigade under Tom Barry who had entered the town shortly after 8 p.m. on 23 February 1921. Other members of the Flying Column went into the suburbs of Bandon and kidnapped two Essex Regiment soldiers and two ‘wireless Naval men’ whom they found walking there. They killed the two soldiers—Private Knight and Lance Corporal Stubbs—but released the two Navy men. See Abbott (2000), 202-3. Private Knight was interred in Dagenham Churchyard in East London.
The IRA men in Bandon gave a note on this occasion to a captured Royal Navy wireless operator whom they released, instructing him to deliver it to Major Percival: ‘The note informed the British O/C that the shootings [of the two Essex soldiers] were reprisals for the conduct of the men of his forces’ in capturing, torturing, and shooting ‘out of hand’ several IRA men. See Con Flynn’s WS 1621, 19-20 (BMH). The note or letter to the British commanding officer in Bandon reportedly stated: ‘Recently, several members of our Army have been brutally murdered by British forces, in particular by members of the Essex Regiment, and we take this opportunity of showing how to deal, and shall continue to deal, with such murderers. We hope this will be a warning in future.—I.R.A.’ See irishmedals.org (accessed 28 July 2014).