Cameron Highlanders Reprisals - August 1920


On the night of 27-28 August 1920 the military, acting in reprisal for the murder of Constable Hall (the driver) killed during an ambush at Castlemartyr, county Cork in which several members of the Cameron Highlanders were injured, sacked the town of Cobh smashing the windows in more than 100 shops and houses.


Soldiers of the Cameron Highlanders, numbering 25 to 30 men, broke out of the barracks and proceeded with rifles to wreck the town. Some private houses were also attacked and many shops were looted. An ex-soldier, named Walker who was called upon to halt by the Camerons was shot and killed during the rampage. A native of Liverpool, Walker had served in the South African War and the Great War. A detachment of Royal Marines who were sent to prevent further damage to the town. On the following morning, some members of the Highlanders patrolled the town but further damage was reported. A jewellery shop and other premises were looted by soldiers the following morning before the Marines once again took control of the town. The damage inflicted was estimated to have been several thousand pounds as the people of Cobh barricaded themselves in fear of further reprisals.


Source: Irish Independent, August 30, 1920, page 5


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