Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson Assassinated in London 1922

#OnThisDay 1922 Sir Henry Wilson, ex-head of British Army & Unionist politician, was assassinated by the two IRA (and ex WW1 veterans) outside of his home in London. It is said that his death was ordered by Michael Collins (though never proven) & was in response to the Catholic pogroms and deaths in Ulster.

Wilson, from Ballinalee, Longford, had served in the British Army, though thrice failed to gain entry into Sandhurst and twice into Woolwich, serving in the militia first in various theatres like the Boer War and then the First World War. He advocated conscription and played a roel in the Curragh Mutiny of 1914, where he encouraged senior officers to resign rather than force Ulster Unionists to accept Home Rule.

He became the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (Head of the British Army) in 1918 and promoted to Field Marshal the following year. He left the Army and became a politician in Ulster. He advocated police reforms but was blamed by Nationalists for the violence visited upon Catholics and even Michael Collins called him a  “a violent Orange partisan“.

He was shot dead by two IRA men, Reginald Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan, outside of his home in Eaton Place, London having returned from giving a speech at Liverpool Station Great War Memorial. He was in full uniform and is reported to have charged his assassins with his sword out, though this is contested. His assassins were caught and hanged in August 1922.

henry-hughes-wilson-1918

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