Lt Seymour Lewington Vincent

circa 1910

This is an odd case in that he disappeared, but nothing seems to have appeared in the press, nor did he appear on the list of missing soldiers at the time the truce came into effect. I cannot find a MIC and his teacher registration has him teaching in 1919, 1920 and 1921, when he was clearly in the army.

The local army CO appears not to have liked Vincent. The army's view was that he had tendered his resignation and "he went on leave under peculiar circumstances and nothing more was heard of him. In view of his resignation no action was taken"

My feeling is that he was working as a gatherer of intelligence, probably for Basil Thompson. I do not know what if anything has been pulled from his file. The IRA clearly targeted Vincent. George Power (O'Malley Papers) who was V/C Cork no2 Brigade, says that when they captured "British Military Intelligence Officer Vincent" that he had a notebook with the names of "40 Cork Protestant collaborators". However Gerard Murphy (Year of Disappearances) points out to me that there is a note in the service record from AG4C to military intelligence asking if Vincent was an IO. They wanted to release some letters from his file to the Colonial Office and wanted to be sure they were not cutting across the MI people. Military Intelligence replied that they had nobody called Vincent on their books. This is on the fly sheet of one of his files and is easy to miss. The other side of this coin is that if he was working for Basil Thompon, then I doubt that anything would have come out. In the end we don't know, but the IRA certainly believed he was, and there was enough about him to ensure that he had the "air" of a spy.

1890 Dec 15. Born son of William Vincent and Mary (nee Pither) and lived in Loughton, Essex.

1891 census living at 6, Park Villas Madras House School, High Road, Loughton

1901 census living at High Road, Loughton Village, Essex

1911 census at Loughton School Loughton Essex. Secondary education for boys (in Loughton) was provided after 1902 by means of scholarships to Loughton school, a private school then run by William Vincent. Loughton School was opened in 1890 under the name of St. John's College, Loughton. Soon after its foundation the school was acquired by William Vincent, who remained owner and headmaster until his retirement in 1924.

1915 Feb 11. His service record exists. 13th (County of London) Princess Louise's Kensington Battalion, The London Regiment; Major Henry L. The undermentioned to be Second Lieutenants (temporary). Private Seymour Lewington Vincent.

1916 Mar 16. He was seconded to the 168th Machine Gun Company

1916 Apr 21. Attahed to 42 Brigade HQ

1916 May 9. Granted 7 days Leave to UK

1916 Jun 1, 2nd Lt. S. L. Vincent to be Lt., and to remain seconded.

1916 Jul 1. Wounded GSW to right foot

1916 Jul 5. He was evacuated from Le Havre suffering from shell shock and shrapnel wounds to the right foot and left arm.

1916 Sep 1. The undermentioned temp. 2nd Lts. to be temp. Lts.: S L Vincent

1917 May 13. He returned to France and went on to serve in Salonika with the 82nd Company, Machine Gun Corps.

1919 Mar 4. Protection cert issued on his demobilisation. But with note that he was given a permanent commission

1919 Mar 5. 3th Bn., London Regt.—Lt. S. L. Vincent is restored to the estbt.

1920 Dec. He transferred to the 2nd Brigade, RFA and was based at Fermoy

1921 Jan 7. Army Education Corps. The undermentioned to be Lts. (on prob.) Lt. Seymour Lewington Vincent, 13th Lond. R., T.F.. This was a permanent commission, on probation in Education Corps.

1921 Apr 26. Puts in application to be demobilised. It was incorrectly filled in and he was told to do it again correctly. I assume this was because he had a permanent cpommission now, and needed to relinquish it rather than be demobilised from a Territorial commisson.

1921 May 2. Vincent left Fermoy on "indefinite leave to England" which had been approved

1921 May 11. A new application this time to resign his commission, this time correctly filled in is forwarded to Dublin.

1921 May 19. An RIC report says that he left Fermoy Barracks and went to Ballyhooley Post Office, then went to Ballyhooley Station and purchased a train ticket to Cork. But the RIC report that he seemed to change his mind and walked towards Glanworth across the fields. Oddly it refers to an officer called "Vincent or Duivine"

1921 May 20. He reappears in Fermoy Barracks and sees the CO who is confused as to why Vincent had returned. Vincent tells him a tale about coming back to get his heavy baggage from Fermoy station.

1921 May 23 Left Fermoy again on leave. And disappeared and this was the last time he was seen. His luggage was deposited at Fermoy station

1921 May 28 An IRA raid on Fermoy station by 3 masked men appears to have been to get at his baggage and steal a revolver from it, plus bits of military equipment. Vincent's parents are contacted by the Army in Fermoy to see if he had returned home, and were told that he had not. The army's view was that "he went on leave under peculiar circumstances and nothing more was heard of him. In view of his resignation no action was taken"

The IRA man, Florence O'Donoghue in "No Other Law" says "A British officer from Fermoy garrison, Lt Vincent, was captured near Watergrasshill, while engaged in his duties. He was disguised as an ordinary tramp. In his possession we found a notebook containing a list of names of persons known to be loyal to the British Connection....Lt Vincent was removed to the Glenville area under guard and arrangements made for his trial. On the day following his capture, British forces began a roundup of the area in which he was held. The prisoner made a desperate attempt to escape. He was shot down and killed."

IRA Witness Statement. a warning was later issued toall Companies to be on the alert to any strangers in their localities. About a week after this instruction had been circulated a strangerwas noticed around the Watergrasshill Company area. He was arrested by members of the Company and it was subsequently discovered that he wa sa Lieut.Vincent, a British I.0. from Fermoy garrison. He was tried and sentenced to death and the sentence was duly carried out.

IRA Witness Statement About this time one of the agents referred to in the previous paragraph was arrested by members of the local company near Watergrasshill. His identity was established as Lieut.Vincent - a member of one of the British units stationed at Fermoy- who was engaged on intelligence work. He was held prisoner for about a week and at the end of this period he was shot by his guards when he made an attempt to escape during the course of around-up by his own forces in the district where he was being held a prisoner.This happened at Toor, near Glenville

IRA Witness Statement

IRA Witness Statement

1921 Jul 12. Army Education Corps. Lt. (on prob.) , S. L. Vincent, 13th Lond. R., T.F., resigns his commission. He had earlier put in to resign, but that it took a while for it to come into effect. By then he was dead. When his body was found the army later rescined this relinquishing of his commission.

1921 Aug 1. Registration with Teachers Registration Council. It is difficult to see if he had been moonlighting or blagging. He is recorded as being in the Army from 1914 to 1919

1924 Jun 6. An anonymous letter was sent to the British Government containing details of the burial of a British officer in Lenihan’s Bog, Glenville, Co. Cork, owned by Dan Hickey, “the notorious reble (sic) farmer”.

In Vincents file in National Archives

1924 Sep 9. Army Education Corps. The notification in the Gazette of 11 th July 1921 regarding Lt. S. L. Vincent is cancelled.

1924 Dec 10 . I3th Lond. R.—The announcement regarding Lt. S. L. Vincent, which appeared in the Gazette of 21st Nov. 1921, to be cancelled. 10th Dec. 1924 . This was a Territorial announcement that he had relinquished his commission in 13th London

1926 Oct 20 Ardnageely register of burials record that the remains of Seymour Lewington Vincent (Royal Field Artillery) described as “English soldier” are re-interred in Glenville Church Yard”, he having been “killed during the Anglo-Irish War, 1920-22) aged 32 years. The burial was conducted by W. La R Bourchier, rector, assisted by Revd R.J. Hodges. The grave marker of Lt Vincent's grave is at Glenville Churchyard. The grave is outlined by a stone kerb, there is no headstone and his name is inscribed on the kerb,

British Soldiers died in Ireland

He had 3 sisters. Two didn’t marry. The other, Joyce Mary, married Ronald Francis Jones. He was in the West Yorkshire Regt in WW1 no 62497. She appears to have gone to South Africa after the war and returned alone with & 2 children returning to Loughton in 1927. Joyce then goes to Melbourne Australia in 1953 as a teacher from address 16 Ollards Grove Loughton & returning to that same address in 1955 to live in UK permanently.

She travelled with a son Peter Ronald Vincent Jones who probably died in 1944 in the Cotswolds. She also had a daughter Rosemary who may be the Rosemary F V Jones marrying Allan D Macdougal in 1944 in Epping Essex dist. Where V might just stand for Vincent!