Essex Soldiers executed in Cork - tit for tat killings

1921 Feb 23. Two soldiers were executed by the IRA on the Ballincen Road, Bandon. They were pick-up along with 2 naval wireless operators, who after questioning were released and the two Essex soldiers were shot. Barry's account makes it clear that they were shot solely because they were Essex soldiers

WS 1255... had murdered many of our men. All the killings had been carried out by the Essex Regiment under Major Percival. On the 23rd February, 1921, a Column was assembled at Newcestown near Bandon. We were divided into sections and armed with revolvers as well as rifles. The Column 0/C explained the job. We were to enter the town of Bandon and shoot every member of the Essex Regiment we met. I was with a party of six under John Lordan. The six were: Ml. Kearney (R.I.P.), Dinny Brien, Jacky Neill, Jim Doyle of Kilpatrick, Con McCarthy (R.I.P.) and myself. We entered the town by the Dunmanway road. The Column 0/C was to lead the main party of about thirty in from the Cork road end of the town and tackle a patrol which it was reported would be round the town. We advanced towards the barracks and on the way we met a naval wireless man, who was taken prisoner by us. One of our party was sent back up the road with the prisoner. We came to the back of the barracks and we overheard a woman speaking to two soldiers (Essex). We took them up the road, ordering the woman inside the fence for her safety. We explained to the soldiers our orders about the Essex Regiment and then we shot them. One of the soldiers tried to resist; he struck a Column man in the mouth

The other soldiers was given a letter to be delivered to the Commanding Officer of the Essex Regiment. The letter said 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. – IRA.

Barry's Guerilla Days talks about his consuming hatred for the Exssex and the need to "square the account" with them. That afternoon 44 members of the flying column moved to within 2 miles of Bandon. Their main objective was to attack the large patrol of Essex soldiers who operated in the town before curfew. The main confrontation never really happened but one of his scouting parties picked up the 2 Essex soldiers and the 2 naval men. One RIC man was killed and one wounded in the town

British Soldiers died in Ireland