RIC Sergeant Henry J. Bloxham

 

RIC Sergeant Henry J. Bloxham (aged 41) from County Mayo (near Waterfall, 5 miles from Cork city)

Date of incident: 21 Jan. 1921

Sources: Death Certificate, 21 Jan. 1921; FJ, 22 Jan. 1921; II, 22 Jan. 1921; CC, 24 Jan. 1921; Kerryman, 29 Jan. 1921; CE, 8 April 1921; Military Inquest, WO 35/146A/44 (TNA); Weekly Summary of Outrages against the Police (CO 904/148-50, TNA); WS 810 of Tim Herlihy et al., 12-13, 33 (BMH); Michael O’Regan’s WS 1524, 6; Abbott (2000), 187; ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 142; Kautt (2010), 166.

 

Note: The Cork and Bandon Railway passed through Waterfall, and from mid-1920 onwards the station there was the site of several raids on trains and the mails they carried, and in one dramatic case (in mid-November 1920) it was the site of the abduction and killing of three British officers suspected of acting as spies. After one of these train raids early in 1921, RIC Sergeant Bloxham and Head Constable Larkin ‘cycled to Waterfall [from Ballincollig] but were caught in an ambush quickly prepared, and Bloxham was shot dead, his arms and bike being taken, while Larkin got away uninjured’. The ambush was carried out by four members of the Third (Ovens) Battalion of the Cork No. 1 Brigade—Leo Murphy, J. Murray, Dan Donovan, and Jerry O’Shea. See WS 810 of Tim Herlihy et al., 12-13 (BMH).

 

Bloxham’s RIC comrades were incensed: ‘After the shooting of Bloxham the R.I.C. got out of hand and after his funeral swooped on the village of Ballincollig with red paint and marked about half a dozen houses for burning. Strange to relate, although there were seven Volunteers living in the village, not one of their houses was marked. The houses down for destruction belonged to pro-Britishers. However, the houses were not burned.’ See WS 810 of Tim Herlihy et al., 12-13 (BMH). Sergeant Bloxham had twenty-two years of service with the RIC; previously, he had been a clerk.


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