Corporal Leonard Douglas Hodnett

 

Corporal Leonard Douglas Hodnett (aged 20) of the Royal Army Sevrice Corps (St Luke’s, South Douglas Road, near Douglas village)

Date of incident: 28 Feb. 1921

Sources: CE, 1, 2, 3, 30 March 1921; CC, 18, 30 March 1921; Nenagh Guardian, 5 March 1921; II, 30 March 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/147B/6 (TNA); Peter Kearney’s WS 444, 12-13 (BMH); Denis Dwyer’s WS 713, 10 (BMH); Denis Collins’s WS 827, 18-20 (BMH); Seán Healy’s WS 1479, 60 (BMH); Michael Murphy’s WS 1547, 37-38 (BMH); Jerome Coughlan’s WS 1568, 11 (BMH); Michael J. Crowley’s WS 1603, 17 (BMH); Stephen Foley’s WS 1669, 9-10 (BMH); William Barry’s WS 1708, 10 (BMH); ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 87, 143; Borgonovo (2007), 88; irishmedals.org (accessed 28 July 2014); Commonwealth War Graves Commission; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/list-1921.html; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/cork-street-feb-21/Cork-streets.html; http://www.cairogang.com/soldiers-killed/cork-street-feb-21/hodnett/hodnett.html (accessed 8 Aug. 2014); http://www.tameside.gov.uk/museumsgalleries/mom/objectfocus/razor (17 Sept. 2015).

 

Note: The execution of the five Dripsey-ambush prisoners earlier in the day on 28 February 1921 led to vicious retaliation by the IRA: ‘That evening, IRA gunmen attacked off-duty British soldiers throughout the city. They killed six unarmed soldiers and wounded ten more, including a number walking with local girls in the city’s by-lanes.’ See Borgonovo (2007), 88.

 

At one of the subsequent courts of military inquiry Hodnett’s financée testified to the harrowing circumstances of his death in her company: ‘Corporal Hodnett was then a few yards away, and I heard him ask the [IRA] men if he could come and speak to me, and they let him do so. He told me to be brave and run home, as the men would not kill him. The assailants then took him, stood him in the gutter, and shot him. They all fired at him as he was lying on the ground and then ran away. I went up to see what I could do for him and found that he had been wounded in the head and body.’ Hodnett died within less than an hour. Earlier in the evening ‘he had been urged by friends whose house he had been visiting to put on civilian clothes, but [he] had refused and “made rather a joke of the whole matter”’. See II, 30 March 1921. Hodnett was buried in the Cork Military Cemetery. Volunteer Charles J. Daly (alias Michael McCarthy) was suspected of having killed Corporal Hodnett. See Military Inquests, WO 35/147B/6 (TNA).


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