RIC Constable William Albert Smith (aged 27) from Lancashire (near Castlemartyr)
Date of incident: 30 April 1921
Sources: CE, 2, 3, 9, 10 May 1921; FJ, 2 May 1921; Military Inquests, WO 35/159A/28 (TNA); Weekly Summary of Outrages against the Police (CO 904/148-50, TNA); Abbott (2000), 227; ‘The Irish Rebellion in the 6th Division Area’, Irish Sword, 27 (Spring 2010), 146; Leeson (2011), 207.
Note: Constables Smith and Webb went unarmed to join two of their comrades who had gone fishing after dinner in the demesne adjoining their barracks at Castlemartyr on 30 April 1921. Suddenly, while they were fishing, a dozen armed men surrounded them and opened fire. Smith appears to have died on the spot; Webb was fatally wounded. The incident occurred a few hundred yards from the Castlemartyr RIC barracks. Smith had served with the RIC for only six months; previously, he had been a turner.
In a set of reprisals for these killings, British soldiers destroyed the houses of Castlemartyr residents Patrick Hegarty and William Connell as well as the houses of Clonmult residents Ellen Cronin and Michael Fitzgerald—all on 6 May. See CE, 9 May 1921.