Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, GCB, DSO
(Knight Grand Cross of Bath and Distinguished Service Order)
(photo courtesy US Library of Congress)
Brazen attack in broad daylight by Sinn Fein kills Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson.
Had just returned to his residence from unveiling a war memorial.
Yes, it’s true, although this happened on 22 June 1922. Terrorists from the Irish Republican Army (IRA) have carried out attacks in Great Britain on a regular basis for decades. Terrorism isn’t new, unfortunately.
I think the only rational action to take against terrorists who kill, is to kill them. The two men who murdered Sir Henry were apprehended and hanged.
Wilson certainly was a target and its surprising he didn’t think more about it. Not only was he a Field Marshal but also a former Chief of the Imperial General Staff, the highest command in the British Army. A hero, sort of, to the public but in the army he wasn’t a sympathetic figure. He was a back-stabber, a flatterer, a bearer of tales and often an out and out liar. He constantly intrigued against his military colleagues especially in World War One.
Historian Robin Neillands writes in detail of Sir Henry’s constant machinations in both The Death of Glory: The Western Front, 1915 and Attrition: The Great War on the Western Front – 1916.
You can buy these as eBooks for a few dollars. Neillands is a good writer but assumes a high level of knowledge about World War One on the part of his readers.
From the Spectator of London 30 June 1922, a weekly paper of conservative opinion and news continuously published since 1828.
When we went to press last week we had not the details of Sir Henry Wilson’s assassination, and we may now put them on record. Sir Henry was about to enter his house in Eaton Place after having unveiled a War Memorial at Liverpool Street Station when he was attacked by two Sinn Feiners—James Sullivan, who at first gave the name , of O’Brien, aged 24, and Reginald Dunn, also aged 24, who at first gave the name of James Connolly. Dunn apparently served in the Irish Guards in the War and lately came under the influence of the Irish terrorists. Sir Henry Wilson received no less than eight wounds, and his death was almost instantaneous. After the first shot, which missed him, he drew his sword, but was unable to use it before he was shot again.
At the trial of his killers, eyewitnesses said the Field Marshal had not drawn his sword.