Memories of Volunteers from England who joined the Easter Rising


In the middle of the Great War, members of the Irish community in British cities resolved to travel to Dublin to prepare for a rebellion to achieve Independence for Ireland.

The part played by the Manchester Volunteers has never before been made public; at last this exciting story of the Easter Rising and its build up can be brought to life in the words of those who took part.

Here are the experiences of a group of ordinary Volunteers who spent Easter Week under fire behind barricades or in the GPO. It concentrates on the human stories of two of them, a piper and a political radical, and also of their friend from Dublin who fought with the women’s volunteers, the Cumann na mBan.

This book captures the rebellious spirit of those times when Volunteers from England fought for Irish independence and to create a fairer world.

This project has come to fruition because many, many people have cooperated in sharing their memories and knowledge. For too long this part of our history had been suppressed, but now that it can be told, I hope that publishing this book will encourage others to come forward with their memories. I would love to hear from anyone who would like to contribute to this developing project. Perhaps between us we can ensure that no one remains a hidden hero of Easter Week. Please contact the author at the email or address below.

220  pages-Paperback-44 Illustrations including some  unique period photographs.

ISBN: 978-0-9934399-0-2


Available  from all good book shops

To order  direct from the author –  secure payment via paypal

  • UK please click here:

Buy Now Button

  •  Europe (including Ireland), postage included. please click here:

Buy Now Button

  •  USA or Canada, including postage, please click here:

Buy Now Button
For larger quantities and reduced postage costs, please contact me directly.

You are welcome to pay me directly  by paypal at:


Or you can write and post me a cheque-

Robin Stocks, 399 Wakefield Road, Denby Dale, West Yorkshire, HD8 8QD  United Kingdom

The ebook and physical book are now available  from Amazon.co.uk

Key Search Terms: Easter Rising, Dublin, 1916, Manchester, Hidden Heroes of Easter Week.

11 thoughts on “

  1. Hello Mr Stocks. Your book looks interesting. I would be interested in reading it.
    I have done research on this topic. It appears in the prologue of my book The IRA in Britain, 1919-1923 (Liverpool University Press, 2014). Ann Matthews has a book on it too: The Kimmage Garrison 1916 (Four Courts Press, 2010).


    • Hello Robbin, I saw your article in Stockport Magazine. I have a subscription with Steve Cliffe who sends it to out here in County Wexford. I am quite astonished to learn that whilst we lived on Upper Brook Street, Stockport we never knew that there was any kind of an Irish Hero that lived at the lower end of the road. There was a Hero that lived there but it was because of a gallant action that he carried out from a ditched Lancaster bomber. He was a navigator who dived out from a relatively safe place in a dingy to pull another member of the crew out from under a wing and managed it just in time as the plane sank. But your story certainly takes the bicuit as far as I am concerned as you produce not one hero but a pair of heroes as well as a heroine. Good on you. Good luck.
      My dad was from Mitchestown, Co Cork. He brought my mother from Manchester and we moved from there to Upper Brook Street in 1939. He was already in the Fire Brigade by then; Sationed aT Mersey Square. John


  2. Intrigued to come across your website. I am carrying out a project to find the graves of veterans of the American Civil War in the mainland UK (total so far around 1,300, but I am sure there are many more), so am most interested to see that George Costello (about whom I have some service information and his pension cards) is buried in Stockport Cemetery. Could I please trouble you you let me know the number of the grave, and also whether a photograph of it may be available?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Michael,
      I’m sorry for the delay; I’ve been in Dublin at the Irish book launch of “Hidden Heroes” and talking at the Mancheter history festival so I’ve been a bit busy. It is great that you are following up the American Civil War veterans who were buried in England. George Costello is in plot 250, section CA of Stockport Borough Cemetery, Buxton Rd, Heaviley, Stockport SK2 6LS. I have a photo which I will email separately. I have a reasonable amount of information about his life and his military experiences as I sent for his US pension file. He joined the New York 42nd (Tammany) infantry in autumn 1863 and fought in the battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania until he was injured. He spent a long time in various hospitals and was serving as a veteran in Washington at the end of the war. Family lore tells that he was on guard when Lincoln was shot. There is evidence that he was in Washington but that is all we can be sure of.
      When he died the family kept a handwritten copy of the death notification. :”July 30 at 68 Dialstone lane, George E Costello aged 75 years. Dec was an American veteran soldier, who fought and was wounded in the American Civil war. He fought in the battles for the abolition of slavery.Prior to the internment at the borough Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, the body was taken on Tuesday night to the church of Our Lady and Apostles, Shaw heath, where there was a mass and service, cond. by Rev. Father McGeever. Floral tributes from wife,” In loving memory of my beloved husband. RIP” Mr and Mrs Earle,daughter and son in law and children. (American papers please copy) Funeral conducted by Mr Alfred Greenup, fun dir, I dialstone lane Stockport”
      I am interested in Irish connections with the American Civil War. George’s grandson fought in the Easter Rising and was known for singing “The Minstrel Boy”, a song which was popular with Irish soldiers in America. It was an Irish rebel song which travelled to America where it gained an additional verse during the Civil War. It is possible that Liam learnt it or heard it from his elderly grandfather in Stockport before returning to Dublin to join the rebellion. Several Civil War veterans had links with the Fenians, and soldiers in George’s regiment made a collection for Irish relief which they sent through a priest who was known for having Fenian sympathies.
      I hope your project goes well. I’d like to hear how it goes, particularly if you discover Irish connections.


  3. Hello – do you know from in where in Ireland the parents of GPO 1916 participant and later ITGWU organiser and Dublin City Councillor, Diarmuid (Jeremiah) O’Leary (Colchester) were from ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello,
      I have looked up Dairmuid O’Leary in the sources I have but haven’t discovered anything about his parents except that they were Irish. There is a useful article about him in “The GPO Garrison-Easter week 1916- A biographical dictionary” by Jimmy Wren.It is a wonderful source which you may have seen. I will attach it if I can.
      I would look him up in the UK census of 1891,1901 and 1911 as well as the Irish censuses of 1901 and 1911 and hope to find clues about his parents. I’d also look through church records at irishgenealogy.ie. Last time I looked, their coverage was much better in Dublin than elsewhere, but there may be more now. I see that O’Leary is fleetingly mentioned in Sean O’Mahony’s “Frongoch- University of Revolution” and played a significant part in those times,so I would imagine you might find him mentioned in Bureau of military history, Witness Statements and Pension applications. Forgive me if you’ve already looked in all these…
      It is great that you are looking into a 1916 volunteer from Colchester as we had all previously assumed that those who went from England and Scotland had all come from the big cities of London, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow.
      Good luck with your researches.

      This is the entry on Jeremiah/Diarmuid O’Leary from Jimmy Wren’s wonderful bible of the GPO. I’d recommend it to anyone.
      Jeremiah (Diarmuid) O’Leary: (1889 – 1960)
      London Company, (Kimmage Garrison)
      Diarmuid O’Leary was born of Irish parents in Colchester in 1889. At an early age, a schoolyard accident resulted in permanent damage to his hip, which left him lame for the rest of his life. In 1908 he joined the Clapham Branch of the Gaelic League in London and, with his brother David, he joined the IRB in 1910. He was involved in organising relief aid for those affected by the Lockout in Dublin in 1913. Both brothers later joined the London Company of Volunteers in 1914. Before the rising, he was involved in organising the passage of arms through London for Volunteers in Ireland. He arrived in Dublin on Good Friday, 1916, accompanied by his brother and other Volunteers, On Easter Monday he went to an address in Seville Place with Seán McGrath and Liam O’Kelly and gathered ammunition there and brought it back to the GPO. Later that afternoon he was asked by PH. Pearse to organise a group from the GPO to prevent looting in the vicinity of North Earl Street and Abbey Street. It was well after midnight before this task was completed, and they found it was impossible to gain entry to the GPO, so he sought refuge in digs in Gardiner Street. On his return to the GPO the following day, Michael Collins suggested that, because he was a stranger in the city, he should go to Amiens Street Station, pretend to be a tourist and mingle with the crowds in an effort to gather some intelligence information. He checked the morgue on Wednesday to see if any of his London Volunteers had been killed, and later that day was arrested by detectives from G Division.After being held in Richmond Barracks for nearly
      two weeks, he was deported to Wakefield Prison on June 2nd and later interned in Frongoch.
      On his release from Frongoch he joined E Company, 2 Battalion. However, because of his lameness, he was confined to indoor duties including involvement in the National Aid and Volunteer Dependents’ Fund. He was later an assistant to Michael Collins in the Bachelor Walk offices. He was then sent as a Sinn Féin election organiser to Waterford in 1918.
      He married Philomena, the eldest daughter of Count Plunkett, in August, 1918 and their new home on Morehampton Road was used throughout this time by Active Service Units, Cumann na mßan and The Irish Bulletin was printed there for a while.
      He was involved in the reorganisation of the ITGWU and was employed at the head office from 1919 until 1927, when he secured as position as Industrial Inspector in the Dept of Industry and Commerce. He worked there for many years and was also a councillor for Dublin Corporation.
      Diarmuid O’Leary, of 54 Morehampton Road, died on January 3d 1960 and was
      buried at Deansgrange Cemetery.
      IMA, BMH (WS 1108); Ann Matthews, The Kimmage Garrison 1916, (2010); Geraldine Plunkett Dillon, All in the Blood, (2014); Evening Herald, 4,h January 1960, (obit).


    • Hello John, Thanks for being in contact. It is great to hear from you about Paor and Lynch during the East Clare by election. I have a copy of Liam Parr’s (Liam or William Parr/Paor/De Paor or Power) pension application describes him piping deValera into Clare, and his wife wrote to deValera to remind him of the event. Gilbert Lynch wrote about going to Ennis in his memoirs. (I think there is also supporting evidence in various witness statements.) I am happy to share copies of all the information I have, if it is useful to you.
      I have the copy of the famous photo of Markievicz with marchers and pipers, but have no evidence whether Liam is one of the pipers.
      However,I have so far not been able to find any further information which might identify Liam or Gilbert, so would be really pleased to discover if you have found anything more.
      I am due to write to Liam’s daughter who would be overjoyed to hear anything new; he died when she was very young and most of his documents were destroyed for fear of getting the family in trouble in England.
      I am really looking forward to hearing from you.
      Robin Stocks, 399 Wakefield Road, Denby Dale, West Yorkshire, England. HD8 8QD
      01484863304 (landline) 07403774234 (mobile)
      Best wishes, Robin


  4. Hi Robin,
    Just curious. Did you find any information about my grandfather, the tenant of the Shamrock Inn in Manchester who was heavily involved in the preparations for the Easter uprising? Michael Joseph Cronin. He later received a signed portrait from Eamon De Valera for the help he provided.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.