April 02, 2008


Articles from the Kildare Observer commenting on the death of Lt. John Hubert Wogan Browne at Kildare in February 1922. Tonight Wednesday 2 April 2008 James Durney will deliver a talk for the Cill Dara Historical Society, on The Death of Wogan Browne in the Kildare Education Centre (old parochial house), Kildare Town at 8 p.m.
Tonight Wednesday 2 April 2008 James Durney will deliver a talk for the Cill Dara Historical Society, on The Death of Wogan Browne in the Kildare Education Centre (old parochial house), Kildare Town at 8 p.m.
Kildare Observer, 25/2/1922
The Late Lieut. J. H. Wogan Browne.
The following letters have been forwarded to us for publication:-
31. Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin,
                                15th. February, 1922.
Colonel F. Wogan Browne and family desire to express their deep appreciation of the resolution passed at the meeting of the people of Kildare on Saturday last, and to send them their warmest thanks for the kindly feelings they have shown them in these sorrowful circumstances.
36th. Brigade,
Royal Field Artillery.
To Rev. Thos. P. Kelly, O.C.C.
On behalf of the Officers, Warrant-Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men of the 36th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, I thank the people of Kildare for their very kind and thoughtful act in passing a resolution of sympathy with us in our great sorrow for the loss of our beloved comrade, the late Lieut. John Hubert Wogan Browne.
L. E. WARREN. Lieut.-Col., R.F.A.,
Commanding 36th Brigade, R.F.A.
Newbridge, 12th. Feb., 1922.
14th February, 1922.
KILDARE OBSERVER, 11/2/1922, P. 5
Terrible tragedy at Kildare.
An appalling tragedy, evidently arising out of an attack for the purpose of robbery, occurred at Kildare to-day (Friday). It would appear the Lieut. J. Wogan Browne proceeded to the Bank at Kildare and on leaving about 11-30 a.m. was met by three men who had arrived in a motor, and by whom he was attacked. They seized the money, but Lieut. Wogan Browne made a dash to recover it and was fired at by the men, who were armed. He was shot through the head and died almost immediately. The tragedy created a sensation in Kildare.
Lieut. Wogan Browne was a young soldier, and only surviving son of Colonel Wogan Browne, formerly of Keredern, Naas.
To the Editor, “Kildare Observer.”
14th February, 1922.
A Cara, - As one result, it is now clear of the terrible tragedy enacted in this town on last Friday a straining has arisen of the good relations which have hitherto existed, even through the recent troubles, between the local garrisons and the civil population. The first evidence of this was the hostile demonstration made by a number of the military in Kildare on Friday night. Another is to be found in the fact the people who have been trading with the local garrison and the Curragh Camp had had their passes “stopped,” which is a serious matter for most of them, whose chief support was derived from this trading. Any statement, therefore, which would help to relieve this tension, or remove all grounds for it, is not I think, out of place, and it is with this hope that I, as a magistrate of this town, feel called upon to ask for a little bit of your space.
At a very representative meeting of the townspeople, held on the day after the tragedy, to express their abhorrence of the crime, and their heartfelt sympathy with the family, fellow officer, and regiment of the deceased, who was so universally respected, a gentleman stated that he was informed by a military officer that persons who were present when or immediately after the fatal shot was fired, refused to give any help to the soldier who tried to carry deceased into the barracks; but, on the contrary, “laughed and jeered”, and, as it were, “connived at the terrible deed. He said, further, that this was “quite true – a fact a positive fact.” (I indicate the words actually used)
A charge of this kind, made with such emphasis, was as serious a one as could well be made against the manhood of any community. I say manhood, because we must suppose that those present, or alleged to be, were an average sample of the townspeople generally. And the demonstration afterwards made against civilians generally, and also the stopping of passes bear out the view that by the action – or inaction – of those present or alleged to be, the whole community were being judged. It was preposterous to ask people on any evidence short of a most rigid inquiry on oath, to believe that fellow-men could adopt such a callously inhuman attitude as this at such a moment. For my own part, I could do no less that I did, when I heard that charge and I stated my belief that it was a gross slander. The gentleman who had made the statement thereupon claimed the “protection” of the chair, I do not know why, I did not refer to slanderers and indeed had no idea who first made the charge. It was the people who were spoken of in such terms, in their absence, who, to my mind, most required protection.
I had only expressed an opinion, but it was left to the next speaker to testify directly CONTRA. He told us that his brother was on the scene just after the crime was perpetrated; that he saw a soldier hurry from the lower barrack gate to where deceased lay: that he asked for no help, that he succeeded in carrying deceased some distance towards the barrack gate and then fell and lay on the ground in a fainting condition, I regret to say that although this gentleman’s statement seems to be accepted as conclusive by all present, the original statement of which it was a refutation, was not withdrawn, nor indeed modified.
It seems clear, therefore, that the military demonstration on that night was due to the impression conveyed by some channel or other to the demonstrators that some of the townspeople had been guilty of a most un-christian display of inhumanity and that they should be made to feel that. If the charge had been true, and were applicable to the public generally, the latter would not have much to complain of, I think, if the demonstration had been much stronger. But it was to say the least of it disconcerting that any body of men could even suspect of such foulness a community who, I do not hesitate to say, felt as horror stricken and aggrieved over the death of a gentleman who (with his family) was so universally respected, as did his own military comrades. And the unceasing search for the perpetrators, day and night, by every man here who is permitted or authorised to do so, speaks for itself.
Articles from the Kildare Observer commenting on the death of Lt. John Hubert Wogan Browne at Kildare in February 1922
[compiled and edited by Mario Corrigan; typed and edited by Breid Kelly]

Posted by mariocorrigan at April 2, 2008 11:57 AM