The Leary’s Cross ambush, which actually took place at nearby Kirby’s Cross on 10th December 1920, was typical of engagements between British forces and the IRA – a small, lightly armed group of volunteers taking on professional soldiers in a location that suited the attackers.
Of short duration and unlikely to tip the balance of power in a conflict the British were anxious to downplay, the ambush was still a bloody affair, that claimed the life of teenager, Gunner Robert Charles Cambridge of The Royal Field Artillery.
A dilemma for those organising events which recall the events of 1919, 1920 and 1921 in Ireland is attempting to strike a balance between acknowledging what happened, while at the same time, not promoting violence or anti-British feeling.
In the absence of any named organising committee, it fell to Bartlemy native, John Arnold, to do the balancing act.
Coverage in this week’s Print & Digital Edition