[with:] Mallet, salvaged from Liberty Hall, treen, 305mm length
The collection was assembled by Donald Keith Cooper, a Second Lt. in the 8th Northants Regiment. He was attached to the 6th Battalion of the 2nd South Staffordshire Regiment when they were suddenly and unexpectedly despatched to Ireland early in the morning of Tuesday 25 April 1916. Within 24 hours Cooper went from training for deployment on the Western Front to fighting in close quarters on the streets of Dublin. As the Battalion battled its way into the city centre over the next few days it was responsible for one of the most notorious actions during the Rising, the massacre of up to fifteen unarmed men on North King Street during the night of Friday 28 April.
Liberty Hall was not only the Headquarters of the ICA, it was also where the Irish Proclamation had been printed at the beginning of the Rebellion. As a key centre for Republican activity, it was also an early target for artillery fire from naval vessels on the Liffey. The building was trashed, with significant external and internal damage, but it was not burnt out or destroyed. At the end of the Rising Lt. Cooper was placed in charge of Liberty Hall and the nearby Customs House; it was during this period that he collected the majority of the items found in the present collection. Cooper's time in Ireland was short: he rejoined his regiment on 10 May and by late July was in France. The Battle of the Somme was raging when he was sent to the Front on 28 August 1916 and less than two weeks later he was killed in the carnage at High Wood on 9 September, aged 22. This album was assembled by his father after his death.
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