Tulla Ambush

28th June 1921. A patrol led by Lt Richard Crawford Warren MC of seven men, whose objective was to keep the local roads clear of and prevent their closure by the IRA with obstructions or trenches.The patrol was ambushed on their way back from Annaghneal to Tulla Workhouse at about 2.00 am. The 1st Bn Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry were at Limerick and the 2nd Bn at Cork, but both Battalions had outposts at locations such as Tulla, Macroom and Ballincollig - they were often quartered in the local workhouses.

Lt Warren went to speak to a man as the came to Fortane cross roads, the man fired a revolver at Warren and shot him at close range in the stomach. The patrol was then fired at from both sides of the road by IRA men, with most of the fire from the right. Two more soldiers, Private Conway (5375228) and Private Hoare (5374290) were both wounded in the leg and taken into Limerick Hospital.

Sergeant Thomas Swift rallied the survivors and mounted a counter-attack. The IRA retired and the patrol sent for assistance from the garrison Tulla workhouse and the countryside searched after the ambush, but no sign of the rebels could found.

Sergeant Thomas Swift ‘I was sergeant-in-charge of the party returning from a laying-out party near Annaghneal, on reaching the cross roads near Ballynahinch, a man came into the road, the party which was leading along the side of the road halted near the road bridge. Lieutenant Warren, going out in the centre of the road, I heard someone speak, the next moment the rebel fired and I saw Lt. Warren fall. I ran up to Lt. Warren and fired two shots at the rebel as he ran up the road, then he disappeared over a wall, and then we were fired at from both sides of the road, most of the fire coming from our right. I immediately put a burst of fire into the right, then getting my men through and extending, then on reaching the wall on the cross roads got over and was again fired on from the opposite wall, I got my party on the flank and fired down the wall with this the rebels retired’.

British Soldiers died in Ireland