6909438 Rifleman Alfred Thompson - ‘D’ Company, 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade


Born 1900 London

1911 census at 16 Prospect St, Rotherhithe


1921 Serving as an Officer’s servant based in Donegal Workhouse where one company was based

1922 Feb Based at Finner Camp with ‘D’ Company, 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade

1922 Feb 13 Returned to Donegal claiming to be a deserter from Finner Camp. Made contact with the IRA via an ex-soldier Edward Lawson and offering to sell arms hidden near Ballyshannon to the IRA. Shot Hugh Britton and James Gallagher with a Webley revolver when he was about to be searched during the negotiations at 12:30am. Both died the next day from their wounds.

1922 Feb 15 He fled and was arrested later in Laghey at 2pm by the IRA. Taken to Drumboe Castle the General Headquarters for the IRA in County Donegal. Gave his address as 73 Cilton Road, Rotherhithe, London

Local IRA view expressed at the time  ‘suspicion that  some  evilly  disposed  enemy,  P[  ]  engineered  this  thing  but  this  must  be treated with the greatest reserve’

1922 Feb 16 Inquest was held into the deaths with a Verdict of wilful murder against Alfred Thompson. PJ Ward, solicitor, states that Thompson posed as a deserter, "and led the deceased and his comrades to believe that he had arms concealed to which he would direct them."

1922 Feb 16 Telegram from 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade at Finner to the IRA Police at Ballybofey. ‘This battalion moves to Strabane tomorrow. STOP Will send someone to see Rifleman Thomson Saturday or Sunday. STOP Notify change as whereabouts.’

1922 Feb 18 Special Court held before a Republican Justice. Remanded for 8 days pending instructions

1922 Feb 21 He was to be taken to Sligo gaol. Headquarters 1st Brigade, 3rd Western Division

1922 Feb 22 Interviewed Major Hallett Lewthwaite Riley, DSO 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade with a ‘number of the IRA guard’ present at interview

1922 Feb 23 at 5pm Handed over to British military by the IRA. Taken into custody by Major W V L Prescott-Westcar, 2nd Battalion, The Rifle Brigade

1922 March 8 Summary of evidence held at Arbour Hill Barracks, Dublin


1922 April 5 A Field General Court Martial held at Arbour Hill Barracks, Dublin.

Found not guilty of Murder but guilty of Manslaughter.  Sentenced to 10 years Penal servitude and to be discharged with ignominy. It was brought out at the Court Martial that the deceased were armed hence his conviction for manslaughter rather than murder.

The IRA referred to him as a ‘dangerous type’ and the trade would have gone ok if they had been dealing with a ‘normal man’.