The Assassination of Sir Henry Wilson


Sir Henry Wilson in 1921

Sir Henry Wilson in 1921

On 22 June 1922, Sir Henry Wilson was assassinated in broad daylight, in front of his own home in London: Field Marshall, Unionist MP for Ulster, former Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS). He’d played a prominent role in the Curragh Mutiny Following creation of an Irish government in Dublin, Wilson became chief military adviser to Anglo Ascendancy forces in the then-new Northern Ireland statelet. Atrocities and undeclared war on Irish Catholics became the order of the day there.

The book “The Assassination of Michael Collins: What Happened at Béal na mBlath?” devotes a full chapter to re-examining Wilson’s enigmatic death.  Was there a connection with Collins’ own end, exactly two months later?

(excerpt from the book)

I was given good reason to suspect a close relation between the shooting of Sir Henry Wilson and the shooting of Michael Collins, but when I tried to investigate this line I found every door closed on me – indeed some banged in my face.
– John M Feehan

Not unlike Collins’ own end, controversy continues to surround the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson. At the very same time that the anti-Treaty men were sweating it out in the Four Courts, two members of the London IRA shot Wilson dead, on the doorstep of his home in London, in broad daylight. This was months after hostilities with the British were officially ended: after the Truce, after the Treaty had been signed; “out of the blue” as it seemed.

The shooters were obeying orders. But from whom? Who gave the order? The mystery has never been solved.

Allegations that either Collins or the anti-Treaty leaders ordered the operation do not hold water: these amount to no more than rumour, and are abundantly refuted by more substantial accounts. Yet Wilson was unquestionably shot by members of the London Brigade of the IRA.

Wilson’s death was seized upon and exploited as a pretext for the British to threaten to declare the imperfect-but- hard-won Anglo-Irish Treaty null and void.  In short, it set in motion those events which led directly to the death of Michael Collins. For these reasons, any re-examination of Béal na mBláth should not omit another look at Wilson’s mysterious, unsolved case.
** [end book excerpt]**

Much mythology has been constructed, on rather slender presumptions: 1) that Michael Collins ordered Wilson’s death; 2) that Collins likewise ordered the bombardment of IRA men occupying the Four Courts; and 3) that the IRA shot Collins.  This conventional wisdom would seem to wrap things up in a tidy package, with loose ends neatly tied.  

However, there is no evidence that Collins ordered the 1922 assassination of Wilson.  No one knows precisely how the bombardment of Four Courts was initiated, or by whom.  As for the perennial mystery, “Who shot Collins?“… We don’t even know which side shot him.

.  Read more:

The Assassination of Michael Collins:
What Happened At Béal na mBláth?
by S M Sigerson

Paperback or Kindle edition here:

For all other e-book formats see:

Or ask at your local bookshop

Book cover image - The Assassination of Michael Collins - What Happened at Béal na mBláth


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