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  • ROINN COSANTA. BUREAU OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1913-21 STATEMENT BY WITNESS. DOCUMENT NO. W.S. 1,7147. Wintess Miss Nan Nolan, Laragh, Ballon, Co. Carlow. Identity. Captain, Ballon Company, Cumann na mBan. Subject. Ballon Company, Irish Volunters, Co. Carlow 1915 - Truce. Conditions,if any, Stiputlated by Witness. Nil. FileNo S.2782. Form SECOND STATEIENT BY MISS NAN NOLAN, Laragh, Ballon, Co. Carlow. THE CIVIL WAR, 1922-1923. In years to come, when the joys arid sorrows of Ireland are being learned from history, the most joyous of all times will be found to have been the months from the Truce to the Treaty. Here in the parish of Ballon, we had our full share of joy, thank God. Again, the sound of marching men was heard, but this time it was our own flesh and blood, tried and true Volunteers, who had given of their best to the cause of freedom. They were now drilling in the early hours of the mornings, and going on long route marches - all preparing, as best suited themselves, to take their places in the rebuilding of the nation they had saved. Training camps sprang up throughout Ireland. Near Carlow, at Ducketts Grove, the Carlow Brigade training camp was established, and another one, for engineering, at Clonegal. As autumn drew near, our victory dances began, and one of them was held just one year exactly after that narrow escape we had during the first raid by the Tans, and ever since referred to as the Great Truce Dance. As the days grew shorter, an expectant air -2- came over the Company. They gave up their outdoor drill, and retired to the village hail at night. Soon we were to know how things fared in Dublin. Then word came early in December that a settlement would be reached in a day or two. We had not long to wait till word came that a Treaty had been signed, and that, although Ireland had not got all she expected, the rest was on its way and we were to be satisfied with the terms. Being fifty miles from the capital, it was easy for us to believe tae good news as it appeared to be then. Soon the prisoners would be released - that was what we wanted. A short time later, we were all marching to Tullow to welcome the prisoners, the 3rd Battalion bands playing and bonfires blazing, where, a year before that, houses had blazed as reprisals for the shooting of the R.I.C. All the released prisoners were brought from the railway station. It was a great night to remember. For the next few weeks, we were all in a joyful mood. One night in January, 1922, my brother, John, came in and said, "This is not freedom! We have been tricked! My father (R.I.P.) thought he was just mad, and told him so. For some time after this, John was silent, and we noticed that ne brought out the guns - rifles and revolvers, - all of which we kept in our house, and he did not bring them back as he had done during the Truce days, only his own, a German Mauser, one of the Howth guns. Later, we heard that all was not well, and that a Pact had been signed, but that our President, -3- Eamonn de Valera, was not satisfied with the tens of the Treaty which Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins had signed, under a threat of immediate and terrible war. The older people wanted the peace, but nearly all the members of E. Company were against it. A general election was decided upon, which was to decide who would rule, but what the people of Ireland did not know was that the newspapers twisted and misrepresented the Republican speeches in the debate on the Treaty. If they had not done that, the men who signed the Treaty would not have won the election. If one person stands out in that debate, it was the late Erskine Childers who was so farsighted as to enquire what guarantee they had received regarding our ports, and, even though he had served in the English Navy, he deserved an answer which he did not receive. That election was a victory for the Treaty or Free State, as it was to be known. Following the ratification of the Treaty, things did not improve, and, by the spring, there was some bad feeling on both sides. Then came June, and we heard that fighting had started in Dublin. Even our hone, for the time being, was divided. My father (R.I.P.) wanted the Treaty, but my brother, John, was against it, but my mother and I stood by the latter, so that it was secret work even in one's own home. One day in July, a great number of lorries passed through the village and along the Wexford road. It was Ernie O'Malley on his way from Tipperary, and that night came the battle of Enniscorthy. The Tipperary Column left the Carlow Brigade in Tullow and, on the -4- following night, they came out to Ballon. John had to get billets for all of them, as he was now Captain of the Company, as J. Maher and a few more had resigned. While none of them wanted the Treaty, they would not take sides, one way or another. The Column scattered to different areas during the week, and, before long, the fight was on here too. On the last Saturday night in July, the Free State soldiers Came to our home. A former comrade of John was in command, and, leaving the rank and file outside, he went into the house and ups tairs to the bedroom. When John asked him why had had come, he said, "We must do our duty, Johnny". "Take care", he was told, "you won't have to do dirty work yet. Bill, get out clean while you can, and don't break your oath to the Republic!" Bill stretched out his hand and said, "Take care of yourself, Johnny, and, whatever happens, don't let us be bad friends!" They shook hands and he left. We did not know until afterwards that he had come to arrest John that night, and that, on going outside, he told the rest of the Free Staters that John was not at home. Later that night, the 1st Lieutenant, Dick Barry, was taken and interned for the duration of hostilities. On the following Saturday, the Column had arranged that our local Company should block the road at Clash Cross and thereabouts. The Company was there, ready for the job, but, as the Column did not get through in time, they had to come home without any operation. Shortly after midnight, John came into the house. He left his rifle outside, but brought in his revolver and ammunition as usual, and put them just under the bed. He was in -5- bed about half an hour when I heaed knocking, and Johnny asking who was there. I jumped up, called my mother, and she got up. When we got downstairs, the kitchen was full of Free State soldiers. ohn was dressed, and I got his shoes and socks for him. Some of the soldiers went upstairs to search the bed, but my mother went up and told them off. She stood between them and the and said they could shoot her if they dared lay their hands on anything there. They came downstairs, looking ashamed as she said, "Why do you come, like the Tans?" They were offended at being called such a name, but they soon left, taking John with them. 'He said, "Don't worry, Motherl I'll be alright". These men were the Dublin Guards who had been sent, as even then the Free State authorities could not trust some of John's old comrades, although in different camps. A few others in the neighbourhood were also taken that night, but all were released except John and another, J. O'Donohue. From then on, raiding and arrests started all over again, only this time it was heart breaking. Michael Walsh and Denis Nolan, who were appointed Company Captains, in turn, after John's arrest, were taken. Denis Nolan was taken with arms, and sentenced to ten years. In late October or early November, word came to me that three men had come by Clash Cross, and that Mick Fitzpatrick had brought them from Shangarry, Myshall. They wanted to go to Kevin Barry's home at Tombeagh, but did not want to go through Tullow, as the Free State troops were raiding. mick Fitzpatrick drew a map of the road through Aghade, and I was told, in case they would not be able to follow it, to come back and stand -6- by, to guide them. I did not know at the time bnat it would be the last time Erskine Childers would pass that way. Robert Barton and Seurnas Robinson were his companions. They just escaped capture by going a little out of their way, by mistake. After some delay, they got back on the right road and, when they arrived at Barry's house, they found that the soldiers had just left it and gone on to Annaino to search for them there. Mick Fitzpatrick was arrested soon after. this. Late in the autumn of 1922, I was sent up to Mick Fitzpatrick's, Shangarry, with a dispatch for the Brigade Adjutant. On my way up, I heard the Free State soldiers were over near Fenagh, and in order to save myself, I bought some groceries, including tea and sugar. I thought I had got through safely but, when I came to a turn leading straight to four crossroads, called Taylor's Cross, about thirty soldiers, walking and wheeling bikes, appeared. They stopped me and asked me where I had been. I told them at the shop, and showed them the tea and sugar. They let me pass on. At the Cross, a woman was speaking to two soldiers. She knew me, but spoke friendly and so did I. About a hundred yards further on, there was another crossroads and a house. An old woman was there, half crying. She told me that two or three men of the Column had gone up the road the night before to Jimmle Nolan's house at Rosslee, and that she was afraid that the cycling party of soldiers would steal up on them as there was no way of warning them. She asked me would I go as fast as I could home, or near it, and tell her son and other lads who were staying in a house in Ballylean, near Ballon. I started off on the bike but, when I had -7- gone about fifty yards, I dismounted. I was desparate to save the lads in Rosslee, but could not go back there, so I did the only thing that seemed possible. Over my gym slip, I had a Sam Brown belt winch I had coaxed previously from my younger brother, Jim, who was a Lieutenant in the Fianna Scouts. Attached to the belt was John's Volunteer whistle. I wore a green jumper to hide it. I now took off the whistle and blew it three times, as loudly as I could. I then jumped on the bike and raced as fast as I could, but shots started ringing out from all si des. I kept on cycling, and it was the fastest journey I ever made because, when I reached Ketthing's house, I was not able to talk for some time. I nearly passed out, but I recovered and told them what had happened. They sent word to some men who were billeted in the neighbourhood. Having stayed there for about twenty minutes, I was coming out in tne yard when we saw a figure running towards the house from Shangarry direction. The man staggered into the yard, half clad and dead beat. He was Paddy Doyle who had brorght the men to Bosslee the night before, and he told us that they were all sitting down to dinner when shots rang out, and they escaped through the back. Some of the 1st Battalion went off towards Newtown, through the bogs, and he had come here to warn the lads. He told us that the soldiers were just at the gate, going quietly, when I blew the whistle. They went into a panic as they thought they were being ambushed, and fired shots in all directions. I was glad that my action warned the lads in time. Things were getting worse, and one night in December I had to bring a dispatch to Maher's Grange, -8- but when I gob there, old Mr. Maher was ill, and his daughter, Bridget, R.I.P., asked me to bring it further to Jim Nolan's Rathmore, as the Column had gone towards the 2nd Battalion area. I had no lights on my bicycle and it was difficult to find the road, but I followed her instructions as best I could and arrived there safely. I contacted most of the Column there. The dispatch was calling them back to our place, so it was early on Saturday morning when I got home. As it was the 1st Saturday of the month, I went to Confession for the 1st Sunday, the General Communion Day of our Sacred Heart Sodality. That Saturday night one of the men of the Column Came to my home and asked me to get some cartons of cigarettes and bring them across the fields to a farmhouse, owned by the late Michael Power, who was one of the greatest friends the Republican soldiers had. It was in his field that the oath to the Republic was first taken by the Volunteers. I went along a short-cut on a grass path to the house, where about thirty men were waiting for a smoke. As I went in, one boy was lying on a table, singing, "A Rebel On The Run". His name was Miley Carroll. Several more of them I knew well. A young girl of about my own age was making tea, and she asked me to wait for some. I told her to give me some before twelve, as I was going to Holy Communion in the morning. Just then, the alarm, "Lorries", was given, and all hands grabbed the rifles and took to the fields to attack the lorries. They were disappointed, however, as the lorries were on a far road at the other side of the village, going towards Myshall, through Ballon and -9- Ballintraine. Michael Power and myself carried out the bombs which were under the dresser, and we put them into empty hen-houses in the garden. When things died down, I made to go home. One boy with a rifle and Sam Brown belt came over and said, "I will go with you". I told him, "No", that the moon was up and that I would run home by the pathway. He said, "You said you were going to Holy Communion, and we are expecting a lot more men tonight. You might meet them on the path and they would not know you. He came some of the way with me until we saw figures approaching; two of them were members of the Column, and they were guided by a third man, a local man, who was a cousin of mine; he came home with me. The boy said good-bye, and told me that he was going towards Borris to the 4th Battalion area, but would be back in a week or so. After Mass next morning, a girl called to the house with a letter for me. She told me she had been in to Carlow Barracks to enquire for the prisoners, and that, while there, a Free State soldier, who had served under my brother John, gave her an uncensored letter. Inside was another letter from Jim Roche, asking me to go to the mountain and get his overcoat, and to tell the Mullen family that his revolver was hidden in a stone wall at the back of the house leading up to the top of the mountain. On Monday morning, I left home on my bicycle, and went on a route I had not travelled before, through Shangarry, Ballinrush and Knocktramagh to Coolasnaughta, or the Showy Vale, as it is called in English. I delivered my message and received the overcoat. I left at 3 p.m., although the family wanted me to stay -10- longer. The road was bad and full of coarse stones, and, as my hike was not too good, I had to walk down most of the way as well as having had to walk most of the way up. Suddenly, the mist on the mountain closed in. I had no light, as usual, so I started to travel as east as I could. It grew darker, and I soon noticed that I was on a road not familiar even in tne darkness. I could make out tall trees that I had not passed on my way up. I dismounted and found I had gone astray and, to make matters worse, that the front tyre was going down. I stood there, praying and crying a little too, when I heard a rattling sound coming towards me, and I knew it was a bike. I took courage and called out, "Have you a pump?". A man gob off and came back to me. I did not see him plainly, but I told him the tyre was flat and asked him where was I. He said, "This is Milltown, and that light is Hogan's". Then he asked where did I come from. 'Newtownbarry", I answered, and added that I was going to Fenagh. I could not say Ballon, because it would be too well known to anyone looking for information. He directed me to Fenagh, down the Garryhill road. I had a married sister living in Fenagh and I stayed the night with her. She thought, of course, that I had come straight from home to see them, and she wondered next morning when I left at 11 a.m. I came by the road that leads to Myshall, and, when I was half-way down, I thought I heard the sound of a motor bike and wondered why it aid not overtake me. it seemed to be stopping and starting all the time as I made my way home. I was about two hours home, when word came that there had been an ambush near Shangarry, and that some -11- of our lads were dead and some wounded. I realised that I had my lesson in recognising the sound of machine gun fire which I had thought was that of a motor bike. Some time afterwards, my father R.I.P., who, by this time, had enough of the Treaty, came in after bringing home a load of turnips by the far road that leads from Myshall to Tullow, and he was very upset. He told us that some lorries of soldiers had passed him on the road, that he thought he saw some members of the Column, whom he knew, in the lorries, and that the Free State soldiers were abusing them. We did not know what to do, as it was night before we heard that tne soldiers came out to near the spot where I had lost my way the previous night. Most of the Column were in that area. Four members of the Column, who were taken by surprise, opened fire and refused to run or surrender. Being in an open field, they had no chance and were mowed down by a machine gun. One boy, Miley Carroll, was killed instantly, and another, James O'Toole, was so badly wounded that there was no hope for him. He was the boy who offered to guard me safely home, three nights before, so that I could go to Holy Communion. May he rest in peace! The other two, Hugh O'Rourke and Ned Kane, a young lad not eighteen years old, fired their last shots. Kane broke his revolver and refused to surrender it to them, but, worse still, when they did give up, they were made go back and carry out their dead and dying comrades, streaming with blood, on their backs. When the officer in charge of the Free State soldiers, who had not been present at the killing, came -12- on the scene, he was in a bad way. He had given them no orders to shoot to kill, and he was furious. They commandeered a lorry at Fenelon's, and the officer ordered it to be driven at top speed to Myshall where he fairly jumped from it while it was still moving, to bring along the Priest to attend the dying boy in the lorry. Almighty God left the boy alive long enough to receive the last rites of the Church. The prisoners were then brought to Tullow where the boy, James O'Toole, died. The officer in charge of the lorry was the man whom John had told to get out clean or he might have to do dirty work yet. The other two prisoners were to be tried by military court but, as they escaped, they did not have to stand for trial. Later, they came to our house. Ned Kane's hands were badly cut by barbed wire when escaping. Time dragged on. Day after day, it was more and more arrests everywhere until, by Christmas, the jails were full. Most of the prisoners had to be moved from Carlow before Christmas. My brother, John, with. a few others were sent to Newbridge Internment Camp, and others were brought to PortLaoighis prison or Tintown, the Curragh. By this time, very few Volunteers from our area were still free, and those that were, got downhearted. During the spring of 1923, there were many executions. In January, J. Lillis was the first to be shot in Carlow Barracks. We heard there were more trials coming off. -15- We knew a man named Tommy O'sullivan of Dunmain, Co. Wexford, who was for trial. One morning, a car passed up the road. In it were his people, going to hear the verdict, but there was no trial as he had escaped during the night. In the spring, word came that Charles Byrne, Caotain of Kildavin Company, had been shot dead accidentally in Borris. The remains had to be brought home, and everywhere Free State soldiers were raiding and watching. They surrounded the house when the remains were brought home. We all wanted to go to the wake and funeral, hut a lot of people going to the wake were interrogated by the Free Staters. When I was going up a hill, within a mile of the house, I met some girls who had to turn back, as the Free State soldiers would not let them up. I turned back with them. Then I hid my bike and crossed the fields in the direction of the house. I lost my way in different lanes leading to houses. When I reached some of them, there was no one about. As sonic of the men I met looked at me with suspicion, I would not ask., them to direct me to Byrne's house. A little boy looked over a ditch, and I enquired of him. He pointed out the house, and I got in by the back. The parents were heartbroken, but so glad to see the people trying to get to them. We went to Kildavin to the funeral. It was the lonliest funeral I ever remember. One person was nearly afraid to speak to another, but I was happy to know I could kneel and say the last prayers at his grave. The summer of 1923 came, with the Column scattered and weakened. Many of them had not been home for nearly four years. The Brigadier, Tommy O'Connell, was putting in -14- his fourth year on the run. One night as I came home from the village with a girl friend, we met two members of the Column. One of them was Ned Kane who had escaped after being taken in the Shean ambush. They asked us to go tack to the village and stand at the door of' Doyle's shop, to warn them if the Free Staters came along. They wanted to get one drink, and pass on their way, as Kane was being hunted for, day and night. The bar was full, but everyone knew the lads and greeted them with friendship. They just had two glasses handed up to them when a car drove up and two men got out. They seemed to be members of the Column as they were dressed the same as the two men inside in the bar. The girl Who was at the door was watching them, and when the driver was about to get out, I noticed his brown leggings and green knee breeches. She kept talking to one of them, so as to delay them. I ran through the bar, opened the back door, and Ned Keane and his comrade dashed out into the back yard, and I after them, to the kitchen, to get the girl who worked there and was a member of the Cumann na mBah to open the back door leading out to a lane and fields. She was a little longer than usual opening the door, and it was then T saw Kane's courage. The other man was nervous and wanted to climb it, but Ned drew his revolver and just said, "Don't Worry! We will fight it out as I did before. They won't take me alive this time!" I was too much afraid for them, to think or danger. I could not pray in words, but the thought ran through my mind of another night in Gethsemane when soldiers were searching. That thought was enough, God answered my mental prayer, and the door was flung upen. I ran out, to see that all - l - was clear, and the lads took to the fields. I turned right towards the shop door and, as I entered, the three Free Staters came out and drove away. There was a tenseness inside, and no one spoke for a while. Then they told me that the Free Staters had walked down the bar, counting the men and glasses, and asking, "Any strange men here tonight?", that the man behind the counter, looking very harmless, had replied, "I see none", and that, as I swept out the back door with the lads, Mr. E. Doyle (R.I.P.), the owner of the shop, had snapped up the two glasses he had just filled, and put them under the counter. Only for his quick action, all our work, except for God's mercy, would have been in vain. A few days later, a party of Free Staters Came to the village, and went searching in the wood on Ballon Hill, hot on the track of much-wanted men. While this was going on, Tommy O'Sullivan and T. O'Connell, our Brigadier", were at an upstairs window of Doyle's shop, looking at them. They escaped through back fields and had come down here to stay under cover. Both of them had previously escaped from prison and were very much wanted by the Free Staters. Those who remained free from prison were getting weak and ill, as a result of being badly clothed and under-nourished, and, worse than all, they suffered greatly from lack of sleep for nearly four years. As the summer of 1923 passed, meetings were again held to demand the release of all the prisoners. In the autumn, it was made known that a general hunger-strike would take place for the release of all men and women who were interned. Just before that, -16- we received two letters from John, one to Mother and one to myself - to say that he had a bit of a cold but that he would soon be alright. He was fifteen months interned at this time. The hunger-strike started, and, as no letters came, we were worried. After a month had passed, Very Rev. Fr. Hayden, P.P. (R.I.P.), who died recently and who was curate in Muinebeag at that time, went to the prisons in Kildare so that he could bring back first-hand information about the prisoners, as no visitors were allowed. I went to Shangarry that night where Michael Fitzpatrick's wife was waiting for the news. One of the local men went to the railway station and saw Fr. Hayden. He brought back word that the prisoners were in good cheer and might be released before Christmas. My mother was delighted that the priest had seen them. David Barry of Cork died on hunger-strike, and soon afterwards the prisoners were released in small batches. On the first Sunday of December, 1923, as the dusk came, I looked out and saw someone coming in through the gateway. I shouted to Mother and the rest of the family, "Look who is John was coming home - after sixteen months. He had been released the night before, but had got a voucher for the train to Muinebeag as some of his pals came from there, and they had brought him to my sister's house at Fenagh where he stayed the night. We were all excited, but he seemed very quiet and looked a bit off-colour. As we boiled the kettle for a welcome tea, he said, "Mother, wait until I play you a new hornpiper!" He got the melodeon, which had been with him in the prison for sixteen months, and then was -17- played, for the first time in that part of the country, "The Boys Of The Blue Hills". "I learned it from the Northern Lads", he said. "They were great, and the Kerry prisoners played such grand football. You should have seen a lad, called John Joe Sheehy, jump for the ball." He would show the Ballon lads how to play. In less than an hour, the house was full. All his pals had come, to tell him all the news. Then, when we told him that a local man was dead and waking that night, he stood up, looked at the clock and said, "I must go down there". We protested as we thought that he was too tired, but he replied, "I must go. Even though we were separated and he was for the Treaty, yet we were all one in the old days and played together in the band. I'll have to go tonight to see his sister and sympathise with them". Some of the boys brought him along, and he was received with open arms and tears. Next day, John told us he would see the doctor, as he did not feel too good. Dr. Humphreys came and examined him. John made a pretence of getting up every day for a week, but by then he had to give up. For months, he was suffering agony. No one can realise how good and kind Dr. Humphreys (now T.D. for Carlow-Kilkenny) was to him during these months when he was dying. From the moment he stood at his bed, he was able to comfort him, and all that he could get to relieve the pain, he got it for him. Dr. Humphreys even paid out of his own pocket for treatment that was not available in his dispensary, and even brought his own brother, a doctor, to have a consultation, as well as Dr. Farrell of Muinebeag, who operated on him twice, but it was all of no avail. He wasted away to a shadow. As the -18- spring turned to summer, only Mother and I could nurse him. My hands, he said, were soft and did not hurt him. At this time, the remnants of the Republican Army were still on the run, a few of the much wanted men not yet being allowed home, and so they often came to the house at night time, and sat by his bed with us. When the month of June came, he grew very weak and no one could see him for long, as he was not able to talk. Some members of the Cumann na mBan from Carlow came to the house, and End Brophy, now Mrs. Mick Ryafl, brought him a cake, which he loved. He lived on wine during the last month. On Sunday, 15th June, he told me not to stay up with him that night, but to go to bed, as he wanted me to cycle to Carlow next morning and ask End Brophy for another of those nice cakes. I did so, and she very soon got one for me. I came back, and he asked me to stay up with him that night, which I did. During the night, he told me that, if he got better, he would go to the U.S.A. and send for me. It was my very best to keep from crying. At ll a.m. on Tuesday, 17th June, he took a bad turn, but came out of it. He took another at 6 p.m. At 8 p.m. he called Mother, Father and all of us. His voice was very strong, and we could not understand it. For the first time in months, he flung out his arms and started to sit up in the bed. "Look", he cried, "I have no pain, and I can use my arms and legs! All pain is gone! Mother, I am not going to suffer any more. But it's growing dark in my eyes". There was -19- thunder starting, and a crowd was in the room Mother lit the Blessed Candle, and just said quietly as was his Faith always, "It's dark now, but it will be a bright dawn soon for you." He said in a loud voice again, "I am not afraid. I never was. And now God has taken fear of death and pain away from me." Then he asked for me. I was fearful of death, but I, went to his bedside, and he said to them, "She is the best little girl in the world, and I won't forget her". (No one in this world has better proof of the promise he made me.) They were his last words. He sank into unconsciousness and died a beautiful death, T.G., at 11.30 p.m. It was over. He was released, this time for certain. His comrades from the whole Carlow Brigade carried him, under the Tricolour, to the Church and grave. It was their last tribute to him. The last night he lay waking, they filed in and out of the room, regardless of what side they had taken on the Treaty. When the sound of a motor bike was heard coining along the Wexford road, some men from the 1st Battalion, Carlow, ran out to meet it. A tall, big man dismounted and came into the room. He knelt for a while in prayer, and then came. to my mother. Taking her hands and looking on the remains, his thoughts, went back to that December night of 1922, Just eighteen months previously when, facing a trial by military court the following morning, he had to find among the prisoners a man who would be strong enough - he was a big man himself - to help him make his escape over the wall and barbed wire of Carlow Barracks, and save his life. It was an absolute certainty that he would have been found -20- guilty and sentenced to death. Now the man who had pushed him over the wall - with no thought of what a long imprisonment meant to himself - was dead, and Tommy O'Sullivan had come to pay his last farewell to the man who had helped to save his life. Tired after his long ride, he said, "A soldier he lived, and a soldier he died" SIGNED: Non Nolan DATE: 19- 12- 55 WINTESS De‡n Brennan Lieut: Col