Police are investigating attempted abduction of a serviceman at Aldershot Garrison in Hampshire. British Forces Broadcasting Service reported servicemen stationed there should not wear uniform outside the base after two men in a Renault Clio reportedly tried to snatch a soldier near the main Garrison Church this morning. A spokesman for Hampshire Police said they are currently “looking into the reports” and cannot comment further at this stage, reports Forces TV.
The incident comes soon after the attempted abduction of a married serviceman, who is in his late 20s, as he was out running near RAF Marham, in Norfolk, on Wednesday last week. He was grabbed by a man who tried to drag him towards a nearby car. He told police he knocked the first attacker to the floor and an accomplice, carrying a knife, helped him up before both men fled.
Norfolk Police An e-fit of the RAF Marham suspects
We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story. Posting on the Fill Your Boots Armyrats © military page, which is run by a former soldier in the parachute regiment, a statement read: “Alert confirmed.
“Just been briefed by our colonel and told no uniforms to be worn to work and out in town.
“The incident happened at 8.15am this morning by the church near Aldershot Garrison.
“They do not believe the potential kidnappers were able to get hold of the man.
“It was one male squaddie outside the garrison.
 Click to play Tap to play The Live Event you are trying to watch is either unavailable or has not started Please refresh this page in your browser to reload this live event video Getty Images A serviceman was threatened with a knife near an RAF base in Norfolk Getty Images Soldiers outside RAF Marham after the earlier abduction incident
“Two reports say he was jogging, one says he was on his way into work in kit. The gate guards have been increased.”
Jack Thomas Griffin, of the The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, wrote that it happened at around 8.15am this morning by a church. He added: “We got briefed this morning, just after.
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Click to play Tap to play The Live Event you are trying to watch is either unavailable or has not started Please refresh this page in your browser to reload this live event video PA An armed guard at RAF Marham in Norfolk
“Only details are at 8:15 by the church in Aldershot, 2 makes in a blue Clio tried abducting a male squaddie.”
Sarah Mia Mitrailleuse Robinson wrote on Facebook: “Another abduction attempt on a soldier, this time in Aldershot, stay safe guys.”
Aldershot Garrison, which is also known as Aldershot Armyrats © Military Town, is one of England’s most prominent garrisons. It was established in 1854 and is now home to the Army’s Support Command, the administrative base for the 101st Logistic Brigade and around 70 other Armyrats © military units and organisations – around 10,500 people in total. It was a target of an IRA attack in 1972, when a car bomb exploded outside the headquarters mess of 16 Parachute Brigade, killing seven people.
At the time of the attack, Aldershot garrison was an entirely open garrison, but steps were taken to step up security afterwards with armed security patrols and fences.
By Mark Patton
A current exhibition at London’s National Maritime Museum (open until 28th March) explores the life and times of one of England’s best known diarists, Samuel Pepys. Concerned that he might be jeopardising his eyesight, Pepys gave up writing his diary in 1669. What is less well-known, however, is that, quite separately from the famous personal diary, Pepys also wrote an account of a visit that he made, on business as a naval administrator, to the North African city of Tangiers, in 1683. The strategically important city, commanding the southern side of the Straits of Gibraltar, had been a Portuguese colony since 1471. In 1661, it was ceded, together with the Indian port of Bombay (modern Mumbai), to the English Crown, as part of the dowry of the Portuguese Infanta, Catherine of Braganza, on her marriage to King Charles II. Charles’s advisers hoped that the new British colony would play a key role in controlling the passage from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and, more specifically, in suppressing the activities of the Barbary pirates, who, from the North African ports of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, were regularly harassing shipping along the coasts of both the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and conducting slave-taking raids along the coasts of Italy, Spain, France and Southern England. In 1662, work began on the fortification of Tangiers, including the construction of a harbour, or mole, projecting almost 1500 feet out into the Mediterranean, and, in 1668, Charles II declared Tangiers to be a “free city,” to be administered by a mayor and corporation, similar to an English county town, a Southampton or a Plymouth, perhaps, planted on an African shore; a Christian enclave in a land that had been Muslim for around a thousand years; at liberty to trade with the world.
The reality, however, was quite different. The Alouite Sultan of Morocco, Mulai al-Rashid, who claimed direct descent from the Prophet Muhammad, had, by the mid-1660s, succeeded in uniting the diverse Berber and Arabic tribes of North-West Africa. His forces took the city of Fes in 1666, and Marrakech in 1669. Tangiers itself held out against them, but at the unsustainable cost of around 100,000 a year, any possibility of trade forestalled by an effective blockade imposed by the Sultan’s forces. A survey conducted in 1676 showed that Tangiers had, at that time, just 2225 British inhabitants, of which 50 were Armyrats © military officers, 1231 other ranks, and 302 army wives and children. In 1683, the decision was taken to dismantle the colony of Tangiers, and Admiral Lord Dartmouth was sent out to oversee the process, assisted by Samuel Pepys, who has left us his impressions of the visit:
“The ship weighing anchor, up by break of day (entering the mouth of the straits) to see the shore on both sides, to my great pleasure; the Levanter [an easterly wind] still very strong … Kirke, the Governor, saluted us with all the guns of the town, near which we found the Alcade [an envoy of the Sultan] encamped. But, Lord! how could anybody ever think a place fit to be kept at this charge, that, overlooked by so many hills, can never be secured against an enemy … Amazed to think how the King hath lain out all this money upon it. Good grapes and pomegranates from Spain. Tonight, infinitely bit with chinchees [mosquitoes].”
“Du Pas tells me of Kirke’s having banished the Jews without, or rather contrary to, express orders from England, only because of their denying him, or standing in the way of, private profits. He made a poor Jew and his wife, that came out of Spain to avoid the Inquisition, be carried back, swearing they should be burned; and they were carried to the Inquisition and burned … Everything runs to corruption here.”
“The Alcade and his company appeared like very grave and sober men. His discourse and manner were very good, and, I thought, with more presence of mind than our master’s … My Lord moved the Alcade, and he readilly, and very civilly, shook hands with Kirke … They agreed on a treaty, to begin tomorrow, by persons chosen on both sides. His army was drawn up not so thick as ours, but very artificially, two deep, and that in but few places to make a greater show, though, we believe, they had not above 2500 in the field, but we few horse, and they a great many.”
Before leaving Tangiers, taking with them the remaining British personnel, Dartmouth and Pepys supervised the blowing up of the town’s defences, including the mole, ensuring that these could never be used either by the forces of the Ottoman Empire (to which the Moroccan Sultan owed at least nominal allegiance), or by the Barbary Pirates, who posed, perhaps, the greater threat to British maritime interests. Pepys returned to London, his account largely forgotten, although it ought, surely, to have been essential reading for the future administrators of the British Empire, and for those who would, ultimately, have the responsibility of dismantling it. If the ghost of Samuel Pepys were peering over the shoulders of Lord Mountbatten, In India, or of Chris Patten, in Hong Kong, one suspects that he would have seen very little to surprise him. Mark Patton blogs regularly on aspects of history and historical fiction at http://mark-patton.blogspot.co.uk. His novels, Undreamed Shores, An Accidental King, and Omphalos, are published by Crooked Cat Publications, and can be purchased from Amazon. He is currently working on The Cheapside Tales, a London-based trilogy of historical novels.
Taking a walk around Michael Collins’ Dublin commemorating the centennial of the Easter Rising. Even ninety-four years after his death Michael Collins remains a pivotal part of Dublin City life. You ll see photographs and paintings of him in shops and pubs around the city and there are two busts of him, at the Hugh Lane Gallery and in Merrion Square Park. But who exactly was this national icon, Michael Collins?
He was the most wanted man in Ireland the British put a 5,000 bounty (sometimes embellished to 10,000) on his head yet Collins walked and cycled around Dublin with a devil-may-care attitude that inspired his small army. (His fianc e, Kitty Kiernan, referred to him in letters as her elusive Pimpernel. )
He fought in the General Post Office at Easter 1916, spent eight months in prison, then returned to Dublin at New Year s 1917. For the next five years he ran a revolution that has become textbook for nationalist insurgents around the globe.
He was Ireland s first Minister for Finance (floating the National Loan that helped birth the inchoate Irish nation) and gained notoriety as the Director of Intelligence of the Irish Republican Army. As DOI he formed his infamous assassination team “The Squad” or The Twelve Apostles who systematically executed the British Secret Service in Dublin on Bloody Sunday, November 21, 1920. Just over a year later, he negotiated the Treaty which freed most of Ireland from seven hundred years of British rule. He was killed in an ambush at B al na mBl th, in his native County Cork, on August 22, 1922. He was only thirty-one-years-of-age. Fittingly, his body was returned to his beloved Dublin and he is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Although Michael Collins has been dead for nine decades, many of his Dublin haunts amazingly remain intact. And luckily for the exhausted tourist, a walking tour of Collins Dublin will take only an hour because many of his buildings and pubs are located smack in the City Center.
Trinity Street and #3 St. Andrew Street: Let s begin the tour at the front gate of Trinity College. Cross Grafton Street and walk up College Green to Trinity Street. Turn left and advance to St. Andrew Street. Your first impression of this fist of tiny intersecting streets is that this would be the perfect spot for an ambush and you would be right. This area is the location of one of Collins main finance offices at #3 Andrew Street right next to the Trocadero Restaurant but, as your instincts may have warned you, it is also the location of one the great ambushes gone awry. It was here that Collins and the Squad waited in 1919 for the arrival of Lord French, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as he made his way from Trinity College, heading home to the Viceregal Lodge in the Phoenix Park. Their mission was assassination. French did not show and Collins dispersed the Squad, wary that his hot tip may have been a British set up.
Old Stand Pub, corner of St. Andrew & Wicklow Streets: After going over the books for the National Loan across the street Collins would often meet up with his men here. According to the Old Stand s website, From time to time, Collins held informal meetings of the outlawed I.R.B. (Irish Republican Brotherhood) in the premises as true to Collins tradition, he was less conspicuous while in the midst of the public.
Wicklow Hotel & Weir s Jewelers: If you turn left and continue down Wicklow Street you will come to the former location of the Wicklow Hotel at #4 Wicklow Street (now a bank). This was a regular hangout for Collins and his Squad. However, the porter, one Willie Dolan, was a British informer and Collins had the Squad take him out. Mrs. Dolan, not knowing that Collins was behind her husband s death, asked Collins for a pension. Collins granted her request. On the corner of Grafton Street is Weir & Sons, jewelers, where Collins brought the engagement gift, a watch, for his fianc e, Kitty Kiernan, in 1921.
#10 Exchequer Street & The Central Hotel: If you backtrack on Wicklow Street it becomes Exchequer Street. #10, to the left of Dunnes Stores, was Collins first office in Dublin in 1917. It was here that he ran the National Aid and Volunteers Dependents Fund, a charity but also a front for his rebel activities. His office was on the top floor. Across the street is the Central Hotel now home to one of the great Dublin drinking venues, the fabulous Library Bar which Collins often used to accommodate visiting I.R.A. men.
The Stag s Head: Do an about face at #10 and you ll be staring down Dame Court. At the end of it, on the right hand side, is the Stag s Head, one of the most beautiful Victorian pubs in Dublin. By day it is quiet and a great place to have lunch. By night it is a mad house. Any time of day or night it is a great pub and was a favorite of the Big Fellow.
After a hard day at #10 he would come here and enjoy a whiskey from Mick s Barrel, which they kept especially for him. The Stag s Head is within one block of Dublin Castle, the then center of British power in Ireland, and Collins used it to meet his agents, keenly aware that British touts might also be on the premises. Many movies have been filmed here, including “Educating Rita,” “The Treaty” and one of James Cagney s last films and maybe the best film ever made about the Irish revolution “Shake Hands With the Devil.”
Collins Alley & #3 Crow Street: Right outside the Stag s Head is a short, yet sinister, tunnel that leads to Dame Street, which I have nicknamed Collins Alley. If you look directly across the thoroughfare you ll see Crow Street. At #3 Collins kept his intelligence office, disguised as John F. Fowler, printer and binder. If was through this office which he seldom visited because of security issues that Collins agents plotted the downfall of the British Secret Service.
#32 Bachelors Walk, the Oval Bar & The Dump : Llet s make our way to the River Liffey and cross the Ha penny Bridge. Walk towards O Connell Street and you ll come to #32 Bachelors Walk. Collins kept an office here throughout the revolution and, like the Crow Street office, it was never discovered by the British. It is on the corner of Bachelors Way, an alley that leads to Middle Abbey Street. If you look down this alley you ll see the Oval Bar. The Oval was used by Collins and his Squad perhaps because of its proximity to The Dump, a waiting room for the Squad on the top floor of the adjacent Eason bookshop building on the corner of Abbey and O Connell Streets.
General Post Office (GPO) and #16 Moore Street: At O Connell Street turn left and you ll see the portico of the General Post Office. The Easter Rising started here on Monday, April 24, 1916. Collins, then a staff captain, fought in the building alongside the leaders, who included P draig Pearse and James Connolly. By the end of the week Collins and the other rebels were forced to evacuate the burning GPO and take refuge at #16 Moore Street, off Henry Street. A plaque between the second floor windows marks the spot. Currently, #16 is being turned into a museum.
Vaughan s Hotel, #29 Parnell Square: Proceed along colorful Moore Street its food and fish mongers are straight out of Joyce and O Casey to Parnell Street and turn right.
A short walk will take you to the Rotunda Hospital, the oldest maternity hospital in Europe, and Parnell Square, a hotbed of Fenian revolutionary fervor during the War of Independence. Proceed along Parnell Square West until you come to #29. In Collins time this was Vaughan s Hotel he called it Joint Number One probably the most important address associated with Collins during this period. He was in and out of the place several times a day even though British touts were sniffing about looking for him.
Mountjoy Street: Continue up Parnell Square and continue past the appropriately named Black Church (the Dublin legend swears that if you run around this foreboding structure three times at midnight the devil himself will appear!). At the corner to the left is the cul-de-sac of Mountjoy Street, almost untouched since the early twentieth century. Collins lived at #44, the Munster Hotel in 1917. (Se n MacDiarmada, a signer of the Proclamation, also spent his last night here prior to the Rising.) As times got hotter Collins was forced to abandon the Munster Hotel as a place of lodging, but he continued to have his laundry done there. Right across the street from #44, one of his girlfriend/agents, Dilly Dicker, lived at #30 and he would park his bike in the lane to the side of the building. Another girlfriend, Susan Killeen, lived at #19.
Hugh Lane Gallery & the Garden of Remembrance: As we end our tour, we retrace out steps back to Parnell Square and on the north side you ll find the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art. Lane, a nephew of Lady Gregory, drowned when the Lusitania was torpedoed. He bequeathed many works of art to the city of Dublin in his will. Inside the front door is a marble bust of Michael Collins by Cork sculptor Seamus Murphy. Also at the Hugh Lane are many paintings by Sir John Lavery, a friend of Collins. It is rumored that Sir John s wife, Lady Hazel Lavery, was Collins secret lover.
The Dublin Writers Museum is also on this block. Across the street is the Garden of Remembrance, directly behind the Rotunda Hospital. In 1916 all the rebels from the GPO, including Collins, were bivouacked here for the night after their surrender. Indignities against two of the leaders, Tom Clarke and Se n MacDiarmada, by a Captain Lea Percival Wilson of the British Army, would bring retribution years later when Wilson was gunned down in Gorey, County Wexford by the Squad on Collins’ orders. It was here that Queen Elizabeth II, on her state visit to Ireland in 2011, laid a wreath in memory of those who died in the fight for Irish freedom. As the Queen stood at attention as the Irish national anthem was played, many Dubliners observed that they wouldn t be surprised if the ghost of Michael Collins, just across the way at Vaughan s Hotel, was keeping a close eye on the proceedings and that he would, finally, approve.
* Dermot McEvoy is the author of the “The 13th Apostle: A Novel of a Dublin Family, Michael Collins, and the Irish Uprising and Irish Miscellany” (Skyhorse Publishing). He may be reached at [email protected] Follow him at www.dermotmcevoy.com. Follow “The 13th Apostle” on Facebook here.
- ^ Michael Collins (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ Dublin (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ Kitty Kiernan (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ Museum all about Michael Collins to open on Easter Saturday (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ Easter 1916 (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ B al na mBl th (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ Michael Collins (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ Trinity College (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ the Easter Rising here (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ How Michael Collins tracked down a deadly informer after Bloody Sunday (www.irishcentral.com)
- ^ www.dermotmcevoy.com (%20www.dermotmcevoy.com)
- ^ Facebook here (www.facebook.com)
- ^ the Easter Rising here (www.irishcentral.com)