Follow @PoliticsIE
 
 
 
Page 1 of 14 1234511 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 136

Thread: Two Unlikely Rebels: The Story of the Scandinavian Friends who Took up Arms in 1916.

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member ruserious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    In the Bunker...Returning Fire!
    Posts
    29,323
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default Two Unlikely Rebels: The Story of the Scandinavian Friends who Took up Arms in 1916.

    I read this story during the week and I was amazed, so much so, I felt it would be nice to start a thread on the two men in question who took up arms against the British during the Easter Rising, 1916.


    Travelling a far to take up arms is not uncommon in the history of war in Europe. The Irish were especially well traveled having officers in the Russian, Spanish, Austro-Hungarian and many others' armies through the centuries.

    However, foreigners coming to these shores is a lesser told tale. Donegal takes its name from the fort of foreigners. In fact, our own national anthem makes a reference to buion dár slua, Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn (some have come from a land beyond the wave).

    So it is not that unusual but equally amazing to learn that a Swedish and Finnish sailor took part in Easter week 1916.

    Captain Liam Tannam had been an officer in command in the Ground Floor of the GPO on Easter Monday when his attention was directed to two strange looking men approaching the GPO.

    ‘…there were two strange looking men outside and I went to the window and I saw two obviously foreign men. Judging by the appearance of their faces I took them to be seamen. I asked what they wanted. The smaller of the two spoke. He said: “I am from Sweden, my friend from Finland. We want to fight. May we come in?”
    I asked him why a Swede and Finn would want to fight against the British. I asked him how he had arrived. He said he had come in on a ship, they were part of a crew, that his friend, the Finn had no English and that he would explain. So I said: “Tell me why you want to come in here and fight against England.” He said: “Finland, a small country, Russia eat her up.” Then he said: “Sweden, another small country, Russia eat her up too.” “Russia with the British, therefore, we against.” I said: “Can you fight. Do you know how to use a weapon?” He said: “I can use a rifle. My friend- no. He can use what you shoot fowl with.” I said: “A shotgun.” I decided to admit them. I took them in and got the Swede a rifle, the Finn a shotgun. I put them at my own windows.
    Apparently, the Finns lack of experience with a weapon was quickly observant for all to see.
    Everyone stood to, when an alarm was raised at the barricades. The crisis passed, but as the Finn stepped back from the window his shotgun banged off the floor and went off. The blast hit the ceiling and sent a shower of plaster down on the men manning the windows. One of the volunteers, Joe Plunkett, was unimpressed, and gave the Finn a piece of his mind. Tannam continues:
    The Finn looked at him [Plunkett], looked at me, at everyone. Joe said: “Can you not talk, man?” The Swede spoke up and said: “No. He has no English.” “Who are you?”, Joe said. I intervened then and I explained to Joe. Joe looked at me and said: “Amazing, but obviously that man there is a danger,” pointing to the Finn. “We will have to get him another place out at the back of the Main Hall.”
    It was decided that the Finn should go back from the barricade to help with the filling of fruit tins with explosives and pieces of metal. The Swede insisted he accompany his friend. Both men stayed for the week, and were there until the surrender.

    According to Tannam the Swedish Consul succeeded in getting the Swede home, but the Finn remained a prisoner for three weeks in Kilmainham Gaol. Apparently, despite the fact that the Finn was not a Catholic with no English, before he was released he was saying the rosary in Irish.
    Volunteer Robert Holland remembered the Finn in prison (he thought he was Swedish): “We also had for some weeks an unfortunate seaman, a Swede, who was picked up in O’Connell Street during Easter Week. He had endless trouble convincing them he was not an Irishman as he could not speak a word of English.” According to Liam Tannam the Finn’s name was Tony Makapaltis, but that of the Swede was unrecorded.

    Their little known tale remains one of the most remarkable of Easter Week, 1916, when a Swede and Finn took up arms for an Irish republic and, in a somewhat convoluted way, against Russia.

    Acknowledgment for the Above from:
    The Swede and Finn Who Fought For Ireland in the GPO, 1916 | Know Thy Place Blog
    Last edited by ruserious; 22nd April 2013 at 07:45 PM.
    Boycott the "Irish" Sun rag.

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Royalty toxic avenger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    19,031
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Never knew of their story. Thanks for posting that!

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member ruserious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    In the Bunker...Returning Fire!
    Posts
    29,323
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by toxic avenger View Post
    Never knew of their story. Thanks for posting that!
    No problem. Can't take much credit, the author of the article link I posted did an excellent job.

    This, the 100th anniversary of Oglaigh Ná hÉireann will allow a series of threads on an organisation which has shaped Irish life for 100 years.
    Boycott the "Irish" Sun rag.

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member eoghanacht's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    sitting on my toilet.
    Posts
    33,357
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Of course every one knows that the Young Indiana Jones took part in the rebellion.
    Britain operated death squads - ''97% of the Loyalists I interviewed were working directly for the State.'' - Nuala O'Loan. #FreeAhedTamimi

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member ruserious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    In the Bunker...Returning Fire!
    Posts
    29,323
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default



    Charles Darcy ICA (1901-1916)....."The Boy Soldier"...Shot by a British sniper, on the first day of the rising.
    Boycott the "Irish" Sun rag.

  6. #6
    Politics.ie Member Lempo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    East Shore of North Baltic
    Posts
    6,305
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ruserious View Post
    Their little known tale remains one of the most remarkable of Easter Week, 1916, when a Swede and Finn took up arms for an Irish republic and, in a somewhat convoluted way, against Russia.
    The normal way for the Finns to actively oppose Russia was to slip into Germany to receive a military training in the German army as part of the so called Jäger movement, but anything helps, I guess.

  7. #7
    Politics.ie Member truthisfree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Midlands
    Posts
    5,586
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Interesting story...

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member Shqiptar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Strypetown
    Posts
    6,308
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    God bless Sweden and Finland.

    Báil ó Dhia ar an tSualainn agus an Fhionlainn.
    Eagla agus eaglais: an bhfuil an fhréamh teangeolaíochta céanna acu?

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member ruserious's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    In the Bunker...Returning Fire!
    Posts
    29,323
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by truthisfree View Post
    Interesting story...
    It would be fantastic to learn that they received their 1916 medal for their service but I doubt very much that it never found them.
    Boycott the "Irish" Sun rag.

  10. #10
    Politics.ie Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Baile Ath Cliath
    Posts
    9,211
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ruserious View Post

    However, foreigners coming to these shores is a lesser told tale. Donegal takes its name from the fort of foreigners. In fact, our own national anthem makes a reference to buion dár slua, Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn (some have come from a land beyond the wave).
    A great story.. But I don't think that part of the anthem had anything to do with our gallant allys in europe.. Charles Corrigan(Scotland) and Neil Weekes(England-Liverpool iirc) were the only two outside of Ireland that died on easter week.. IIRC Corrigan was a Socialist Republican and Weekes was a Jew..

Page 1 of 14 1234511 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •