Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
The Signatories of the Proclamation

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Major-General William Henry Muir Lowe

20 October 1861 – 7 February 1944

On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Lowe rejoined the army as Inspector of Cavalry, and was appointed as a Brigade Commander with rank of Brigadier-General in 1915. He was commander of the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Brigade, stationed at the Curragh Camp, at the outbreak of the Easter Rising on Monday, 24 April 1916.

On being informed of the Rising by phone, he ordered the brigade to Dublin by train. Arriving himself in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Lowe assumed command of British forces in Dublin and set about securing the line between the railway station, Dublin Castle and Trinity College, thus dividing the rebel positions north and south of the river.

It was Lowe who ordered the shelling of Liberty Hall by field guns from Trinity College, and who ordered the Sherwood Foresters to continue advancing on Mount Street Bridge with a high cost in casualties.

On Saturday evening, 29 April, after being approached by Nurse Elizabeth O'Farrell, he agreed to negotiate with the leaders only if they would surrender unconditionally, and at 2.30 pm that day, accompanied by Nurse O'Farrell, Patrick Pearse surrendered to Lowe.

He was awarded the honorary rank of major-general when he finally retired in March 1919.

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