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j A RHYMNEY HERO WHO I DEFIED THE IRISH GUN- RUNNERS. I HIS EXPERIENCE IN GERMANY. t < The man who defied Sir Roger Casement and gave Lance Corpora) Dowling, the Irish-German gun- runner, a severe mauling is now back in the bosom of his family at 35, LAdy Tyler-terrace, Rhymney, after having undergone over four years in the German imprisonment camps. The hero of the story is Pte. Dan Scanlon, of the 1st Cheshire Regiment, who received his earlier education at St. Peters' Roman Catholic School, Cardiff. When the war broke out be was on the Army Reserve list, and having joined up immediately, crossed with the first -batch of England's "Contemptible little Army." He was in the battle of Mons, and was taken prisoner on the 24th August, 1914, and, during his sojourn on the other side of the Rhine has been in nr) less than seven different camps. He was one of 617 men who were &r.t taken to Munster Camp. He had not been here long before he was sent to prison for six weeks for refusing to work. They were, he said, a party of 36 who were told off to work on some land seven miles from the camp. Here they had to go intc/a bog knee deep and turn over the slurry, evid- ently for the purpose of cultivation. The weather had been bad for days- rain, sleet and snow falling. They had but very little food to sutitain them, and the entire conditions were appall- ing. There was no interpreter, through whom they could lodge their complaints, and having reached the utmost point of endurance, the men eventually ran away, only to be re- captured and sentenced. There were nearly 100 Britishers in the prison which was in charge of a Sergeant Major, who was extraordinarity bit- tern-even for German bitterness— agamst the English. So extreme was his hatred that he had a small door constructed in one part, and every night and morning, as the Englishmen passed through, he lashed them with a whip. It was not merely a Cat-o- nine tails" remarked Private Scanlon, "but a Cat-o-16 or 20 tails." The brutality of this map was unlimited. On one ocoasion, when in this prison camp, I saw two prisoners having a friendly argument over the merits of two English Football teams. The men were called before this offioer," who flatly ignored their explanation, and maintained that they were planning some revolutionary movement, and finished up his abuse by knocking one of the men's teeth out, and when the prisoner was on the floor he continued to beat him so heavily with the butt end of the rifle and with kicks, that even a Prussian Guard who was on duty in the sentry box at the camp could not endure it. The latter came down from his elevated box, and, placing his gun on the one side of the body of the Britisher, leaned over to it and defied this inhuman bully to continue his devilish treatment. The poor fellow who had to undergo this treatment was Private Dunn, of the let Cheshire Regiment. During their stay in this camp their allowance of food wae four ounces of bread per day and olear water for dinner. On many occasions he witnessed the Germans feeding the Belgian and French prisoners at din- ner jtime, and after their meal was over the boilers would be washed out, and this given to the English prison- ers. It was when in this camp that he first heard of the formation of an Irish Brigade. Private Scanlon is a Roman Catholic, and one day they were to change their camp. I went up to the German pig of an otlcer, I and asked him what was the object of the removal," and he replied: If you don't go where I send you, you will soon go somewhere else,' which meant death. I was about to ask further questions, when he slapped me on the face and ordered me away. I with others of the same faith were I then removed to Lemburg. Here the bread rations were increased five times to that of the previous camp, plenty of meat", and in fact a vast improvement, but the cause for it all soon came out, that of the formation of an Irish Brigade. About the middle of January in 1915, Sir Roger Casement appeared at the camp. He addressed the men on the question of forming a Royal Munster Volunteer Brigade. His proposals were not only immediately resented by the men but he was made to run I away from that camp at a faster rate tluB U ovor ran before. Stmt of the men actually pulled off their boots and threw after him. For rejecting this scheme all the prisoners Wfre placed on half rations. Somehow, or by some mysterious means which bad not. been fathomed, there came into the camp one day the first three men who had joined this Irish Brigade. One of them was a notorious Lance Corporal, who is now serving a term of 15 years in prison in connection with the im- portation of arms into Ireland and the collapsable bpat incident. After some considerable time these men were allowed to walk about the camp quite free and anvoce who desired to join as a volunteer this Irish Brigade wore allowed to visit the three men" and enter into a free conversation with them. We old soldiers said Pte. Seanlon, put our heads together and we could see the game. We went np to the three men and we gave them no small amount of abuse and did all we could to prevent anyone from joining this Irish Brigade," with the result that next day our rations were further out down to half and our dinner that of pure water. Just at this time the parcels started to arrive from England and we .are everlastingly indebted to the send Ilera for them. Every facility was put in the way of the prisoners to join this Irish Brigade and they were en- couraged to, visit these three Irish officers" in their bunks. A few of us went there one night in an ap- parent penitent form for the previous abuse. We discussed the terms of enlistment, the pay privileges, and duties. At last I lost my temper at the thoughte of their trying to form a brigade of Irishmen to fight for the Germans that I went full tilt for Dowling and I mauled him about, in fact, I gave him a very severe mauling, for which I was next day sentenced to fourteen days imprisonment and placed on bread* and water ration. Following this there came a general order that all those who >0^ not volunteer mast go to work. I was warned to be one of the work parties, but I managed to escape for a time and for nearly three months bid under the Altar of the Catholick Church. When apprehended, I was sent off with others to a farm and I worked there alright for about five weeks. By that time we noticed that the hours were gradually inoreasing from 13 to 16 per day, and this reached a climax when we refused to do these extra hours. There was a row and the farmer struck me on the head with a hatchet leaving a nasty scar there which is distinctly visible. Naturally, I retaliated, with the result that I was sentenced to three months imprisonment for striking a farmer and sent to Butts Bag to spend the term. From here I was sent to the village of Stett, back near Frankfort- on-Maine, and placed to work in the Salvage department of a firm of Rothohilds, the conditions being that when the civilians worked the prisoners, too, bad to work. One day the civilians, in consequence of the weather stopped working, and the prisoners did likewise. There was a row, and the sergeant in charge of us put a man to hold a revolver under my ohin whilst he beat me with the butt end of a rifle. When he had finished this method he took hold of the rifle and aimed a full swinging blow at me, evidently intending to kill me, but I ducked it and the momentum of the blow carried my assailant with it and and he fell off the high wagon on which we were standing, and I heard no more of him. I was however beaten about so badly that my liver was twice its normal size. ii MM
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The two German prisoners who were found on a Norwegian vessel in the Bristol Channel on Tuesday, and landed at Barry, returned to their camp near Ross, Hereford, on Wed- ncsday in charge of an escort. Both men prior to the war belonged to the seafaring class.
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HURLED DOWN SHAFT. I SAD FATALITY AT FOCHRIW. I An inquest was held at Foehri w on I Friday by Mr R. J. Rhys, coroner, on Tom Harris (43), pitman, who met t with his death by falling down the shaft at the No. 1 Pit, Fochriw, on Sunday week. Deceased was a mar- ried man with eight children. The chief witness was Wyndham Edwards, a fellow pitman, who ap- peared in court with a hand bandagsd and bearing other marks of injury. He said he and deceased were exam- ining the pit in the usual way, when I about 140 yards from the bottom wit- ness had occasion to signal to the I engine driver to pull up a little. Immediately afterwards he found that the signal wire (which was a wire specially constructed for the use of pitmen) broke away and came down on top of them. He and Harris then rushed under the bridles. The next I thing he remembered was being I hurled towards the middle of the pit i He grasped hold of a guide and hung on to this, feeling himself gradually I slipping towards the bottom. Harris, who was on top of the cage, shouted j to him, and he responded. A second ] later he saw the body of Harris pass- ing him in its descent to the bottom. He had no idea as to what struck deoeased off the top of the cage, but he could only assume that it was the recoil of the signal wire rope which dislodged him. Witness continued to slip down the guide-rope, and on reaching the bottom be found the | mangled remains of his colleague. The Coroner, in returning a ver- dict of Accidental death" corgrata- I ated Edwards upon his miraculous Wpti whioh, ht said, wis tht nar- rowest he could recall in his long expenenoe. to»
Ponltry rations are to be dropped at tbt, end of the month, as there is plenty of food available. -8 r-
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