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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

19 February 1921: Brigadier-General Frank Percy Crozier CMC, DSO. [above], the head of the ‘Black and Tans’ submitted his resignation on this day. The General was disgusted at the undisciplined antics of many of the ‘cadets’ under his command of the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RIC).  He had made inquiries that seemed to him to point the finger of blame at men under his nominal control in the murder of Father Griffin and the projected murder of Bishop Fogarty. He had sent back in disgrace 21 of the more outrageous members of his force to Britain only to discover that General Tudor, the overall head of the RIC , had recalled them for duty in Ireland. This proved a catalyst in Crozier deciding to resign his position. Following questions put to Sir Hamar Greenwood, Chief Secretary for Ireland, by Captain Redmond in the House of Commons this news became public and the thing became an open scandal. The notorious reputation of the ‘Black & Tans’ was further enhanced and their bloody reign was now open for all to see.

Crozier drifted off into obscurity and spent his last years putting his energies and pen to the cause of peace, denouncing war as a means of settling international disputes in a series of books that sought to portray war with uncompromising brutality. These included ‘A Brass Hat in No Mans Land’ about his time on the Western Front with amongst others the 36th Ulster Division and ‘Ireland Forever’ on his time in charge of the ‘Black & Tans’ He died in 1937.