This is a fantastic illustration from ‘Le Petit Journal’ showing the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson by Irish republicans in London, an event which would ultimately lead to the Free State moving in against republicans occupying the Four Courts premises in Dublin. Henry Wilson was assassinated in London on the June 22 1922, only hours after unveiling the Great Eastern Railway war memorial at Liverpool Street Station in London. Reginald Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan were the two London volunteers responsible for Wilson’s death. O’Sullivan had lost a leg at Ypres in 1917 fighting for King and Country, while Dunne had also seen service in the Great War with the Irish Guards. Wilson was assassinated on his own door step, only hours after unveiling a memorial to those who died in the Great War, by two of its veterans. The men were hanged at Wandsworth Prison on August 10th 1922.
In August of 1929 a memorial was erected at Dean’s Grange Cemetery to Dunne and O’Sullivan, at a ceremony attended by over 500 people. In July 1967 the bodies of the two Volunteers were buried in Dublin in Dean’s Grange, following years of campaigning by the National Graves Association.
The attack on the Four Courts by the Free State attracted huge international media attention, and the images below come from the London Illustrated News of July 8 1922.
The execution of Henry Wilson was not the only Irish interest story to make the front page of the Le Petit Journal. Below is their take on the execution of Michael Collins at Béal na mBláth.
Update: The folks at the Dublin Review of Books have linked to this piece on their site, and in the process have taken the time to translate the caption on the Wilson illutration:
Come Here To Me! does not translate the caption to the illustration of the shooting. It reads: “L’histoire du conflit entre l’Irlande et la Grande-Bretagne a toutes ses pages tâchées de sang. – Un nouveau chapitre dramatique vient d’y être ajouté. A Londres le maréchal Wilson a été assassiné a coup de revolvers par des fanatiques Irlandais. C’est un brave soldat et un ami de la France qui vient de disparaître.” (Every page of the history of the conflict between Ireland and Great Britain is stained with blood. – Another dramatic chapter has just been added. In London Marshal Wilson has been assassinated by the revolvers of Irish fanatics. A brave soldier and friend of France has died.)