John Neale

Published in 20th Century Social Perspectives, 20th-century / Contemporary History, General, Issue 5 (Sep/Oct 2008), Letters, Letters, Revolutionary Period 1912-23, Volume 16

Sir,

—I’m trying to find more information on an individual called JohnNeale. He was a ‘young socialist cockney member of the Irish CitizenArmy’ who acted as a lookout on top of the Metropole Hotel during theEaster Rising. On the Friday, ‘as the building was being evacuated, hisammunition pouch was exploded by a stray bullet . . . Neale, whoselower torso was ripped to shreds, swayed and gasped to his neighbour,“Can’t you stand away and let a fellow lie down”. He was set down on apile of mail stacks where he told Lieut. Oscar Traynor, “I’m dying,comrade”.’ He died the next day. In his memoir Joe Good describes indetail an American socialist fighting in the Metropole whom he had seenon an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) platform in London in 1913.This individual called everyone ‘comrade’, acted as a lookout and wasfatally shot during the evacuation of the Metropole in the exact samecircumstances as Neale (a stray bullet hitting his ammunition sack). Wecan definitely come to the conclusion that this unnamed individual wasNeale. I’m trying to research this man’s background. If anyone can aidme in my research, please email me at matchgrams@gmail.com.

—Yours etc.,
SAM McGRATH

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