Background - Creation of Auxiliary Division of RIC

The Auxiliary Division is meant to be an elite paramilitary division of RIC made up of ex-officers of the British Army, graded as temporary cadets on twelve month contracts and ranked as a RIC Sergeant and paid twice normal RIC recruits (i.e. paid £1 per day). While the Auxies were formally under Tudor's overall command, according to Curran, they were "a law unto themselves". Townshend notes that a British cabinet committee had in May/June rejected a special gendarme proposed by Churchill (because of fears about discipline) – see May 11th, May 31st, July 6th, July 10th and July 11th.   The Auxiliaries would seem to have been Tudor's idea (with support from Churchill and the ‘hawks’ on the British Cabinet's Committee on the Situation in Ireland). Tudor had announced their creation at the joint conference of the British cabinet and Irish administration on the 23rd July when recruiting had already started.

No executive order exists for their creation and their place in the RIC command structure was not defined. Tudor wrote again to the Under Secretary on the 28th July but he was still working out the role and formation of the Auxiliaries (Leeson (2012), pg 99). 

Eventually, HQ for the Auxiliaries was Beggars Bush barracks in Dublin.  On the 20th August, they were placed under command of Brigadier-General Frank Crozier with Brigadier General E. A. Wood as his deputy.  They were formed into companies of about 100 men.  The O/C was usually a man who had held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army and held the rank of District Inspector 1 within the RIC structure.  By the end of October, nine companies had been formed and were stationed throughout the south and west of Ireland.  By April 1921, there were fifteen companies with three stationed in Dublin; three in Cork and the remainder in nine other counties. 

The total number who served in the Auxiliaries (‘Auxies’) was just over 2,000 but with no more than 1,500 at any one time.  For further detail, see the very good website dedicated to the Auxiliaries – www.theauxiliaries.com.  Leeson says that there were 19 companies made up of 17 field companies, a depot company at Beggars Bush and a veterans division company of temporary constables.  These temporary constables, of which there were about 1,000, would seem to have acted as “Batmen, Cooks, etc. but have no status as policemen” but this is not clear (see Leeson (2012), pgs 100 and 109).

 

 

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