Capt William Frederick Newberry b1875

lower baggot st
92 Lower Baggot St is a hotel today
William Frederick Newberry

Captain William Frederick Newberry of 4th Bn. The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) was murdered age 45 on 21 Nov 1920 at 92 Lower Baggot St, Dublin.. He was a Courts Martial officer, and does not appear to have been involved in Intellegence work. Some of his service record survives. His death would have passed "unremarked" among other killings if it had not happened on Bloody Sunday.

It certainly appears that Newberry was on "the list", but whether he was on Collins list or one of the additions is impossible to say. Certainly the gunmen asked for him by name, and appeared to know exactly which room he was in. Joe O'Farrell ,an engineering student aged 20 and with 3 siblings was living at 92 Lower Baggot Street. It has been shown to me by the family that Joe O'Farrell a good friend of Kevin Barry and was at the court-martial of Barry. He lived in a flat upstairs above Capt Newberry is unlikely to be a coincidence Newberry was targeted. O'Farrell may well have been the source of information on Newberry. This could have led to the Dublin Brigade adding Newberry to the list in revenge for Kevin Barry's execution. We also know from an audio recording made with his brother Harry 50 years later with Joe and Harry's nephew Fr Ernan McMullin that Joe was not in the flat with Harry, Gertrude and Rita at the time of Capt Newberry's murder.One needs the transcript of the Barry trial to see if Newberry was there.

Capt W F Newberry, joined the Royal Marines, then went on to Sussex Regt, he retired in 1908 and moved to Canada he was a registered barrister and a expert in military law. He came back to Britain in WW1. All his service during the war was on the home front, he commanded a training depot, so there would not have been a MIC. He then went on to Dublin to do Court Martial work.

1875 Jul 6, born . St Thomas District, Devon. vol 5b p 47

1881 census aged 5, born Withycombe, Devon. Living at 12 Parade, Withycombe Rawleigh with widowed father

1891 census, Newberry

1891 census at school at St Peter's School, Long Causeway, Littleham. Born Exmouth. He appears to have later been at Cheltenham College and Royal Naval College, Greenwich., followed by Grays Inn. He was in OTC 1891/92

1894/1895 2nd Lt in R.M. L.I

1898 Marriage Jul/Sep in Poole vol 5a, p 543 ( to Ellen Ford- full name Madeleine Helen Henrietta Ford)

1901 census. Living with his wife Ellen at Maitland, Parkwood Rd, Pokesdown, Christchurch, Dorset. They have a 1 year old daughter, and he is studying fior the bar. Capt. Newberry's daughter Ruby Doris Myra Newberry lived to a great age (1899-2001) and was married in 1923 to Robert Wilmot who predeceased her in 1963. Th Wilmot's had a son Alan

1903 Aug 29. 1st Volunteer Battalion, the Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment), William Frederick Newberry, Gent., to be Second Lieutenant. Gazette

1905 Dec 20, 1st Volunteer Battalion, The Queens (Royal West Surrey Regt); second lieutenant to be Lieutenant:—W. F. Newberry. Gazette

1907 Jan 1, 1st Volunteer Battalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment); Lieutenant to be Captain: W. F. Newberry. Gazette

1908 Mar 31. Gazette he resigned his commission.

1911 census shows the family struggling. His wife is working for Claremont Brighton Ltd as manageress of a boarding house, and William Frederick Newberry is living with her there. He has qualifid as a barrister. They still have only 1 child.The boarding house is at 12 and 14 Cavendish Place Brighton

1912 Territorial commission as Captain

1913 Apr 25 Willian F Newberry age 37 years is listed on Canadian Passenger List 25th April 1913 on the Vessel:- Mongolian from Liverpool. England to Halifax, Nova Scotia. He had never been in Canada before. Religion:- C of E. Travelling to Winnipeg. Occupation:- Barrister of Law. His wife Ellen and daughter, Doris, arrive in Canada on the Corinthian on 5 Oct 1913, and are bound for Fernie, B.C. so it would appear that Winnipeg did not work out.

At the outbreak of war he returned to the UK and all his service during the war was on the home front, he commanded a training depot, so there would not have been a MIC.

1914 Oct 29. Capt (temp ) William Frederick Newberry, from the Territorial Force Reserve, to be Capt , with precedence as from 29th Oct 1914 4th May 1917.Gazette and Gazette . OC Territorial Depot, 4th Queens.

1916 Dec 26. OC "A" coy 18th Hants

1917 Jul 9 Capt. W. F. Newberry, R.W. Surrey Regt., T.F., to be Adjt., 6th battalion Norfolk Volunteer.Regt., and to remain seconded.

He then apparently came to Dublin and became an educational officer with the 25th Provisional Infantry Brigade which comprised of - 1 Bn Kings Own Royal Regiment, 2 Bn Worcestershire Regiment, 2 Bn Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 1 Bn South Lancashire Regiment, 2 Bn Welch Regiment, 2 Bn Royal Berkshire Regiment, 1 Bn Cheshire Regiment, Raithdrum

1920 Jun 26. Capt. W. F. Newberry, 4th Royal West Surrey Regiment., T.F., to be an Education Officer. Gazette

1920 Oct 2. Army correspondence on his file shows that he relinquished his appointment as Eduction Officer before Oct 2. But does not say what he was then doing.

The IRA group that murdered him comprised about 7 to 12 men in the attack on 92 Lower Baggot Street,2nd Battalion

Captain William Frederick Newberry, and his "wife" blocked the gang from entering their rooms, but the intruders forced the front door of the apartment. Newberry and his wife then blockaded themselves into their inner bedroom, but Capt Newberry was hit from bullets fired through the door. Newberry rushed for his window to try and escape but was shot while climbing out by Bill Stapleton and Joe Leonard after they finally broke the door down. Newberry's corpse hung out of a window for several hours as the Royal Irish Constabulary waited to approach, fearing the body might have been booby-trapped.

The IRA side of it is About twelve men were admitted to 92 Lower Baggot Street at the same time. William Stapleton was among the men who asked for Captain W. F. Newberry and made their way to the first floor flat. After some hammering on the door it was opened a little. It was evident that the occupant of the room was very cautious and suspicious because he tried to close the door again, but we jammed our feet in it. We fired some shots through the door and burst our way in. The two rooms were connected by folding-doors and the British agent ran into the front room and endeavoured to barricade the door, but some of our party had broken in the door of the front room and we all went into it. He was in his pyjamas, and as he was attempting to escape by the window he was shot a number of times. One of our party on guard outside fired at him from outside. The man’s wife was standing in the corner of the room and was in a terrified and hysterical condition. The operation lasted about fifteen minutes. Stapleton’s report said really very little at all. There was plenty about doors and getting in and getting out, but no details about what happened in that room. Captain Newbury was shot seven times; his body left hanging from the window, where as Stapleton said, he had tried to escape. His heavily pregnant wife could only cover him with a blanket.

Hansard reports. A party of raiders numbering a dozen were let in by Mrs. Slack, the tenant of the house, and asked for Captain Newbury. Captain Newbury was a Court-Martial officer who lived there with his wife. Seeing the crowd the landlady rushed upstairs in terror and saw nothing of what happened afterwards. The men knocked at Captain Newbury's door; Mrs. Newbury opened it, and seeing a crowd of men armed with revolvers slammed the door in their faces and locked it. The men burst the door open, but the Newburys escaped to an inner room. Captain Newbury and wife together tried to hold the door against them and almost succeeded in shutting it when the men fired through the door wounding Captain Newbury, who though losing blood nevertheless got to the window, flung it open, and was half-way out when the murderers burst into the room. Mrs. Newbury flung herself in their way, but they pushed her aside and fired seven shots into her husband's body. The police found the body half in and half out, covered with a blanket which Mrs. Newbury, though in a prostrate condition, had placed over it. It is reported that her resolution and her subsequent grief strongly affected the party of police who made the discovery. It is worthy of notice that the murderers in this case, as in two or three others, made diligent search for papers, hoping, perhaps, to find and abstract documents or evidence on which the military law officers were supposed to be working at the time.

W F Newbury died Dublin South Oct - Dec 1920 vol 2, p 514. Buried in a CWGC grave at St Pancras Cemetery. Son of the late W. C. and Myra Newberry, of Exmouth; husband of the late E. J.Newberry. And thereby is another sad story. The "Mrs Newberry" ,who was with him when shot ,died in childbirth a few weeks later, and her baby died too.

The burial entry for W F Newberry indicates that Hettie his wife (using Newberry, rather than her later re-married name of Warren) is buried beside him

Mrs Woodcock wrote One officer had been butchered in front of his wife. They took some time to kill him. Shortly afterwards she had a little baby. It was born dead, and a few days after she also died This must refer to the woman in the room when Newerry was shot. I cannot find either a second marriage, nor a death for Mrs Newberry. It is clear that the lady in the room was not his wife, but was carrying his child. The identity of Capt. Newberry's mystery companion at the time of his murder and, with her own reported death and still-born child still to be resolved. The early Dublin Metropolitan Police report, compounded by the subsequent Hansard entry, has maintained the heroic but false image of a brave dutiful wife under extreme emotional/traumatic stress.

(Soldiers effects)

Capt. W.F. Newberry's actual wife was granted probate of his will (1921) . And she received £3200 compensation for his death

In December 1922 Newberry's widow married again in North London to a Frank Warren. She died in 1928 from an alcohol-related illness, aged 52 in North London

I hve been in corrrespondence with a member of the Newberry family

Debrett enquiries (extensive and diligent) have shown that Capt. Newberry's wife adopted a variety of first names which made their own research difficult until exhaustive elimination eventually revealed the truth. Ellen was also known as Hetty (no doubt the abbreviated form of Henrietta in her full name once employed of Madeleine Helen Henrietta) and "Jane" (her mother was Ellen Jane Ford nee Lester).  Her subsequent marriage to Frank Warren in 1922 showed her as "Ellen Jane (otherwise Hettie) Newberry" on their marriage certificate, of which I have a copy.
Finally, the CWGC entry would no doubt have been following the available official reports of the tragic companion as Capt. Newberry's "wife" and thus shown her as the late "E.J. Newberry" as you report in your reply below.  ..... Anyway, with the benefit of modern technology and tenacity, they have established that the wife was NOT the tragic woman described with the captain at his death.  His grandson Alan Wilmot wonders now if she may not even have been English but Irish - another aspect for our family research to consider.  Certainly, from Alan's account of the family fall-out between grandmother and his own mother, this could have been the result of a number of factors, or a combination thereof.  It was serious enough insofar that in her last will just over a week prior to her death, Ellen Warren/ Newberry made no mention by name of her daughter (and only child) - or any Newberry "family member".

...having received the latest family research report, I have to accept that there is no EVIDENCE to discredit the official version of events on that dreadful Sunday morning in Dublin. However, that said, I have considered the following closely and have finished with my own opinion.

I place my belief in the insistence by the daughter that her mother was not with her father when he was shot down and that the army wives' "intelligence system" may have learnt the truth about the "Mrs Newberry" at the scene (I would never underestimate their way of acquiring such information) but, sadly - with the hindsight of history and justice to the tragic victim and her child - minus the identityof either or their final resting place(s).  It is all too easy to believe they may have been thought of as just two more victims of a ruthless propaganda-driven conflict, the ramifications of which continued to rumble on for many years to haunt both sides of the Irish Sea.


Cairo Gang