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  1. #1
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    Queen of the west armoured car

    The “Queen of the west” was an improvised armoured car, built by the irregular IRA on the chassis of a Crossley tender. She is probably the most well known of the improvised vehicles that the irregulars built during the Irish civil war.

    Constructed with a boiler which had been taking from the Mulranny hotel in Co Mayo and mounted on the chassis of a Crosley, the boiler been reinforced by fitting extra metal plates with concrete in-between, loopholes been added for weapons to fire through, with metal plates fitted to protect the engine. The work been carried out at the garage of a Thomas Moran which was next to the Mulranny hotel in Co Mayo. A small slit for the driver to see through can be seen as well as the door to the rear of the vehicle which has several spare tyres droop over it.

    Taking part in the fighting in and around Clifden Co Galway in October of 1922 the “Queen of the west” fell into the hands of the Irish national army after a successful attack on positions held by the irregulars at Clifden.
    Her new owners renamed her “The girl I left behind me” and used her temporarily before been abandoned in a bog in north Mayo where she lay partly submerges until 1934 at which time an attempt was made to retrieve her with the intention of placing her in a motor museum.

    After the civil war Thomas Moran attempted and failed to claim from the Irish state £1,156 in damages caused to his public house and his garage which was next to the Mulranny hotel.
    Moran claimed that national army troops arrested him, broke up everything in his premises and fired their rifles through the roof and windows, three motor cars and a lorry were smashed, gallons of oil were spilled and his premises looted.

    The attachment is a newspaper scan and cant be enlarged any better.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by vintary; 6th June 2011 at 00:36.

  2. #2
    MayoLady
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    Hi Vintary,

    I wondered if you could tell me some more about the photograph you attached, like when was it taken, where was it published?

    Any help greatly appreciated!

    MayoLady

  3. #3
    Sergeant
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    Your welcome Mayolady to what little information I have on the Queen, and I’m happy to see someone take an interest in her. The photo is in the Irish Independent newspaper 12/01/1923 page 3. Hopefully you may turn up some new information and share it with us in the future.
    Any other information I have is from the newspaper archive and is in connection with both the Queen and the fighting in and around Clifden. If you not got access to the library newspaper archive PM me your Email address.
    I also placed this post on the HMVF web site (historic military vehicle forums) and got an interesting reply, which is been followed up (see attached link).
    Hope I was of some help,,,,,

    http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread...ght=queen+west

    Irish times
    18/08/1922 page 6
    11/11/1922 page 2
    13/12/1922 page 6
    19/12/1922 page 8
    13/03/1925 page 5
    20/03/1925 page 8

    Irish independent
    01/11/1922 page5
    12/01/1923 page 3

    Irish press
    09/02/1935 page 9

    Freemans journal
    18/08/1922 page 6

  4. #4
    Eric Nolan
    Guest
    I only recently came across, purely by chance, the site Irish Military Online, and was extremely interested in the mention of the "Queen of the West" armoured car. My Gr. Uncle Tom Nolan was a great friend of "Number 9", as Thomas Moran was known, both "fighting for freedom" at the time of the Irish Civil War. I believe at one time they both were imprisoned in Castlebar for attending subversive meetings, and my Tom (then about 70 yrs.old !) was wounded in the leg at some skirmish. Tom Nolan bought and restored the RIC Garrison in Mulranny having, I suspect, being involved in helping to burn it down in the first place ! He named it New York House (he had worked in Brooklyn, N.Y., after first emigrating to Preston, England with my Gr. Grandfather, Patrick) and lived there till his death in 1938, aged 90.
    There is a fabulous photo of ""Fag a' beallach", an Irish term I'm told for "leave the way", in Vol.1, No.2 of " Back the Road" (Pg.17 ) showing the car's capture by Freestate soldiers after the batttle of Clifden.
    I visit Mulranny & Cushlecka (where my Nolans originated) as often as I can, and there is great local "craic" of the 2 Toms, Moran & Nolan. Indeed I have challenged garage owner James Grealis to build a replica Queen of the West if we fail to find the original old girl ! Incidentally, it was James' family who took over the Nolan land & homestead, still remembered today by James' old mother, Annie.
    Do we know what eventually happened to the car, or is is still in the bog somewhere ?
    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Best regards,
    Eric Nolan
    Wilpshire
    Nr. Blackburn
    UK

  5. #5
    Sergeant
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    Eric, I also posted on the Historic military vehicle forums (post 127) and got an interesting reply, (post 131) on the Crossley RFC tender thread. Apart from that and what I have posted here I have nothing more to add.
    There is great interest in the Queen of the west, in particular from scale model makers as I had several Emails regarding more info on its construction.
    Maybe your post will bring it to the forefront again and hopefully more info or photos may turn up.

    http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread...522#post265522
    Last edited by vintary; 23rd October 2012 at 20:05.

  6. #6
    Recruit
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    Queen of the West armoured car

    Hi I am in possession of a photo of the car, seems to be the same one as in the book you mentioned Eric Nolan. I was just interested to contact you as I am doing some family tree research and the photo belonged to my grandparents who both came to Preston and I was wondering if perhaps you had heard of them or could be of any assistance to me if you don't mind. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Nolan View Post
    I only recently came across, purely by chance, the site Irish Military Online, and was extremely interested in the mention of the "Queen of the West" armoured car. My Gr. Uncle Tom Nolan was a great friend of "Number 9", as Thomas Moran was known, both "fighting for freedom" at the time of the Irish Civil War. I believe at one time they both were imprisoned in Castlebar for attending subversive meetings, and my Tom (then about 70 yrs.old !) was wounded in the leg at some skirmish. Tom Nolan bought and restored the RIC Garrison in Mulranny having, I suspect, being involved in helping to burn it down in the first place ! He named it New York House (he had worked in Brooklyn, N.Y., after first emigrating to Preston, England with my Gr. Grandfather, Patrick) and lived there till his death in 1938, aged 90.
    There is a fabulous photo of ""Fag a' beallach", an Irish term I'm told for "leave the way", in Vol.1, No.2 of " Back the Road" (Pg.17 ) showing the car's capture by Freestate soldiers after the batttle of Clifden.
    I visit Mulranny & Cushlecka (where my Nolans originated) as often as I can, and there is great local "craic" of the 2 Toms, Moran & Nolan. Indeed I have challenged garage owner James Grealis to build a replica Queen of the West if we fail to find the original old girl ! Incidentally, it was James' family who took over the Nolan land & homestead, still remembered today by James' old mother, Annie.
    Do we know what eventually happened to the car, or is is still in the bog somewhere ?
    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Best regards,
    Eric Nolan
    Wilpshire
    Nr. Blackburn
    UK

  7. #7
    Recruit
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    Aug 2018
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    Hello, my relative is Brian Corrigan and was a member of the IRA and present at the Galway attack of the RIC barracks in Clifden. In his memoirs he gives an account of the Queen of the West.

    I was interested to see the post of Eric Nolan and that he visits Cushlecka. My grandfather is from Cushlecka.

    Louise Holt also mentions her family moving to Preston from Ireland. I have family in Preston and Kirkham.

    I am researching my family tree and would love to make contact with Eric Nolan and Louise Holt to see if we have any close ties. Thanks

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