Sunday, 4 April 2010

Appeal for information on English Jewish socialist who fought and died in the Easter 1916 Rising


Hi - My name is Sam. I'm a 2nd Year History student in University College Dublin (UCD).

I'm currently trying to research the life of an illusive English Jewish Socialist who was killed in action in the Easter 1916 Rising. I'm hoping some of your members might be able to help.

Name: Arthur Weekes/Weeks/Wicks (c. 1886 - 1916)
Nickname: Neale/Neil/O'Neill

The Irish Worker (No.43. Saturday, May 3rd 1924) states that he was "a Jewish comrade who joined on Easter Monday and died in action”

The Records of the Republican Soldiers' Casualty Committee (1928) states that he was from "Norwich, U.K" and joined the Irish Citizen Army (I.C.A) in November 1915. It also says that he was German by birth, worked as a chef in The Shelbourne Hotel (and) belonged to the the German Communist Party (sic) and the Irish Socialist Party.

The Irish Workers Voice (April 19th, 1930) states that was a son of a bootmaker and born in Norwich. A prominent role in the "London hotel strike in 1913" led to his victimisation and so he moved to Dublin. "Instrumental" in running arms and ammunition for the I.C.A. in the months preceding the Rising.

I've lots of information on his activity in Easter Week 1916 but I'm trying to find out more about his early life.

Where do you think I should start? London 1913 trade union records? Perhaps socialist publications made note of his death in 1916?

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