Edward Hendrick, a bootmaker like his father, was an unmarried 28-year-old when he participated in the rising, serving in C company, 1st Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers. Under the command of Edward Daly the battalion took over the Four Courts on Easter Monday April 24th where Hendrick was assigned to defend the barricades on Church Street. They held out against the British forces until Saturday April 29th when they were forced to surrender.
|The Four Courts under bombardment - this could be |
by British forces in 1916 or Irish free state forces in 1922.
Daly, the commandant of the battalion, was executed by firing squad on May 4th. Hendrick was interned and sent to prison in England on May 8th, first at Stafford Gaol and then at Frongoch prison camp. He was released at the end of July and returned to Dublin, where he rejoined the Irish Volunteers. He didn't see any further action and thankfully was not involved in the horrors of the Irish civil war of 1922 / 23. Instead in July 1922 he married Margaret Davenport and they had four children over the next decade.
His health was poor though and the family struggled to make ends meet as he worked as a porter, carrying coal and supplies around a Dublin hospital. The service pension provided by the state was meagre, and when in 1944 he was too ill to continue working his young children had to find menial jobs to sustain the family. When he died in 1948, aged 60, the family couldn't afford a proper funeral and he was buried in an unmarked grave.
Edward Hendrick was my grandfather, my mother's father. I heard the outline of this story from her. Like every youngster growing up in 1970's Dublin I believed that Grandad "did his bit for Ireland", but given the small numbers who actually took part in the rising there was a lot of wishful thinking going on. However last year the military pensions board in Ireland put its records on-line and there I found my Granddad - letters in his own hand describing the rising, confirmation of his participation from officers who served with him, his medical records and more.
Granddad died 16 years before I was born and we don't know where he's buried, but nearly 100 years after the rising he is not forgotten.
- Edward Hendrick - records of military service pension
- Edward Hendrick in the 1911 census records
- Photo from Stafford Gaol of 1916 prisoners - is Granddad here?