Monteith, the officer in charge of the Irish Brigade

Casement tried and failed to get an Irish officer POW to command his Irish Brigade. He then turned to the US for the supply of Irish officers or American officers of Irish descent. It appears that a number of officers were sent by the Revolutionary Directory of Clan na Gael but only one got through. He was Robert Monteith from Ireland, who had joined the Irish Volunteers and become a drill instructor. When war broke he he opted not to serve the British Crown, and as a result lost his job and was expelled from Dublin . He had to move to Limerick where he trained Volunteers. In Limerick he was recruited by Tom Clarke to join Casement, and after a hazardous journey finally reached Berlin on 22 October 1915. Monteith was not therefore a POW, but someone brought in to command the men

A German Military Attaché in New York, writing to Berlin on 21 Sep 1915, describes Monteith as "36 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, formerly sergeant major in the royal riding artillery (the RHA) in the English army. Participated in the Boer War and the Indian border wars, served in Egypt and was wounded twice. At the outbreak of war he had a position in the armoury in Dublin and at the same time was a Captain in the Irish Volunteers. He was offered the rank of Captain in the English army but declined and was expelled from Dublin"

Arriving as he did in late October 1915, Monteith may well have been too late to save the idea of the Irish Brigade, and in addition was not the right man in German eyes. The German General Staff needed a man of higher rank than Monteith, a man with whom they could deal as an equal. So Robert Monteith, right from his arrival in Germany, was not fully accepted by the German officers with whom he had to liaise. Only a full colonel would have had the rank required.

Monteith was only recognised by the Germans with the rank of Feldwebel-Leutnant. Veteran NCOs could be promoted to the rank of Feldwebel-Leutnant and this Army Reserve officer ranked with the Commissioned Officers, but was always inferior to the lowest Leutnant. He was always referred to in Casement's letters and by the Germans as "Lieutenant Monteith", never as "Capt Monteith". The "Captain" refers to his standing in the IRA when he left Ireland, and was never recognised by the Germans. The low rank of "Feldwebel-Leutnant " made his dealings with a class/rank conscious German War Ministry "difficult".

Monteith did however succeed in turning the recruits into a coherent group, and did get permission from the Germans to start machine gun training with them. But in the end the brigade was poorly paid, poorly dressed and poorly fed, which was unlikely to persuade any others to join them.

On 15 Oct 1915, Casement wrote to Count Wedel "If only I had an officer to take command most of my difficulties would disappear - but Mr Monteith will do very well in most respects to keep the camp in order. I am appointing him pro-tem "Commanding Officer" of the Irish Corps. That gets over the difficulty that he has no prior military rank"

So, who was Robert Monteith?

Robert Monteith was born in a farmhouse in the village of Newtownmountkennedy, Wicklow on March 1, 1879. His father Joseph had come down from County Cavan to marry Mary Dillon of Wicklow, and they had with nine children, four boys and five girls. Robert was their third son. He was baptised in the Church of Ireland parish church at Delgany, Diocese of Glendalough.

His eldest brother Jack left home to study to become an engineer; the next brother Dick ran off and joined the British Army. As Robert had been close to Dick, he too joined up in January 1895 when he was 16 - he gave his age as 18, and at 5ft 8inches, he was tall enough to be believed. His British Army Service Record exists, and is very informative. The youngest of the brothers, Joe, was left to help run the farm. Bob enlisted at the local recruiting office in Delgany. He chose the Royal Horse Artillery, and went off to England to do his training. His engagement was for 8 years overseas and 4 years in the reserve.

After basic training he was posted to “T” Battery RHA in India in Oct 1896, with which unit he qualified for the India General Service Medal 1895-1902 with two clasps. He loved everything about the East and soon was speaking Hindustani. He joined patrols in the Khyber Pass and on one of these patrols his horse stumbled, and he fell off, dislocating his right hip on landing. He convalesced for three weeks in a hospital at Umballa in the Punjab.

He was posted from India to South Arica in Jan 1900. There he became a bombardier, 8015, in the RHA there, being listed in A and in G Battery. He was part of the column led by Sir Redvers Buller that relieved Ladysmith. Bombardier Monteith, riding the lead horse of the six that pulled the gun carriage, was the second man to ride through the blockade for the "Relief of Ladysmith.".

A Battery arrived in Natal from India in time to assist at Vaal Krantz, 5th to 7th February 1900, and in the final operations for the relief of Ladysmith.  Accompanied General Buller in his northern advance, and their "excellent services" on the way to Laing's Nek, at Alleman's Nek, Bergendal, and other actions in the northern advance, were acknowledged by General Buller in his dispatches.  In the Paardeplatz-Lyden-burg district A Battery was constantly fighting and had many losses.  Three officers and 6 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned in General Buller's final despatch of 9th November 1900.  The battery was present in Pretoria at the ceremony of the annexation on 25th October 1900, and shortly afterwards left South Africa for England. Monteith was transferred to G Battery on 15th October 1900.

The first party of the relief column, under Major Hubert Gough and which Churchill claims to have been a part of, rode in on the evening of 28 February 1900. His boer war medals show that he was at

When the Boer War finished in 1900 and Bob stayed in South Africa with G Battery RHA. Two guns of G were with General Alderson's column in the Eastern Transvaal in January and February 1901.  The battery was brought to Cape Colony in February 1901 to pursue De Wet (Lord Kitchener's despatch of 8th March 1901).  Afterwards four guns were with Colonel Bethune in the Orange River Colony (despatch of 8th July).

He was posted to O Battery in Summer 1902 and to T Battery in Oct 1902. His discharge came through in South Africa on March 25, 1903, and he sailed back to Ireland arriving in early April 1903. He certainly never held the rank of Sergeant Major as the Germans believed, as there is neither reference to it in his biography, nor does his service record show any such rank. He was transferred to the British Army reserve on 18 April 1903, and continued with serve in the reserve until finally discharged from the reserve in Jan 1911, having renewed his commitment in Jan 1907 for an extra 4 years.

Arriving home from the wars, he weighed only one hundred pounds. He secured a position in the civil service, with the Ordnance Depot in Dundalk, Co. Louth. Bob found lodgings at the boardinghouse where some of his fellow workers lived. Out of his first pay, he bought a bicycle and joined the Clarion Cycling Club. Week ends he rode to Dublin and on to Wicklow to visit his parents and married sisters,.

He was introduced to Mollie McEvoy, a widow and now a dancer in the theatre, who already had three children. Her husband had been murdered in Canada when he had gone there to arrange the emigration of his family. Bob he married her in the autumn of 1909, she being a Catholic widow with 3 children, was something which did not please his own family.

He re-engaged in the British Army Reserve for 4 years in Jan 1907, and discharged from the reserve in Jan 1911. The highest rank he reached was Bombardier in RHA. When finally discharged he had served 16 years in the British Army.

When the five-year contract with the Ordnance in Dundalk came up for renewal, he did not sign, just closed his desk and moved to Dublin permanently. He took over the responsibility of three youngsters in the house Mollie had rented. This new life was the first real home he had since he was sixteen. He found work with an insurance company using his bicycle to make the rounds. Mollie gave up appearing in shows; she now had a position at the Theatre Royal Booking Office, where she managed to get a part-time evening job for her husband.

Their first daughter was born on May 17, 1910, the night Halley's Comet was closest to the earth. .

He eventually got an appointment as civil servant at the Ordnance Depot at Island Bridge in Dublin in 1912, situated close to Phoenix Park, and every day Florrie would take his lunch basket, board a tramcar for the few miles, then walk through the park to meet him under a designated tree.

There was a tram strike in Dublin When the Royal Irish Constabulary arrived from the neighbouring counties, they used their batons and night sticks, Florrie was returning from a shopping tour when the cry of "Baton Charge" rang out. She ducked into a doorway of a dairy shop, but a tall constabulary man pulled her out and let her have it on the top of the head. This made Bob so mad that he got into action himself. The Irish Transport and General Workers Union had their hands full.

The Irish Worker printed the details from Liberty Hall, where James Connolly was editor and was setting about forming the "Citizens Army." They met and drilled at Liberty Hall. Bob went to see Connolly about joining, but he referred Bob to Tom Clarke of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Clarke asked him to wait for the formation of the Irish Volunteers, a separate unit of men all united for the freeing of Ireland. These two armies fought side by side in 1916.

While at Island Bridge Bob took up the cause of the government workers—they were the poorest paid servants of the Crown. A union had been formed on both sides of the Irish Sea. The small printing press he had brought from Dundalk came into use again; some evenings a man from the Ordnance would come to the house to set type. They printed handbills for meetings, turned out letterheads, cards, invitations, and even Christmas cards. Bob eventually won them a good raise.

The Irish Volunteers drew up their manifesto in November, 1913, and Bob joined. He was elected Captain of A Co., 1st Battalion of the Dublin Brigade, and was given the job of drill instructor. Both the Citizens Army and the Volunteers drilled openly in the streets. The men marched and drilled, led by a piper for each unit. Some of the men were in Volunteer uniform, others had just a Sam Browne belt to identify them. The men could pay weekly for their outfits, if they could not afford to buy them outright. They also had to buy their own rifle.

September 29, 1913, their next daughter was born Patricia Alice Monteith

With England's entrance into World War I, August, 1914, recruiting for the British Army became a high priority for the government. According to his family's writings, the "Irish Command" (all British Military men) sent for Monteith offering him a commission in their forces. The first offer was to rejoin a mounted regiment, the second was to train the "Pal's Battalion" of Trinity College in Dublin, an outfit for officers only. When he turned them down, they resorted to bribery, telling him that Mrs. Monteith could have her own car and chauffeur, and maids for her children, and all the things that go with this exalted job. But what was the job? He would be given the recruiting of all Ireland. Bob said, "No, I have thrown in my lot with these boys in their fight for Irish freedom, and I am not going back on my word, ever."

Next day, the story he tells, he was dismissed from his post at the Ordnance Depot. He was not allowed to go back to his desk for his coat or pipe. An orderly was sent to fetch them, and he was escorted out the gate. Later that night two men from the G Division came to his house and read him a deportation order which stated that R. Monteith, of 6 Palmerston Place, Broadstone, Dublin, shall not, except with permission in writing from me or other competent Naval or Military authority, reside after twelve o'clock noon, on the 14th day of November, 1914, within the Metropolitan Police District of Dublin. That gave him thirty-six hours to get out of Dublin. On Saturday morning The O'Rahilly came with his car to drive the deportee to the designated border of the exclusion zone, Athy, Co. Kildare. After that he would be on his own. From here he went on to Limerick, where the Volunteers there were waiting to greet him as their new instructor. Bob plunged into the work of organizing and drilling.

On Sunday 2 July 1915 he wrote to his wife in Dublin that Tom Clarke and the Irish Republican Brotherhood in New York were making plans to send someone to Germany to command and instruct the newly formed Irish Brigade of Berlin. Roger Casement had done the spade work, and was now ill in a German hotel. Tom Clarke made a trip to Limerick to talk to Bob about going on this mission. But the problem was to get him out of Ireland? They hit upon a ruse, which was to make the authorities believe that he and his family were emigrating to the USA. They knew their letter were censored, so it was easy to set the plan up.

Then Bob applied for permission to leave Ireland with his family. The request was granted and he was allowed to go back to Dublin to make the necessary arrangements.He said goodbye to his family and went via Liverpool to New York, and his wife and family followed a few weeks later..Bob met them off the boat and took them by elevated tram up through Manhattan to the Bronx flat on 137th Street, which Bob had furnished during the two weeks he had been there. Bob had an two more weeks with his family before going to Germany (John Devoy of the Gaelic American paper had made all the necessary arrangements).

Monteith's diary records his leaving New York on 7 Oct 1915. He leaves New York as a stowaway on a Scandanavian ship, in the care of Christensen, who had a second class ticket. The ship was stopped and searched by the British as a matter of course - it was part of the blockade of Germany, but Monteith avoided detection and was able to get through to Germany and meet Casement. His journey lasted from 6 Oct 1915 to reaching Berlin on 23 Oct 1915.

1915 Oct 28 Casement writes to Wedel "If only I had an officer to take command most of my difficulties would disappear - but Mr Monteith will do in most respects to keep the camp in order. I am appointing him "pro tem" Commanding Officer of the Irish Corps"

1915 Nov 27. The German Foreign Office finally agreed to assign the command of the Irish Brigade to Monteith. Basically Monteith was not, in German eyes, a senior enough man for them to deal with on level terms. They believed that he had been a Sergeant-Major in the British army, whereas he had in fact only been a Corporal. And his recognition by the Germans seems to have been to Feldwebel-Leutnant a rank in the german army for veteran NCOs, that was commissioned, but below the rank of Lieutenant.

The diary records his first meetings with Casement and his trips to Zossen and Limburg.

By January 1916 Casement had disappeared to hospital, leaving Monteith in charge, and Monteith clearly did not feel up to the challenge, noting in his diary on 14 Jan 1916 Letter from Sir Roger Casement who informs me that he intends to see specialist this day. Return to Zossen and await S.R.C's. return to Hotel Golden Lion. He arrives about 8 p.m. looks rested. The specialist Dr. Oppenheim has ordered him to a sanitarium. This means that all devolves upon me. I am not up to my job

The diary stops daily entries from 17 Jan 1916 onwards From last date things have gone so oddly I could not attempt to keep a diary, and as things are here (as far as I am concerned) seem at an end. I will try to summarize events to date

1916 Mar 1. Monteith was summoned to General Staff in Berlin and was told of the Easter Rising and the German arms that were to be sent by sea to Ireland. Monteith informed Casement, who was motivated to leave his sick bed for Berlin. The Germans wanted to send Casement and all his 56 man Brigade to Ireland with the weapons, so ridding themselves of both Casement and his men. There was a few weeks of bad tempered negotiations between Casement and the German General Staff, as Casement thought the proposed Rising in Ireland was futile and did not wish to send the Irish brigade. Finally, and it is not clear why, the Germans agreed to provide a submarine to take Casement, Monteith and Bailey ( a sergeant in the Irish brigade) to Ireland ahead of the ship, the Aud, carrying the arms

1916 Mar 3. Monteith writes to Casement in Munich hospital begging Casement to return to Berlin. Reason not specified.. Casement replied asking Monteith to come to Munich.

1916 Mar. Rahilly writes At the end of March one of our sergeant's. Bailey, left for a special course of training in Berlin. Monteith went with him.

1916 Mar 28. Casement leaves Munich and meets Monteith in Berlin and tells Monteith that he had decided not to take the men to Ireland

They set off in the U-20 bound for Ireland on 11 April 1916, but technical problems forced the submarine to return to port. They transferred to the U-20 and set off again on 15 April 1916. The submarine reached Tralee Bay in Kerry on 21 April The reception committee from the Irish failed to materialise. About 2 a.m., Robert Monteith, Daniel Bailey (calling himself Beverly), and Casement climbed into a small boat for the trip to shore. Their boat capsized before they reached Banna Strand, near Tralee. Monteith helped an exhausted Casement to safety on shore. Casement was convinced that the Rising could not work without a large number of German troops, and the best he had been able to obtain was one boatload of arms. Leaving Casement at the ruins of McKenna's Fort, Monteith and Bailey headed for Tralee. About 1:30 p.m., Casement was discovered by two Royal Irish Constabulary officers. He nearly talked his way out of being arrested, but a 12-year-old boy at the scene pointed out a piece of paper Casement had tossed away as the police approached. On that paper was a German code list.

Monteith avoided capture, unlike his two companions, and in December 1916 was finally able to make his escape from Ireland to Liverpool, and then on to New York. The transatlantic journey he made using the false papers of a stoker, and acted that role, for which he was not physically capable, with difficulty. Eventually he was put on lighter work, and managed to get ashore in New York undetected.

The local Y.M.C.A. offered an auto-mechanic's course for fifty dollars, and Bob enrolled. At night he got jobs washing down taxicabs. That winter was the very devil; the sponge would freeze before he could get the water on the cars. When he qualified for repair work he got placed in shops around the neighbourhood, but he did not last long in any shop. The boss could not give any reason for firing him, just that a man had called at the office and told him not to keep Monteith. This went on through the winter. No one would tell him what was happening, until he worked for George Loring who operated a small auto repair shop. He liked Bob and made a friend of him; they went out on jobs together. Then came the day when a man called and ordered Loring to fire Monteith, and when he refused he was threatened. The Vigilantes had been at work ever since Bob had tried to make a living. In defying the order George Loring soon found himself running out of auto parts; the factories would not sell to him. Bob quit rather than ruin a friend's chances of making a success. He was out hunting some kind of work again.

One afternoon when he was returning from downtown, two men stepped out from the corner building, identified themselves as government officials, and asked Bob to accompany them downtown again. "What for?" he asked. "To answer a few questions," one man said. Then Bob asked for permission to go into his house and tell his wife, but that was denied (was this an arrest or not?). Before boarding the subway he stepped into a booth and phoned Mollie, telling her that he was being taken downtown by two men, the kind he had in Dublin, but she was not to worry. Arriving at the old post office building in the city hall, he was escorted to the room of the U. S. Department of Justice. Colonel Burke, his interrogator, asked all about the trip to Germany and the Irish Rebellion. Bob told them all they wanted to know (which must be on file), then the Colonel brought out a box of cigars and someone served cold drinks. The investigation turned into a visit. Before leaving, Colonel Burke said, "Let me congratulate you. You entered this country legally, then slipped out and in again, and no one can prove a thing."

The Irish Bond Issue was launched in New York, so Bob applied to headquarters for work was not successful in getting a job. He had to find small paying jobs to keep the wolf from the door. Then after the drive had been running for two years, De Valera came back to the United States to make personal appearances. Bob applied again, this time to the chief himself. De Valera welcomed his old captain who had drilled him in Dublin in 1914. Bob was added to the payroll as a canvasser and given Staten Island as his territory. His best help came from members of the O'Donovan-Rossa family who were natives of the island. He had squeezed $48,000 out of the little borough. When he made his reports to headquarters, they asked if he had shaken down the trees to get so much. He sold bonds next at Albany, the capital of New York and next in Ohio.

While there he was asked to organize the new group known as "The American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic." This group was listed as the A.A.R.I.R. The drive for membership for the "American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic" came to a close in 1922. His health was failing from the arduous campaigns; the old wound in the intestines felt like an ulcer. After some month's rest in the mountains he was ready to look for work again. He decided to try the auto factories, starting work at the Maxwell Motor Company. On one side street named Fernhill Avenue Bob found a nearly finished bungalow, so, putting a small down payment on it, he sent for his family.

When the Maxwell plant closed down for all time, Bob worked for the Packard Motor Company, testing leaking radiators and repairing them. From there he ran the gamut of all the factories: Cadillac, Dodge, Chevrolet, finally winding up at the Ford Company in Highland Park. He had learned something new at each factory so at Ford's he could tackle a number of jobs without training. Ford could always stay open when the other companies had to close. Family life was running smoothly now and the children's schooling was uninterrupted. In 1923, Bob received word that his mother had passed away in Wicklow at the age of seventy-six, and his father followed her in 1927 at the age of eighty. Ford did close with the Sock market Crash. When the stock market in Wall Street was getting back on its feet, Ford reopened. Bob was rehired with thousands of auto workers. He worked himself up to become foreman of the rust-proofing department at the River Rouge Division.

When the automobile workers of Michigan organized and formed a union, the Ford Company held out against this new idea. The men struck and not until the strike had lasted more than fourteen days did the company give in. Coming to terms with the union they reopened the factory. Bob now fought for "Social Justice for the Worker," then communism started to creep in and through the C.I.O. (Committee of Industrial Organizations).Due to Monteith's activities on behalf of the workers he was in the limelight, the daily papers printing anything they could get hold of. An interrogation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation appeared in Social Justice on January 27, 1941, as is reprinted here. The continual summoning to the F.B.I, office made Bob angry. He was supposed to have information about anyone arriving in Detroit from Germany or Ireland.

The Social Security Bill had been passed by the government. It meant that at the age of sixty-five a worker could retire on a pension, getting back the money he and his employer had put into the fund. It would make them independent dent. Mollie felt that if they were to retire together they should do so away from the growing city. After many Sundays they found a little house in Goodells, in the thumb of Michigan. They all liked it because it had sixty acres of timberland around it and the wildness appealed to Mollie. The house had only two-and-a-half rooms so they got it cheap. It had pos- sibilities. Bob longed for the day he would reach sixty-five to share the beauty with his wife. At present he could only spend week ends there. But eventually Bob and Mollie settled down to enjoy retirement.

Monteith then decided to return to Ireland. Anyone could see he was a sick man and all wondered if he could stand the trip. When Sean O'Scanlainn phoned to tell Bob that they had been booked on the U.S. Shooting Star to sail late in April, they were delighted. It had taken six weeks to get them on a ship for London, where they could entrain for the boat across the channel and land in Dublin. The Shooting Star, one of the fleet of Liberty Ships, had seen service in the Second World War and was now being operated by the United States Lines. It carried cargo to England and Bremerhaven and could accommodate a limited number of passengers. It sailed from Staten Island (reminding Bob of his daily ferry trips in 1920). The eleven passengers sat around the dining lounge getting acquainted. The four men drew lots for their bunks in the cabin allotted to them. Bob got the top bunk in the middle of the floor. The seven women had two cabins between them. The trip was unexciting until the Shooting Star docked in London, where three men came up the gangplank and asked for Captain Monteith. On being presented one man showed his credentials from Scotland Yard, then introduced the second man as from the press. Bob asked who the third man was. On being told that he was a taxi driver, Bob said, "What do I want with a taxi?" The Scotland Yard official said, "Taxis are hard to get. I brought him along to insure your getting to Euston Station in time for your train to the channel boat. You are not to sleep in England tonight."

The Monteiths, carrying traveling bags which slowed them down, did not get on board the boat to Ireland until every bed and chair had been taken. It was a haggard couple that the photographer snapped for the Irish press that May morning of 1947. As the boat docked at Dun Laoghaire (Kingstown), Mollie's sister's daughter Florence Brown and her husband Matt was waiting with his car. Matt drove them to the Dolphin Hotel in Dublin where breakfast had been arranged. When the breakfast was over a message was delivered to Bob from Premier De Valera, requesting them to call at Leinster House where he could greet them in person. Matt Brown drove them to Leinster House where the Premier awaited them. Bob sank into an easy chair, exhausted. He closed his eyes and wondered what the visit entailed. Mollie and De Valera chatted about everything and nothing. Seeing how tired Bob was he terminated the visit. Mollie had wanted to ask Dev about the letter he had written to Bob about coming home, in which he had tried to dissuade them from making the trip. He had written, "It is hard to transplant the Oak at seventy," and "I can't see why you are coming over here, there is nothing for you." Bob had written back, saying, "I am coming home un der my own steam. I ask nothing of any man."

They bought a house on Sea Road in Kilcoole. It was a big, rambling, one-storied house, sitting far back from the front lawn, and there was a large vegetable garden in the back. When living in Kilcoole Bob was much in demand to speak. When the winter of 1949 had passed and 1950 was well on its way, they decided that another season by the sea would kill them. They looked for a house in the city

banna monteith 1950

April, 1950, Mollie accompanied her sick husband to Banna Strand in Kerry, where a committee awaited them. Bob was to point out the spot where he had landed with Sir Roger Casement.

Finally Bob gave in, and agreed to Mollie that he would return to the USA. The sale of the furnished house was left to Mollie. They secured him a cabin for two on the Irish Pine. This freighter would dock in Maryland, but Mollie, being a poor sailor, could not face fifteen days tossing around on the Atlantic in November weather. She booked passage on the U.S. America, knowing that there were doctors and nurses on hand in case her heart became worse. The house had been sold to friends and Bob stayed on until the date for departure. Mollie sailed before him.

With the coming of spring, Mollie went off on her own to find a small place where they could be alone again. She found a little four-room bungalow on the "wrong side of the tracks." The large garden caught her attention—a garden meant more to Mollie than a house, and she pictured Bob sitting under the big tree when the weather got fine. After his second trip to Royal Oak hospital, Pat insisted that the doctor tell her how long her father had to live—that was in June, 1955. The doctor said, "Perhaps a year, but I think it will not be longer than six months." She did not advance this information to her mother, but informed the rest of the family, who made visits as often as possible. Bob himself did not know that a time limit had been placed on his life.

On February 15, Mollie came home with a virus and the grippe. Bob put her to bed and dosed her with medicine, attending to the house himself. On Friday he continued to wait on Mollie, keeping her in bed. That night when he was going to his room he tripped on the rug beside his bed and lay there. He had pulled down the desk lamp on top of himself. Mollie jumped out of bed and rushed to his side. She could not lift him up. He asked her to let him lie where he had fallen. She put pillows around him, tucking him in with blankets, then placed a hot-water bag at his feet. He slept there all night. Next morning Pat got a phone call from her . He said, "Where are you?" She said, "I'm right here by your pillow." He muttered, "You would be," then turned his head back toward the wall and closing his eyes went into that deep sleep of eternity. The man who made this last journey into eternity with him was Sir T. Humphreys, the judge who sentenced Roger Casement to hang in 1916. They both were called home on February 18, 1956.

February 22, the day set aside to honour the birthday of George Washington, was also the day of the funeral. The Ford Motor Company sent a Lincoln car and chauffeur to drive the Consul to and from the cemetery. It may have been a tribute to the twenty years Bob had served that company. The six honorary pallbearers were some old-timers of the Gaelic League:


monteith medals

Monteith's medals were

1948 Dáil Éireann - Volume 110 - 05 May, 1948 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Military Service Pensions Acts.

Mr. Keane asked the Minister for Defence whether he will introduce legislation amending the Military Service Pensions Acts to deal with the case of Captain Robert Monteith, who landed in Kerry with Sir Roger Casement in 1916, and who is debarred from enjoying full pension rights under the 1924 [1192] and 1934 Military Service Pensions Acts.

Dr. O'Higgins: Captain Robert Monteith is in receipt of a military service pension under the Military Service Pensions Act, 1934, based on the findings of the referee. The question of any amendments to that Act has not been fully considered.

Oddly Monteith never mentions meeting any of the Irish Brigade men after the war. Monteith was another man whom Zerhusen did not like. Zerhusen says Monteith did not contact him after the war, and adds that Monteith did not contact any of the Irish Brigade survivors after the war.

monteith death


The Mystery Man on Banna Strand contains his diary and life written by his wife.

The Irish Brigade in Germany