Journalist and author Wilfrid Ewart traveled through revolutionary Ireland from mid-April to early May 1921. He kept a notebook and wrote articles for several London newspapers, published from a week after his May 10 departure from Belfast through mid- June. His material was later expanded in the book, A Journey in Ireland, 1921.
Ewart’s 140-page handwritten notebook of his 22-day Ireland journey is held at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Charles E. Young Research Library. The collection also includes corrected typescripts, clippings of Ewart’s newspaper work, and several letters to the editor that disagreed with his reporting. I sought this material in early 2021, before I published my 10-part centenary series about Ewart’s trip, found below. The archive material was delayed by the COVID pandemic, but has now been provided by UCLA. Thank you.
Ewart’s notebook appears to have been written in pencil, as far as I can tell from the digital scan. Portions of the text are so faded that they are impossible to read. In his published book, Ewart referenced “the hieroglyphics in my notebook.” He said interview conversations “were taken down, in some cases literally as they were spoken, in others salient features or the sense of them were noted immediately afterwards.Ewart, Wilfrid, A Journey In Ireland, 1921. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, April 1922, p. 128 and ix.
Here are his opening entries, as best I can decipher them:
April 18th Powers’ (Royal) Hotel47 Kildare Steet, corner of Nassau Street, near Trinity College Dublin and the National Gallery of Ireland. Thom’s 1921 Great Britain and Ireland Trades Directory, p. 2254.—Bomb known at corner of Grafton Street during dinner (7:15). Nobody disturbed. Fine evening. Crowded in streets. Took tram from Baggot St. to Pembroke & back to Nelson’s Pillar … [unreadable] … It’s a long, long road and other … [unreadable] … moonlit silence, a shot ringing out.
Interesting discussion with American journalist, Irish journalist, student. Education is the [unreadable] of Ireland.
April 19th—Sunny, cold wind. Sat in Phoenix Park. “Vote for Sinn Fein” – De Valera expects Dublin to do its duty chalked up on wall in Philsborough Road. Small boys shout of ‘Up the Rebels!’ Dinner at Jammet’s
Ewart’s dispatches in The Times of London appeared as “From a Correspondent”, while two other papers gave him a byline. He produced at least eight newspaper stories, as indexed in the UCLA archive:
- The Westminster Gazette: “Talks With Sinn Fein”, June 10, 1921.
- The Times: “Life in Dublin”, May 17, 1921; “Life in Cork”, May 18, 1921; “Life in Mallow”, May 19, 1921; “In Rebel Hands”, May 20, 1921; and “On the Road to Ulster”, May 23, 1921.
- The Sunday Times: “A Student in Ireland, I”, June 5, 1921, and “A Student in Ireland, II”, June 19, 1921.
Here is my 2021 series:
- An introduction
- Dublin arrival
- In Cork
- Twice detained
- Murdered mayors
- Ulster attitude
- Rising & Partition
- Mysterious Mr. X.
- Ewart reviewed
- Final thoughts
See my full American reporting of Irish independence series.