On this day 95 years ago (25 March, 1920), the Black and Tans arrived in Ireland.
The force of Temporary Constables were recruited to assist the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) during the Irish War of Independence. The force was the brainchild of Winston Churchill, then British Secretary of State for War, and was recruited in Great Britain in late 1919.Thousands, many of them British World War I veterans, answered the British government’s call for recruits.
Their role was to help the RIC maintain control and fight the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the army of the Irish Republic. The nickname “Black and Tans” arose from the colours of the improvised uniforms they initially wore, composed of mixed khaki British Army and rifle green RIC uniform parts.
The Black and Tans became infamous for their attacks on civilians and civilian property.