Donald Lewis MacLean

maclean medal card medal card maclean

Lieutenant Donald Lewis MacLean of General List (Former service with the Rifle Brigade) aged 31, killed 21/11/1920 at Morehampton Road. Described in a nationalist report as "the chief  of intelligence at Dublin Castle. " His army record shows he was on "special duries" and on weighing all the evidence, I conclude that he was involved in the Cairo Gang. Smith (the landlord) and Caldow (his brother in law, fresh from Scotland) were probably collateral damage.

He left a widow and one child (who were living in Prestwick). His brother in law, John Caldow, a native of in Scotland, narrowly escaped death in the same house.

1889 born from death data in London. If this is his birth it would be Oct/Dec in Edmunton Reg district vol 3a, p277

1891 A family living in Leicestershire ties to the 1901 entry in Ayr, and seems to be the only possible fit

1901 census could be the 11 year old Duncan MacLean living with grandparents at 3 Duncan St, Girvan, Ayrshire (only possibility in Ayrshire), and it says born England.

1911 census for Scotland not yet available

He was a police constable before enlisting

1915 Feb Joined 2nd Battalion Scots Guards as Private 13551

1917 Oct 30. Commissioned 2nd Lt in Rifle Brigade

1918 Dec 27. Temp. 2nd Lt. D. L. Maclean, Serv. Bn.,Rifle Brigade to be actg. Capt. whilst commanding a Company. Gazette

1919 Mar 28. Temp. 2nd Lt. D. L. Maclean, Service Battalion.,Rifle Brigade relinquishes the acting. rank of Capt. Gazette

1919 May 1. Temp. 2nd Lit. D. L. Maclean, Rifle Brigade, to .be temp. Lt. 1 May 1919, with precedence next below T. Greig. Gazette

1920 Mar 10, Temp. Lt. D. L. Maclean relinquishes his commission on completion of service, and retains the rank of Lt. Gazette

1920 Jun 11, Lt. D. L. MacLean, late Batalion, Rifle Brigade, to be temp. Lt. whilst specially employed. Gazette

Six IRA killers had crept into a house at 117 Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, where Lieutenant Donald Lewis MacLean, along with (suspected informer - I have nowhere found anything to substantiate this remark) T. H. Smith and MacLean's brother-in-law, John Caldow, were taken into the hallway and about to be shot, when MacLean asked that they not be shot in front of his wife. The three were taken to the roof, where they were shot by Vinnie Byrne and Seán Doyle. Caldow survived his wounds and fled to his home in Scotland.

IRA men present include, in a group of 12 to 20 arrived just before 9am

Hansard reports At Briama, 117, Morehampton-road. Just before nine a party of between twelve and twenty armed men knocked at the door and it was opened by a boy of ten years, the son of Mr. Thomas Smith, the householder. They rushed into the house and dragged Mr. Smith and Captain McLean (who were in bed with their wives) into a front spare bedroom. Mr. Caldow, the brother of Mrs. McLean, was thrust in beside them, and all three were shot in cold blood. Captain McLean and Mr. Smith were dead before an ambulance could arrive. Mr. Caldow is seriously wounded. Mr. Thomas Henry Smith, the landlord, was a man of about forty-five years of age and leaves a wife and three children. Captain McLean, who served with the Rifle Brigade during the war along with his brother-in-law, Mr. John Caldow, a native of Prestwich, Scotland, had come to Ireland with a view of securing employment in the police. Captain McLean leaves a wife and child. Both Mrs. Smith and Mrs. McLean were in the house when their husbands were murdered. It is said that the assassins dragged their victims to an empty room to murder them, as Captain McLean, when overpowered, implored them not to murder him under his wife's eyes. On completing their dastardly work the murderers rushed out of the house and disappeared.

Smith’s wife stated at the military inquiry : I saw some men coming up the stairs, who appeared to number about 20, with revolvers in their hands. They then told me to put my hands up and my husband came out on the landing and asked for a little time to put on some clothes, which they granted. I then asked if I could go into my baby in the next room and they pushed me roughly into it. I then heard about 8 shots. A minute or two later I heard John Caldow (who was staying with us) call out Kate (meaning his sister) run for the doctor. I then came out and saw John Caldow in [the] entrance to the room, lying on his back wounded. I passed him and saw my husband lying very badly wounded and Mr MacClean dead. My husband had no regular occupation and owned property. His age was 47. He did not take part in politics, but was very friendly with Captain MacClean who had just resigned from the army.

Buried in a CWGC grave at Grangegorman Military Cemetery

Widow living at Graefield (?) Cottage, Burgh Rd, Prestwick

Cairo Gang