News:

Sign up for the monthly zoom events by sending a PM with your email address to Hitesh

Main Menu

Ballykinlar Internment Camp Tokens 1921

Started by Elak, November 17, 2021, 08:42:33 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Elak

During the Irish war of independence, 1919-1921, many known Irish nationalists were rounded up and interred at a camp at Abercorn Barracks, a British military base in Ballykinlar in present day Northern Ireland.

The camp was run in similar fashion to a POW camp.

The internees had a degree of autonomy over the running of their affairs within the camp.

One of the results of this was the creation of various iterations of camp money. The last and best-known of these were the circular 'coins' made of card.

These Ballykinlar Internment Camp Tokens were produced in 1921 by internees in Camp 2.

A small number of the tokens are known and they do come to the market occasionally.

Illustrated below is a £1 token, the highest denomination produced. Several examples are known, with at least one in a private collection.




brandm24

A really interesting story, Elak. I hadn't heard of these tokens before but since they're apparently so rare it's no wonder. I've always been aware of the WW 2 Curragh Camp brass tokens as they're fairly common and readily available. I don't have any in my collection because they've become prohibitively expense in the last several years. Not long ago they could be had for a small fraction of what they're fetching nowadays but I just never bid on any. A missed opportunity.

What strikes me about the Ballykiniar tokens is the artistic nature of them as well as the size. From 55mm to 75mm is astoundingly large...and unwieldly it would seem. Any particular reason for it do you know? The advertising is also a surprise, but since they were printed free of charge I suppose the government had to grant some leeway to the printers.

Thanks for the history lesson. :)

Bruce
Always Faithful

Elak

There may have been a certain propaganda value to the designs!

I am working on an paper on them currently. Some of us in the NSI have been doing research on these over the decades. New insights and information on them turns up from time to time.

Figleaf

I am surprised to hear the nationalists were treated as military. Normally, in this type of situation, the powers that be don't recognise the military status of insurrectionists.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Elak

Quote from: Figleaf on November 17, 2021, 11:16:46 PM
I am surprised to hear the nationalists were treated as military
The prisoners in the camp were internees, detained without trial. They were persons who were suspected of IRA activity.
https://www.museum.ie/en-ie/collections-research/collection/internment%2C-imprisonment-and-escape?page=4

brandm24

Quote from: Elak on November 20, 2021, 01:19:29 AM
The prisoners in the camp were internees, detained without trial. They were persons who were suspected of IRA activity.
https://www.museum.ie/en-ie/collections-research/collection/internment%2C-imprisonment-and-escape?page=4
I don't know what the status of the IRA prisoners was at Curragh although the rest of the detainees were considered prisoners of war if memory serves. The modern (Troubles) Nationalist prisoners at Long Kesh and other prisons demanded political prisoner status which of course led to the 1981 hunger strike.

Bruce
Always Faithful