Capt Jocelyn Lee Hardy, DSO, MC and bar

hardy bapt

He was born in Kensington London in 1894 and died in 1958 in Hammersmith, London. Hardy was not in his room when his execution squad came to his door on the morning of Bloody Sunday 21 Nov 1920.

1894 Jun 10 born and on Jul 29 He was christened Jocelyn Howard Hardy, but was registered as, and lived as, Jocelyn Lee Hardy. The vicar seems just to have made a mistake, or parents changed their minds between christening and registration. His parents were Howard Hardy b1854 and Katherine Hardy b1872. His father was born in Co Down, which is probably why Jocelyn Hardy joined the Connaught Rangers.

1901 census Hardy

1901 census has the family living at 31 Edwardes Sq, Kensington, London

1911 census

1911 census shows his father is a wool merchant, born Co Down, mother Katherine and himself (Jocelyn Howard Hardy) living in Hillsbrooke Berkhamsted

1914 Jan 24 Jocelyn Lee Hardy was commissioned into the Connaught Rangers. The 2nd Battalion The Connaught Rangers was stationed at Aldershot in Jan 1914.

1914 Aug 4 Orders to mobilize at 3pm. The battalion was at Frensham on divisional training.

1914 Aug 7. 351 Reservists had joined.the Battalion

1914 Aug 9. A further 2 drafts of Reservists of 236 & 48 Other Ranks had joined.

1914 Aug 13. Mobilization complete. The second half of the Battalion consisting of C & D Companies under Major W S Sarsfield left Aldershot by train at 11am for Southampton. Head-quarters, A, B & D Companies with regimental transport boarded the SS ‘Herschel at midnight

1914 Aug 14 5.30pm reached Boulogne.and marched to camp there. J L Hardy was a 2nd Lieutenant with 'D' Company.

1914 Aug 15 in camp

1914 Aug 16 left by train for Busigny, marched from there to billets at Mennevret

1914 Aug 17. 2am arrived at Mennevret

1914 17 to 20 17 to 20 at Mennevret, drills & route marches

1914 Aug 21 marched to La Croise where they were billeted

1914 Aug 22 paraded at 3am and marched to Ponte-sur-Sambre and then to Bougnies where it entrenched at a cross roads 2 miles north of Bougnies

1914 Aug 23 Entrenching at Bougnies under German shelling

1914 Aug 24. 2nd Battalion acting as rearguard to cover the retirement of the 5th Infantry Brigade In action at Le Grand Fayt

1914 Aug 25 Continued retirement to Pont-sur-Sambre and entrenched. Ordered to continue to retire received after a few hours towards Landrecies.

1914 Aug 26. He was captured as part of a party of 19 men led by Captain Roche that was after entering a house used as an English hospital in Maroilles village. Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie with Captain Roche, Lieutenant Hardy and some 50 men got through the village of Le Grand Fayt at 6pm. They took up a position about 500 yards to the west of Le Grand Fayt, which they held until 7.30pm. They were outflanked and retired to the North West. At 8.30pm they were fired on from a wood to the south, they continued to the North West. They reached Maroilles as it was getting dark, and expected British troops to arrive there in the morning, so entered two Hospitals for the night. The Germans then arrived that evening, 26 Aug 1914. The town filled with Germans, who entered from two different directions. At 6am the enemy discovered their presence. They had to surrender and were made prisoners, afterwards proceeding with the Germans as far as St. Quentin. From there they were sent off to Germany. Hardy had been captured in one of the first battles of WW1. He was put on the roll of exonerated officers. It seems normal to have investigated officers who surrendered. Altogether 6 officers (including J L Hardy) and 280 men were missing that day.

He gave a complete record of his time in captivity to the British Army


1914 Sep 21 promoted Lieutenant,

He made twelve escape attempts from POW camps including Brandenburg with forged documents and disguises, finally reaching British lines in 1918. In his book he records that he escaped from Halle, Neu Brandenburg, Magdeburg and Fort Zorndorf before making a home run from Schweidnitz with Cpt Willie Loder-Symonds, Wiltshire Regiment (who was later killed in a flying accident as he joined the RFC on his return to England).

1915 early. Attempted escaped from Halle Camp near Leipzig by breaking through a brick wall into an adjacent ammunition factory. After 5 months work the project proved impracticable.

1915 summer. Transferred to Augustabad Camp, near Neu Brandenburg, and after being there 10 days he managed to slip away from a bathing party outside the camp, together with a Russian officer. After a difficult journey they covered the 50 miles to the Baltic coast. They had to swim a river, were nearly recaptured once, but eventually reached Stralsund. They nearly managed to get the crew of a Swedish schooner there to give them passage, but were arrested at the last moment

He was sent back to Halle, and joined an unsuccessful attempt with a group of Russian officers to break down a wall

His next escape attempt was alone. He picked locks, broke through a skylight and slid down a rope onto the street. From here he slipped into the rain and the darkness. He spoke enough German to make his way by train to Bremen. Here, broken down by cold and hunger, the Germans recaptured him.

He was then transferred to Magdeburg, where he escaped with a Belgian officer using "subterfuge, audacity and good fortune". They reached Berlin by train, and went on to Stralsund. From there they crossed to the island of Rugen, but were arrested before they could find a fishing boat to take them to Sweden

His next pow camp was Fort Zorndorf, from where escape was virtually impossible. All the English at Zorndorf had tried to escape but it is not an official strafe camp, but a "cure" camp. The Germans imagine that if a fellow has four months where he cannot escape he will never do it again." It sound a pretty grim place, being forced to live underground in the ramparts. Nevertheless he made several attempts, and one nearly succeeded when, with two others, he almost got out disguised as a German soldier. And on another occasion he managed to break away from his guards while being marched to the kommandatura, and got as far as the train before being recaptured.

1917 Jan. 1. Connaught Rangers - Lt. J. L. Hardy to be Capt, with precedence next below C. H..M. Dennys. Gazette attached 6th Battalion

There were another 9 months in this camp, before he was transferred to Schweidnitz in Silesia. Within a short period of his arrival he broke out with Cpt Willie Loder-Symonds, Wiltshire Regiment . Carrying forged police passes, they climbed a wire fence, scaled a glass topped wall, and caught a train. They were able to travel across Germany via Dresden, Leipzig, Cologne and Aachen. Then by tram to Richtericht, and reached the safety of Holland within 2 days of getting out of Schweidnitz. A fellow prisoner wrote of this escape

Hardy, had, together with another officer, just escaped over the frontier. They were in a camp in Silicia, and had travelled over five hundred miles through Germany. After escaping, in some civilian clothes, which they had managed to get into the camp, they walked to a nearby railway station, and Hardy, having learned to speak German fluently since his captivity, bought a ticket at the railway station for Berlin. The first part of their journey was uneventful, but after leaving Berlin, they were asked for their passports, and Hardy, who had helped us to make the passports at Fort Zorndorff, and had made for himself and his comrade passports, had an anxious moment while the official was examining it. But after turning the passport over several times, the official was satisfied, and gave it back, and they were safe again for the time being. A little later, however, Hardy's comrade was taken very ill, no doubt from the effects of his long imprisonment, and for some time it looked as if the people in the carriage would notice something wrong, as unfortunately he could not speak any German. At several other places along the line they had to leave the carriage, and in some cases had to change trains to get away from one or other who had become too inquisitive. In the end they arrived at Aachen, when again their passport was examined, and as before, the officials were evidently satisfied that it was bona fide, and let them pass. After leaving the station at Aachen, they boldly walked through the town, and hiding themselves in a forest near the frontier, they managed to crawl into Holland during the night. Nobody was more pleased than myself to hear of Hardy's escape, as he had made many attempts, and certainly deserved to succeed.

1918 Mar 5. He boarded at boat at Rotterdam after 3 1/2 years as a PoW. The boat sailed a week later. His leave expired mid April and he received orders to return to his unit in France after one month.

palace reception

Straight in to see the King on his return

1918 Mar 20 Applies for his 1914 ribbon, from "Hillsbrook, Berkhampstead, Herts". And interestingly it was the "Director of Military Intelligence" who forwarded details of his entitlement

1918 Apr 19 Lieutenant J L Hardy reported for duty from the base. This 'base', could be the ‘L’ Infantry Base Depot at Beaumaris, Rouen, France. The Connaught Rangers had some 3rd Echelon Staff based there in 1918 and a lot of new drafts were sent out to the Connaught Rangers via this base during 1918.

1918 Apr 22 Transferred to 2nd Inniskillings and appears to have spent the rest of his war service with the Inniskillings.

1918 Aug 1. Gazetted MC on Ypres Front. Capt. Jocelyn Lee Hardy, Connaught Rangers. For conspicuous gallantry and cool work in command of an offensive patrol. Proceeding about 1,000 yards in the direction of the enemy, he met a hostile party, one of whom was shot while the rest fled. At the same moment two enemy machine guns opened on his patrol at close range, one of which he promptly silenced by rapid fire. The enemy then threw a bomb, wounding him and severely wounding his serjeant. Seeing that his party would suffer heavy casualties from the machine-gun fire, he ordered them back to the lines, and remained alone with the Serjeant, whom he dragged some 200 yards to a place of safety and prevented the enemy from obtaining an identification. Throughout the operation he set a splendid example to his men, and also obtained valuable information as to the enemy's dispositions.

1918 Oct 2. He received his wounds when he led a counter attack near Dadizeele. His severe wounds resulted in the loss of his leg. He was back in England with a bullet in his stomach and his leg in France. Fitted with an artificial prosthesis, he trained himself to disguise the fact, by walking at a very quick pace, almost completely disguising the notion that he had a wooden leg, but earning him the nickname 'Hoppy'.

1918 Nov 28 Army List Connaught Rangers 1st & 2nd Battalions Captain Hardy JL, MC

1919 Nov 1. He married Kathleen Isabel Hutton-Potts in London in 1919.

hardy marriage cert

1919 Nov 27 Army List Connaught Rangers 1st & 2nd Battalions Captain Hardy JL, MC

1920 Jan 17 Capt. J.L. Hardy, M.C., is placed on the h.p. list, and retains his present, employment at the War Office. Gazette

1920 Jan 30 Gazetted bar to MC Capt. Jocelyn Lee Hardy, M.C, 2nd Bn., Connaught Rangers (M.C. gazetted 15th October, 1918.) His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the undermentioned rewards in recognition of gallant conduct and determination displayed in escaping or attempting to escape from captivity, which services nave been brought to notice in accordance with the terms of Army Order 193 of 1919. To be dated 5th May, 1919, unless otherwise stated:

1920 Jan 30 Gazetted DSO. Capt. Joselyn Lee Hardy, M.C, 2nd Bn., Connaught Rangers

1920 Jan/Apr. The Irish Bulletin issues captured British documents written on the 15th January 1920 and the 8th April 1920 which were written on Dáil notepaper. This calls into question the statement from the Chief Commissioner of the DMP (issued on the 27th May) that no Dáil notepaper had been seized by detectives in their raid on Dáil HQ the previous November. More significantly, the Bulletin also published a report from Capt F. Harper-Shove of the British General staff and in charge of Intelligence in the Dublin district and claimed that an expert was prepared to swear that the typewriter on which this report was typed was the same typewriter on which the death notices were typed which were sent to Dáil member the previous May. Finally, the Bulletin published a letter from F. Harper-Stove from St. Andrew’s Hotel, Exchequer St., Dublin to “Dear Hardy” saying that “Have been given a free hand to carry on, and everyone has been charming. Re our little stunt, I see no prospects until I have things on a firmer basis, but still hope and believe there are possibilities”. The Bulletin claims that the "little stunt" is the assassination of leaders of Sinn Féin.

1920 Mar 4 The Beaslai Papers (Beaslai was an IRA man) have the following which are attributed to "suspected British spy" Frank D Hardy, and include a note that ‘This was addressed to Captain Hardy DCM MC, Room 235, War Office, Whitehall, London, England’,

Investiture at Buckingham Palace 10 Mar 1920

1920 Apr 1. Capt. J. L. Hardy, M.C., on ceasing to be employed with the M.I. Directorate, is placed on the h.p. list on account of ill health caused by wounds. Gazette

Captain Jocelyn Lee Hardy DSO MC served with the 'F' Company of the Auxiliary Division Royal Irish Constabulary as an Intelligence officer based at Dublin Castle, retaining his Connaught Rangers uniform. He was presumably seconded to work with them. He later claimed to have worked for Scotland Yard which was a half truth, in that Scotland Yard was the recruiting centre for ADRIC, and that all information gleaned from suspects on went back to Scotland Yard and British intelligence through Ormonde Winter in his role as the deputy chief of police and director of intelligence.

He was to lead raids on various IRA locations including Vaughn's Hotel in Parnell Square. Prisoners captured with seditious documents of any importance or weapons found on them were taken to Dublin Castle to be interrogated in the intelligence office, by (not exclusively) Hardy and his colleague, Capt William Lorraine 'Tiny' King MC.

Hardy is not on any ADRIC register or journal. There is no doubt that he worked with the ADRIC but probably not as a member. . Hardy may have been in Military Intelligence attached to "F" as his operational effectiveness would have been curtailed due to his false leg. What better place for him - interviewing suspects. Hardy did return to the army after partition which suggests to me that he was a secondment / attachment to the ADRIC. Hardy completed two books on his time in Ireland and I have tried to track them down to no avail.

1920 Jun 10 Gazetted Mention in Dispatches Capt. J. L. Hardy, D.S.O., M.C.,Conn. Rangers.

1920 Oct 7, takes part in a raid at Cabra Road, Dublin. Oddly for an Intelligence Officer, this is the only report that exists in the files showing Hardy on an operation


1920 Oct 16. Mr Peter O’Carroll was shot dead by the Military at his home in Manor Street Dublin. Dave Nelligan in WS380 cites Collins as saying they should "Concentrate on Hardy" as the perpetrator. Though clearly Peter O'Carroll was not a senile old man, as his son's WS314 says his father was in Irish Republican Brotherhood and bought arms from British soldiers

The city coroner was instructed by the Lord Lieutenant not to hold an inquest as an inquiry would be conducted by the Military. At a meeting of Dublin Corporation condemned the instruction from the Lord Lieutenant and tendered sympathy to Mrs O’Carroll and her family "on the murder of her husband by the armed forces of England.”

92 Manor St is on the left

At 1.50am Peter O’Carroll and his wife Annie were awoken by a heavy knock on the front door of their home at 92 Manor Street. Mr. O’Carroll got out of bed and put on for his trousers and stockings. A night-time military curfew was in place in Dublin and the family was accustomed to such late night intrusions. Two of the O’Carroll’s seven children were members of the IRA: Liam was Adjutant of the 1st Battalion of the Dublin Brigade, while Peter Jnr was a member of ‘A’ Company of the same Battalion. Mrs O'Carroll later said that this raid was unusual in that there were only 2 or 3 men outside, rather than the lorry load who turned up on other raids. Peter O'carroll went to open the door, there was a thud then silence. When Mrs O'Carroll went down to investigate, she found her husband close to death. He had been shot once in the side of the head. There was no evidence of a struggle. The murderers pinned a note to his chest purporting to be from the IRA and claiming the murder. Peter O’Carroll had in fact been murdered by members of the Auxiliary Division of the RIC,

A question ws asked in Parliament.

WS755. The full significance of the presence and activity of that 'Murder Gang" was illustrated by the perpetration of the slaying of Mr. O'Carroll. of: Manor St. One of his sons, Liam, was Adjutant of our (1st) Battalion; another, Peter, was a member of "A" Coy of the same Battalion. Not finding the boys at home, the. "Murder Gang" struck at the father

WS 314 and WS594. Of Liam O'Carroll says My father and his father were members of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Through my father, I became associated with the Nationalist Movement. ... We had a fair number of Lee Enfields. We were buying them at that time from British Army men. As a matter of fact, my father bought quite a quantity. He had a shop in Manor Street. These fellows, when they wanted a few drinks, would take anything out of the Barracks. The usual thing was that they would bring a parcel around; and he would give them five shillings in any case; it might be a pair of old boots; it might be two .45's. On one occasion, there was delivered to him a lorry load of petrol in two-gallon tins.

WS380 Dave Nelligan (DMP Special Branch and IRA spy in Dublin Castle) An old man named, Carroll kept a locksmith's shop in Stoneybatter, a working-class quarter of the city. He had two sons, active Volunteers. Carroll had a visit from a British Army officer who warned him that if his sons did not surrender at the Castle before a given date he would be shot. Carroll. was found shot dead in his shop later. On his body was pinned a card: "Spies beware, I.R.A.". Tobin brought me a slip of paper and on it was written in Collins' writing: "Concentrate on Hardy". That was the name of the killer. MacNamara and myself knew this man well. Re was an Orangeman, with an artificial leg, on the Castle garrison and was an Intelligence Officer in the Auxiliaries and a very hostile killer. I told Tobin to send two men to the Castle next day and I would point out this man whom we knew lived in a city flat to which he cycled every morning. Joe Guilfoyle was at the gate next morning with a bicycle. Our man did not appear. After hours waiting I signalled Guilfoyle to go away. He cycled to the flat in Harcourt Street where he found Caldwell, another member of the Squad, standing on the Street. Guilfoyle told him to clear off as Hardy wee not coming out. As they moved off a lorry dashed up the Street. Several auxiliaries dismounted and placed the boys under arrest. They were brought to the Castle and put in a cell while their captors went for a drink. Hardy's wife had seen Caldwell hanging about and, fearing for her husband's safety, had 'phoned to the Castle in some pre-arranged phrase. Caldwell had in his pocket a note-book containing such entries as the index numbers of military and auxiliary motor cars and addressee of auxiliaries and military officers. Guilfoyle took it from him and swallowed it. They were interrogated, knocked about and taken for a midnight ride. They were released next day.

WS638 A few days later Tobin sent me up to Harcourt Street to keep watch on a British Intelligence Officer by the name of Captain Hardy who he knew used to visit an hotel there. I kept up this watch at certain times for a period of a couple of days. One evening, about 6 o'clock, I saw a man with a limp go into the hotel having got out of a small van. At this time I was not sure whether this was Hardy or not but Joe Guilfoyle came along and I reported my suspicions to him.

1920 Nov 20 Killings of Conor Clune, Peader Clancy, and Dick McKee

On the night of 20 November 1920 Conor Clune, Peader Clancy, and Dick McKee, the latter two senior members of the Dublin IRA, the former a Gaelic League member, who were all captured in Dublin the night before Bloody Sunday in which Hardy and King were just two of the targets of Michael Collins operation. Clune was caught at Vaughn's Hotel in Parnell Square, Dublin and the two IRA leaders at Lower Gloucester St. complete with British army officer uniforms and detonators. Sometime between then and the next day, in the Dublin Castle guard room, as news no doubt filtered in of the deaths of several British intelligence officers, the prisoners were killed in questionable circumstances. When news arrived at the Castle the next morning of the deaths of the intelligence officers, Sir Ormonde Winter ordered all the prisoners off to different barracks but McKee, Clancy and Clune were held back for further `questioning'. Ben Doyle, an IRA Volunteer, later said that Clancy almost got away when he slipped into the line of men being marched out but was halted by Captain Hardy. According to an official report from Dublin Castle, they attempted to grab rifles and hurl unfused grenades and were killed in that action. The guards of 'F' Company in the room at the time were cleared of wrongdoing by a court inquiry. A Major Reynolds of 'F' Company is said to have passed details of the killers to Michael Collins (he is believed to be Lieutenant J.C. Reynolds, No. 584, a Section Leader in "F" Coy. He was transferred to "G" Company on 15/6/21) . The Times noted that it seemed as if the prisoners had ben lined up and shot. In a later novel, Hardy more or less confessed to the killing of one of the prisoners. I have not been able to verify either statement. The London Times carries no such statement, and his 1938 novel "Never in Vain" does not go as far as confessing

1920 Nov 21. Hardy was not in his room at when his execution squad came to his door (according to IRA documents). This may have been in Harcourt Street where he and his wife were living in October. WS822 Stapleton of The Squad said a very special effort was being made to contact and eliminate a famous British Intelligence Officer known as Hoppy Hardy. This man had been missed on Bloody Sunda

1920 Nov 23. From Patrick Lawson witness statement "a Second Lieutenant with F Company, 1 Battalion, Dublin Brigade), he had a brief encounter with Capt Hardy. He was in Lourdes House (Street unknown - though probably North Dublin Inner City) when he and a number of other volunteers were counting monies collected in Croke Park on 'Bloody Sunday'. Between 7.15 and 8pm (approx), the premises was raided by Tans and Auxiliaries and all present were arrested. A Capt Hardy interrogated those present and a Major King was in charge of the British Raiding Party. Hardy roughed up my grandfather, tying to get any information out of him, but to no avail. The IRA captives were taken to Dublin Castle for further interrogation and my grandfather was moved to Beggars Bush and eventually to Arbour Hill before he was released in February 1921. Lawson held the company roll (a copybook containing everyone's address, employment and what weapons each held). It happened that he wasn't searched and he destroyed the roll once he was in Dublin Castle by eating the written pages and flushing the rest down the toilet. He was helped by a PJ Ryan, the Company Intelligence Officer.

1920 Nov 29 Army List Half-Pay Officers on the Active List Captain Hardy JL, DSO, MC

1920 Dec Michael Noyk,, pages 31,32 ref King and Hardy -
Shortly before Christmas of 1920, I was invited out to a birthday party of one of the children of Mr.William Sinclair whom I have mentioned in connection with the Cavan election.He lived in a house overlooking the Bailey Lighthouse in Howth. In the party was a Mrs. Salkeld, mother of Cecil Salkeld, the artist; the late Padraig O Conaire, the well known Irish writer, and Paul Farrell, the then actor and now a medical doctor. After we had had our meal we sat round the fire and somewhere about 9 o,clock there was a loud knock at the door, which was an unusual thing in that locality. Mr. Sinclair went out to answer the door and seemed to be a long time away. Suddenly a number of Auxiliaries came into the drawing - room where we were seated, headed by the notorious Captain King. He went over and opened a violin case, but he did not say anything which to me seemed very strange. However, I soon learned the reason. After about ten minutes, the door opened suddenly and in rushed a British Officer wearing a " British warmer". He did not walk across the room, but rushed in, the reason for which I guessed later. Without any ado, he pounced on Padraig O Conaire and seized him by the coat, asking him what his occupation was. Padraig said he was a writer and he then proceeded to search him and took out a small notebook which Padraig had, and, on the first page was written the name " Michael Collins". "Ow ", said this gentleman, who so far, had not disclosed his identity, " you know Michael Collins " ? " Oh no ", said Padraig, " that is the name of a dog". He then turned to Farrell and he asked him what he did. Farrell said, I am an actor, "Ow", continued the officer, can you recite Kevin Barry? You know, he added, " I am Captain Hardy". None of the others were aware of this "gentleman's " identity, but I happened to know that he was the head of the " Murder Gang", which did not make me feel too comfortable. He then turned to me and said, " what do you do ? "I summoned all the coolness I could command, knowing the reputation of this gentleman, replying, I am a solicitor. Again he said " Ow". Do you know Duggan, the solicitor. He has accused me of torturing Kevin Barry. " Oh, yes ", said I,"I know Duggan professionally, just as I know Sir Henry Wynne", who was the Chief Crown Solicitor. With that, Captain King turned round and said "I have arrested him twice already". "No", I said, " you have not arrested me twice - you are wrong". That evidently knocked him out. Hardy then turned round and pointing to O Conaire, said, "Come along with us".He took O Conaire out and a dead silence ensued in the room. One lady who was in the party began screaming, " they'll murder Padraig " but I said keep quiet, I am certain they have not gone away yet. I was correct. They came back with Padraig after about twenty minutes, so we were all delighted to see him again. As Sinclair was preparing to pour out a glass of whiskey, in they came again, and again asked Padraig to come out. This time we were certain that " he was for it". However, after what appeared to be an interminable delay, Padraig came back. We all spent an uneasy night, especially myself, as I knew the identity of Hardy and could not communicate it to the others. I may mention that Hardy had a limp and, in order to disguise it, walked very quickly so that it might not be noticed. It would, of course, lead to his identification and, needless to say, he was very much sought after by Michael Collins, not exactly for "social reasons".

A Witness Statement made by Joseph Dolan- member of A. Co. 1st. Batt. Dublin Brigade ,G.H.Q. Intelligence  " We were looking for a British Intelligence Officer named Hardy for months.He had an artificial leg and was very vicious. McNamara gave us information that Hardy was going to England on leave, but did not know whether he would have a heavy escort to Dun Laoghaire. I located Hardy on the mail boat. I was better dressed than he was and I was travelling first class. I tracked Hardy all the way to London, but when we arrived there he disappeared in a taxi. I did not know what date Hardy would be returning to Ireland, but I was to watch for him at Euston Station and wired to Vaughan's Hotel in Dublin as soon as I found out the date of his return. I was to put on the wire, ( Josephine travelling ). Eventually when Hardy did travel I sent the wire to Vaughan's Hotel. They got the wire all right and sent out a party next morning to deal with him .Through some hitch, I think the car broke down, the party did not reach their destination and Hardy got away. He was never got. "

1921 Feb 9. Shooting of James Murphy and Patrick Kennedy

James Murphy and Patrick Kennedy were arrested by Auxiliaries in Dublin and were in the custody of 'F' company . Two hours later, constables of the Dublin Metropolitan Police found the two men lying shot, with pails on their heads, in Clonturk Park, Drumcondra,: Kennedy was dead, and Murphy was dying. Murphy died in Mater Hospital, Dublin on 11 February, but just before dying James Murphy testified that King had taken them and stated that they were Just going for a drive. Captain W L King, commanding officer of F Company ADRIC, was arrested for the killings. King and two of his men, one Irish, were court-martialed on 13-15 February, but acquitted, after Murphy's dying declaration was ruled inadmissible, and two officers from F Company provided perjured alibis for Captain King at the time of the shootings. Hardy does not appear to have been involved here

1921 Feb 13. Sturgis diary records "Andy (Cope) tells me that Basil Thomson's man in the Castle, Capt Hardy, has tried to intimidate witnesses in the Drumcondra Affair

1921 Feb 10. Simon Donnolly, V/C 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade IRA was arrested in Dame St., Dublin and interrogated by Capt Hardy. (Donnelly in The Kerryman (1955), pgs 164-168)

Hardy was once tailed by Joe Dolan of the Squad across the Irish Sea while on leave, but Dolan lost him at Euston station remarking that he (Hardy) was moving a lot quicker than usual, perhaps tipped off and armed in the event of assassination. There were other plans formulated to dispatch Hoppy Hardy but as he always attended Dublin heavily escorted, this was deemed impossible. King however was transferred to Galway after the second incident, where he later caused a near riot at the town hall during the truce.

1922 Nov 29 Army List Half-Pay Officers on the Active List Captain Hardy JL, DSO, MC

1925 Apr 1. Retired from half pay Capt. J. L. Hardy, D.S.O., M.C., h.p. list, late Conn. Rangers, on account of ill health caused by wounds. Gazette.

1926 Jan 18. He writes to Frazer Nash about buying a new car, as his current car was too awkward for him to use with his artifical leg. He is now breeding Wyandottes, which are chickens

Chris Chilcott wrote to me "I own a 1926 Frazer Nash which was bought new by a J L Hardy of Kings Lynn. I researched the name and found your web site a few years ago but could never tie Jocelyn Lee Hardy to my car definitely. However last year I visited the Frazer Nash archive and they had done some digging into my cars history including a letter requesting a brochure from Hardy, his next letter to Frazer Nash Ltd explains he has a 1925 Salmson 'Grand Prix' model, which he had difficulty getting in and out of as he had an artificial leg, and asking if they would take it in part exchange for a new Frazer Nash - Bingo!!!
There is a mass of subsequent correspondence with various employees of Frazer Nash, resulting in his buying the car I now own, chassis 1089, reg no PF1236, a Fast Tourer Model. It was delivered in April 1926. All the written histories of Frazer Nash indicate that he owned the car for a couple of months only. I assumed this was because of his disability and he could not cope with the idiosyncrasy of a chain gaing Frazer Nash. How wrong I was - he kept the car for over a year and was a very enthusiastic owner - eventually asking for a trade in against a new super sport model.
He became a good friend of Archie Frazer Nash (Also a Captain but RFC) judging by the correspondence and general banter by mail between the two - well after he had traded the car back to the works. He was not wealthy at this time as he had just extended his farming activities so instead of taking delivery of a new Super Sport Frazer Nash he took a traded in Bullnose Morris.
I see he owned the ex Kenneth Neve Rolls Royce (A car I knew well when Kenneth owned it), so obviously the farming business became more successful!  
I have enclosed a photograph of the car in 1928 - and now, unfortunately it has been rather modified over the years but I think Hardy would have approved. This was taken at the Lochnagar Crater on our visiting the WW1 battle sites last August.

1927 May 31. He is trying to buy a new property and would be strapped for cash if that deal comes off. He appears to be selling his Fraser Nash



1933 Jun 15 J L Hardy was also a Rolls Royce enthusiast, owning at one time a 1933 Phantom II chassis 69MW, a Barker 3 position sedan ca drop head coup was made for Capt. Lee Hardy. However, I jumped to the wrong conclusion, and it turns out that the Rolls wa not his, but was owned by a relative, another Capt Lee Hardy

For a long time owned by the late Kenneth Neve and used to tow his TT Humber. 69MWs history began on 15th June 1933 when it was on test with Rolls-Royce, destined for delivery by Barker & Co.Ltd to their esteemed customer, Capt. Hardy of Lloyds Bank in Pall Mall, London. Captain Hardy was a polo player of some repute, mixed in distinguished company and his selection of Barkers to construct the coachwork was an impeccable choice as he required a car that would reflect his sporting prowess and yet command respect amongst his senior banking colleagues. He was particular in the detail of his order, specifying, amongst other things, bonnet louvres running into the bulkhead at an angle of 16 degrees, and of course his model choice was the top-of-the range short chassis Continental. 69MW clearly proved impeccable in all things to the Captain as it remained in his possession through the war years, passing in 1952 to the Kenneth Neve of Stretton in Cheshire

Washpit Farm

Washpit Farm

After the War, Jocelyn L Hardy went full time book writing and farming, at Washpit Farm near Kings Lynn in Norfolk. His publications were: Escape!, 1927; Everything is Thunder; The Key, a play with Robert Gore-Browne; Never in Vain, 1936; Recoil, 1936; The Stroke of Eight, 1938; Pawn in the Game, 1939

In "Never in Vain" Hardy  based the main character of the book (Andrew Kerr) on himself, even down to the fact that he gave him an artificial leg and a limp. Some of the ways that he describes himself (under the guise of describing 'Andrew') are quite interesting... he certainly doesn't seem to have been particularly modest. In the book  Hardy (/Andrew Kerr) discusses justifying his killings. " Without trying to excuse himself for some of the things he had done in Dublin, he thought he might say he had really been acting in self-defence, killing bad men to try to put an end to the thing and save himself for [his wife]. Anyhow, it sounded best that way." (" Never in Vain", p.13). There's mention of the Clancy/McKee case - a couple of people say that Hardy 'more or less confesses' to the killing in the book... He certainly prints a letter from the I.R.A. saying that he has been 'sentenced to death' for killing them, in any case. In the book the letter is addressed to his protagonist Andrew Kerr but apparently Hardy received the exact same letter himself.

Two of his books were transferred to films. The Key (1934) in which includes his own ideas of bravery of the Auxiliaries and infidelity. As a play it opened at the St Martin's Theatre London on 6 September 1933.

Everything is Thunder was made with an all-star cast was on the P.O.W. theme, with an amorous P.O.W. officer's romance with a German woman, and her helping him return to allied lines. It got good revues and was received well in Germany at a time when overtures to the nazis was acceptable in Britain The film disappeared from circulation once World War Two had started.

Recoil 1936 followed the story of an officer in the Abwehr trying to shake down a Communist uprising in Africa

SS rawalpindi

1936 Dec 4 He departs from London to Yokohama, Japan on the SS Rawalpindi. He is given as aged: 41, Married , Occupation: Author. The ship was a P$O vessel under the command of Capt R C Dene and carrying 344 passengers. The following people with the same last name travelled on this voyage: -

1937 Mar 12 Arrives back in London from Yokohama, Japan . He is given as age 47 and occupation Farmer. Ports of Voyage: Yokohama, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang, Colombo, Cochin, Bombay, Port Said, Malta, Marseilles, Gibraltar and Tangier on the Rawalpindi Search Ship

erg dinner connaught rangers

1939 May 26. attended regimental dinner of Connaught Rangers. He also attended the regimental diners on 4 June 1931, 2 June 1933, 7 June 1934, 6 June 1935, 28 May 1936, 3 June 1937, 2 June 1938

1939-45 Commanded an Anti Aircraft Battery during WW2

kensington mansions

Kensington Mansions

1951 in the London phone book living at 4 Kensington Mansions, Trebovir Rd S.W.5. And was still there in 1955

1958 May 30 died Hammersmith, London

Kilcoroon, Wells next by Sea

1958 Jun 5 Funeral held at 2.15 at Wells Church, Norfolk, announced in the Times. He is believed to have been living at Kilcoroon, a bed and breakfast today. He left an estate of £57,000 on which £19,000 duty was then paid.

obituary J L Hardy
times letter on hardy


4 June 1958


Men who escaped