James Wilson mobilised with the Swords Company in the 5th (Fingal) Battalion of the Irish Volunteers on Easter Monday, 1916. He was sent to the GPO on the following day and from there he was despatched to the Mendicity Institute, which was coming under heavy fire from British forces. The post was surrendered on Wednesday and Wilson was subsequently court-martialled and sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour. After serving time in Wormwood Scrubbs, Lewes Prison and Pentonville Prison, he was released in June 1917. Wilson became re-involved with the Swords Company and also served with the Fingal Brigade’s Active Service Unit during the War of Independence. He joined the National Army during the Civil War, rising to the rank of sergeant major by the time he left in March 1926.
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