Lieut-Col. Alfred Edward Haig

Haig Road is most likely named after Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Edward Gordon Haig 1866-1935. He resided at Oakgrove House. He was educated at Winchester, Oxford and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He had a distinguished Military career, serving in India, Egypt and South Africa with the King’s own Scottish Borderers. He fought in WW1and was severely wounded in France at the Battle of Cateau in 1914. He and an injured officer were evacuated in an ambulance however on learning that there were two other soldiers with worse injuries than themselves they gave up their places. Following treatment for his injuries which required an anaesthetic, Lt Colonel Haig woke to find that he had been taken prisoner, whilst unconscious during his operation by the advancing German forces, and then spent over four years as a prisoner of war. He was repatriated in October 1918. In his later life his recreations were cricket, lawn tennis and golf. He was chairman of Stoke Park Council until it was dissolved in 1932. After WWI he took great interest in the welfare of the British Legion, becoming chairman of the local branch.

Bishopstoke OS Map 1897 (arrow showing the Oak-Grove Estate

Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser 5th. August 1914

                                    Coroners Enquiry                                          The soldier’s excitement – Orange peel only missile             thrown                                                                                                       No order to fire- Impressive funeral scenes.

The inquest opened in Dublin on three of the victims in the conflict with the Scottish Borderers on Sunday, when eight other persons were injured. The proceedings opened in an atmosphere of suppressed excitement. The Military authorities applied for an adjournment after the identification of the victims. Amidst a great demonstration of popular sympathy, the bodies of the deceased were afterwards conveyed in funeral procession from the morgue, to the Pro-Cathedral and deposited in the adjoining Mortuary Chapel for the night, prior to internment at Glasnevin Cemetery. 

                “People dropped like Partridges”                       The inquest was resumed on Thursday upon the bodies of three persons who lost their lives in the disturbance in Dublin on Sunday last. Mr Harrel, the suspended Assistant Commissioner was amongst those legally represented and Major Haig who was in command of the Scottish Borderers when they fired on the populace was in court. There was again a big array of leading council and the immediately relatives of the deceased were legally represented. Council for the Dublin Corporation made a statement in which he urged there was no justification for calling out the military. To say the troops fired without order was an invention. They formed up into two lines, the front rank dropped on one knee. Then the order was given and a volley rang out, 16 or 20 shots being fired. There was no rioting and the military men were unlawfully in the streets. On that day a couple of policemen could have dealt with the crowd. The coroner intimidated that he would not go into matters relative to the landing of guns. Joseph Byrne who witnessed the affray said no missiles were thrown, except orange peel. The soldiers acted in concert as if by word of command. They were excited and prior to this had been brandishing their rifles. Local tradesmen swore people dropped like partridges after musketry fire. The Coroner had said he had received a telegram the Regimental Adjutant of the Scottish Borderers saying the two soldiers attending the court as witnesses were required to re-join the Regiment. The Corporation council described this as impertinence on the part of the Adjutant. The coroner decided the men must remain in the attendance of the court. Coroner’s enquiry “No order to fire” Major Alfred Edward Haig said to be assumed in command of 150 men and eight officers, who returned from Clontarf on Sunday evening. A very riotous and hostile crowd followed the soldiers to “Bachelor’s walk “. The soldiers became more and more angry. They were not absolutely in danger of death. He asked four or five of the men, protecting the rear if their rifles were loaded and they replied “Yes”. The witness then said “get ready to fire on my order” and was about to address the crowd as loud as he could, when one of his men fired a shot and this was followed by a volley. The witness did not order the men to fire. Major Haig said 31 rounds of ammunition were shot when the soldiers returned to barracks. The witness did not order the firing, but if the crowd had not gone away when warned he would have done so. The magazines were loaded at Clontarf. Some of the men who fired were kneeling. The inquest was adjourned.

Berwick News and General Advertiser 29 December 1914                                                                                                Major Alfred Edward Haig K.O.S.B, previously officially reported wounded and missing, now unofficially, now unofficially reported a prisoner of war was born on June 3, 1866, eldest son of Henry Alex. Haig (died 1905) by his marriage with Agnes Catherine, daughter of Matthew Pollock. Major Haig married in 1906, Lottie Everilda, daughter of M.G.Dunas. Like General Sir Douglas Haig, Major Haig of Gartlands, Alloa, 5th. in Lineal descent from James Haig, 17th. Laird of Bemersyde, Berwickshire, a property which the Haig’s Have owned since the 12th. Century. The 4th. son of John Haig of Gartlands was Robert Haig of Roebuck, Dublin and of Killan, Cavan who married Caroline Mary, 6th. daughter of Sir William Wolseley, 6th. Baronet of Wolseley (15th. in direct descent from King Edward 3rd.) The family from which late Viscount Wolseley derived. Major Haig is Great-grandson and senior male descendant of this marriage.
Extract from the Northern Whig newspaper 26th. July 1935

“Death of Lieut-Col. Haig”                                               Figured in Howth gun running.

Major Alfred Edward Haig b. 3rd. July 1866, d. 22nd. July 1935 Lived at Oak-Grove House in Bishopstoke.               The death has occurred at the age of 69, at Bishopstoke Hants. Lieut-Colonel, Alfred Edward Haig. Who figured just before the Great War in an exciting scene in Dublin. Irish volunteers had imported a large quantity of arms and where taking them to Dublin, when they were intercepted by the police and hurried summoned troops, consisting of eight officers and 150 men of the King’s own Scottish Borderers. Colonel (then Major) Haig was in charge of the troops. A large crowd collected and pelted the soldiers with stones and other missiles. Practically all the soldiers were hit, Major Haig himself being struck several times. Having told the men nearest to him to be ready to fire, if he gave the order, he moved forward to warn the crowd of the consequences of their conduct. Immediately after however, some of the soldiers exasperated at the injury’s they were receiving from a constant shower of stones, fired. Major Haig ordered them to cease fire, but there were many casualties before the order could be obeyed. The occurrence led to strong protests in the British Parliament. A week later England was at war with Germany.