Jack Grace was 18 at the time of the Custom House raid.

A native of Tinnahinch, Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny, he had left his apprenticeship job 18 months previously to enlist with the Volunteers. He was a member of B Coy 2nd Battalion.

As a full time volunteer, he took part in all engagements involving B Coy, including the Whitehall Ambush. (Source – Application for Demobilisation Grant)

Following his arrest at the Custom House and while in detention in Kilmainham Gaol, he contributed to a number of the famous autograph books.

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Courtesy Kilmainham Gaol

He enlisted in the National Army on 1st Mar 1922 at Beggars Bush Barracks and, at the date of the Army Census, was serving in Cork with H Coy, 2nd Batt. 1st Dublin Brigade. He later transferred to 38th Infantry Batt.

He resigned from the Army, having obtained Capt. rank, on 1 March 1924. The reason given on his Army file was that he wished to return to civilian life & that it “was not due to Army crisis”.

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Jack Grace in Army Uniform. Back Row on left

He subsequently took up a job with the Dept. of Posts & Telegraphs. He married Susan (Cissie) Foster, a native of Kilkenny City  & lived for the rest of his life at Shandon Drive, Phibsborough. They had 4 children.

In 1954 he successfully applied for leave of absence from his job to work for the Bureau of Military History.     bus-card

In the three years he was with the Bureau, he travelled extensively, primarily in the Tipperary & Kilkenny areas, taking witness statements. It was a job he absolutely loved.

Jack’s other passion was Kilkenny hurling. He was involved with the training of the Dublin based Kilkenny hurlers in the 1930s & was a huge supporter of the team for the rest of his life.

Jack Grace died on 23 May 1969 & is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

Liam Grace