The Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation have a Christmas treat for our members – a real part of Irish Volunteer History is in our possession and is being preserved for future generations and students of Irish Volunteer history.
The Colt Patent Firearms Company of Hartford Connecticut was contracted by Auto-Ordnance to manufacture the first 15000 Thompson sub-machine guns from April 1921 to May 1922. Contract was signed on 18th August 1920. All were marked “Model of 1921” and bore a serial number which was placed in four locations on the gun on the first 1000 and then in three locations with the rest.
The first commercial production gun was numbered 41 and was shipped on 31st March 1921– numbers 1 to 40 were all considered prototypes and remain to this day in Museums in the US. Early guns were designated Model of 1919 and some were belt fed ammunition and only full automatic.
The sixth gun manufactured was serial number 46 and was the first gun consigned to Auto-Ordnance in the name of their salesman George Gordon Rorke on 2nd April. This gun was sold to the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
The first 3 Thompson sub machine guns were brought to Ireland by A. Barrett,they were numbered 46,50 and and 51, they were test fired in Dublin during the Irish War of Independence.
A Model 1921 Thompson being used by an IRA volunteer in Lenadoon,Belfast, 1972,many years later..