Joseph Byrne (British Army officer)

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Brigadier Sir Joseph Aloysius Byrne, GCMG KBE CB (2 October 1874 – 13 November 1942),[1] was the Royal Irish Constabulary's Inspector-General from 1916 until 1920. He later served abroad in Sierra Leone, The Seychelles and Kenya.


Byrne was born on 2 October 1874, the son of Dr J. Byrne, Deputy Lieutenant for County Londonderry. He joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1893 and served in the Boer War, where he was wounded at the Siege of Ladysmith. He continued to serve during the remainder of the war, and was invalided home in March 1902.[2] He later served as Assistant Adjutant-General at the War Office and was made Deputy Adjutant-General, Irish Command, on 27 April 1916, during the Easter Rising as Brigadier-General. He was appointed Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary on 1 August 1916. Byrne held the position of Inspector-General until March 1920.[3]

Following his police service he was called to the Bar, Lincoln's Inn, London, in 1921. He later was appointed the Governor of the Seychelles (from 1922-1927). He served in Sierra Leone from 24 September 1927 to 1929, and again from 1930 to 23 May 1931. His last known posting was Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Kenya (1931-1937).

Byrne married in 1908, Marjorie, daughter of A. F. Joseph, of Cairo. She died 19 November 1960.[4]

Sir Joseph Byrne died on 13 November 1942 in Surrey, England.[5]


  1. ^ "Brig.-Gen. Sir Joseph Byrne". The Times. London, England. 14 November 1942. p. 6 – via The Times Digital Archive 1785-2008. 
  2. ^ "The War - Return of Troops". The Times (36718). London. 18 March 1902. p. 11. 
  3. ^ UK National Archives website
  4. ^ The Times, Thursday, Nov 24, 1960; pg. 17; Issue 54937; col E
  5. ^ The Times, Wednesday, Dec 02, 1942; pg. 1; Issue 49408; col E