Latest Investigate learning history resource – watch our film on Éamon de Valera’s dramatic escape from Lincoln Prison
On the evening of the 3rd of February 1919 Éamon de Valera, arguably the most famous and influential Irish statesman of modern times, along with two other Irish rebels, Seàn McGarry and Seàn Milroy, dramatically escaped from Lincoln Prison. This film was made as a student project with Stuart Riley, a talented young filmmaker, and the Investigate Learning Officer Erik Grigg, to bring this interesting story to life. It was shot at sites across the city, including the Museum of Lincolnshire Life and Lincoln Castle.
On the (rather misty) evening of the 3rd of February 1919 Éamon de Valera and two colleagues (Seàn McGarry and Seàn Milroy) used the key to escape the prison smuggled into the prison in a cake. Outside were a few helpers including Michael Collins. They made their way across the allotments at the back of the prison towards Wragby Road to the Adam and Eve pub where a taxi was waiting.
Lincoln Christ Hospital School was a military hospital at that time and the prisoners had to bluff their way past some convalescing soldiers who were courting with some of the nurses outside the hospital.