This film is part of Free

Trial of Casement

Crowds throng Bow Street during the trial of British diplomat turned Irish nationalist Roger Casement.

Non-Fiction 1916 1 mins Silent


The extraordinary story of Sir Roger Casement - British diplomat turned humanitarian activist turned Irish nationalist - is not well documented on film. Only one piece of footage of Casement himself is known to exist, and Topical Budget's newsreel cameras had to improvise as his dramatic downfall played out. This short item from 17 May captures crowds waiting "in vain" outside Bow Street Magistrate's Court for a glimpse of the prisoner: traitor to some, hero to many.

Arrested on 21 April 1916, hours after landing on the Kerry coast in a German submarine and just three days before the Easter Rising began in Dublin, Casement was whisked away to London to stand trial for treason. He was finally executed on 3 August, his fate sealed by the discovery and distribution of the legendary 'Black Diaries', which contained accounts of his homosexual activities. His body was buried in quicklime at Pentonville Prison and his remains not repatriated to Ireland until 1965.