It was, of course, at Frongach Internment Camp, Wales that Michael Collins made his preparations for the coming campaign, disciplining his men, plotting and planning the War of Independence that would inevitably follow. Rankin was to take his part. In his memoirs however, he does not detail this, closing with his final release and return to Newry.
Frongach was composed of two camps, North and South. I was confined in the South Camp. The wooden huts had lately been occupied by German prisoners-of-war. There was a hut with an English NCO sergeant, where letters and parcels were received for our prisoners. We had to sign for everything we received.
One prisoner was told that there was a parcel for him. He duly signed the form. The sergeant then opened it in his presence. It was a large bottle of whiskey. The sergeant told him:
‘You are not allowed strong drink. I’ll keep this!’
The prisoner in return gave him plenty of strong language.
… more later