Correct spelling: Haw-Haw
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William Joyce was born in New York City on 24th April 1906. His mother was English and his father was a naturalized Irishman. He lived for a time in Ireland as a child and in 1922 he emigrated to England with his family.
It seems that he left the Irish Free State on idependence and was in London in 1922 studying his Matriculation. However he did apply to join Univesrity of London's OTC just after. It would appear prima facie that Joyce was not involved with the 'Black and Tans' therefore.
Joyce was born in New York of an Irish father and an English mother on 24 April 1906, but when he was only three the family moved to Ireland, settling in County Mayo. Joyce was educated at a convent school in Galway – the College of St. Ignatius Layola [1915-21?]. It was here that during a fist fight with another boy that Joyce had his nose broken. He kept quiet about the injury and his nose never properly set – giving him the nasal broken drawl so familiar in his later broadcasts from Germany.
The Joyce family were in Ireland at the time of the Sinn Fein insurrections and because they were Conservative and pro-Union they were very unpopular with the rebels. Joyce's early life was marked by violence, including an attack on his father's business and attacks on the family home by Sinn Feiners. When the British Prime Minister Lloyd George announced the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the creation of the Irish State the Joyce family left for England. Joyce was then 15 years old.
Far from being the puny figure described by the press during World War II, William Joyce was of average height and strongly built. During his youth he excelled at boxing, swimming and fencing. This was to hold him in good stead later when he was involved in many street battles.
Most of William Joyce’s relations are too ashamed of him even to speak about the connection. His English relatives, having suffered verbal abuse and even loss of employment because of William, are ashamed that he was hanged as a pro-Nazi traitor. His Irish family associates are ashamed that he had been so pro-British as a young boy that he aided and abetted the notorious Black and Tans in Galway in the 1920s, which, among a certain generation of Irish people, was almost worse than going over to Hitler. (A Galway historian remembers his Sinn Féin aunt calling Willie Joyce, loathesomely, “a scut” when he was running around with the Crown forces as a lad, but considerably softening towards him, and being amused by him, when she heard him verbally bashing the Brits from wartime Berlin.)
his father, although originally Irish, adopted American nationality before Joyce was born in New York.
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