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A.B. (George) Sydney Swingler

R/4529 Hood Battalion Royal Naval Division, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Son of Mr John G. and Mrs Alice Swingler

Aged 19 years

Died 28th June 1918

Commemorated in Knightsbridge Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart, Somme, France
Grave E.65

Born Rushden 27th June 1899.
Entered 3rd Jul 1917; Draft for BEF 2nd April 1918, joined Hood Bn. 8th Apr 1918 - 28th Jun 1918 DD.
The Hood Bn. War Diary 28th June 1918 states:- "Front Line (Mailly Maillet Sector). Normal enemy Artillery activity. Casualties: Killed 2 Other Ranks, Wounded 2 Other Ranks."
Rushden Echo, July 12th, 1918, transcribed by Greville Watson

Rushden’s Casualty List

We are sorry to learn that Mr and Mrs G. Swingler, of 54, Duck-street, Rushden, have received unofficial news of the death in action on June 28th of their eldest son, A.B. Sydney Swingler, of the Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division.  The first news that Mr and Mrs Swingler received was from the Rev. H. W. Chambers, C.F., who wrote under date July 1st, as follows: “I am hoping that you have already received the sad news.  In that case the task of writing to you will be an easier one.  With very real and deep regret I have to inform you that your son A.B. Swingler met his death in the early hours of Friday morning last, June 28th.  Later in the day I laid him to rest in a little cemetery reserved for our fallen soldiers, an officer and men from his company being present at the graveside.  A cross will shortly be erected to his memory and you may rest assured that his grave will be well cared for.  It is a hard blow for you but it will comfort you to know that he suffered no pain.  His comrades speak of him in warm terms.  May God comfort and help you in your great loss.”  The deceased seaman’s captain writes under date July 2nd: “I expect by this time you have received the sad news that your son was killed on the morning of June 28th.  As officer commanding his company allow me to offer you and your family my very deepest sympathy.  Your son has been with me since he joined this battalion and he proved himself to be a good soldier.  He was very popular amongst the boys, and I can assure you we are all very, very sorry to lose him.  I do trust you will all be given the needed strength at this very trying time.”  The late A.B. Swingler, who was 19 years of age, gave his life in the service of his country on the day following his birthday.  He joined the Colours in July last year, and went to France in Easter week this year.  Before joining up he was employed by Messrs. John Cave and Sons, Ltd., boot manufacturers, Rushden, and he was an enthusiastic member of the Rushden Company, 2nd Battalion Northants Volunteer Regiment.  As a lad he passed through the Sunday school of St. Mary’s Church, Rushden, and for four years he was a member of the choir.  Up to the time of joining the Volunteers he was also a teacher in the Sunday school.  A.B. Swingler was of a studious disposition and attended the Rushden Evening Continuation Classes regularly.  During the autumn and winter of 1913–14 he passed an examination in the preliminary technical (boot and shoe) course, and gained distinction in science.  The subjects of study were English, mathematics, science, and drawing.  Much sympathy is felt with Mr and Mrs Swingler in their great loss, especially as on the day before receiving news of the death of her son Mrs Swingler had suffered further bereavement by the death of her father, Mr Geo. Watkin, at the age of 76 years.  The late Mr Watkin, who was an old-age pensioner, had resided with his daughter for the seven years immediately preceding his death.  He was a native of Irchester, where he was buried yesterday in accordance with his wishes.  He leaves four sons and three daughters to mourn their loss.  One of the sons, Gunner James Watkin, of the R.F.A., is in France.  Mr Geo. Swingler, the deceased seaman’s father, has been away from home nearly three years, and is foreman of the maintenance department of a large munition works in the Midlands.

Kettering Leader, 19th July 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

The late G S Swingler A.B.

Mrs. Swingler, of Duck-street, Rushden, has suffered a double bereavement in the loss of her father and son. Mr. George Watkin, who resided with his daughter, Mrs. Swingler, died on Monday week from senile decay, at the age of 76 years. Deceased, who was a native of Irchester, came to live in Rushden seven years ago. He was a member of the Church of England, and was one of the fast disappearing hand-sewn shoemakers. The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon at Irchester.

Mr. and Mrs. George Swingler have received a letter from a chaplain to say that their eldest son A.B. Geogre Sidney Swingler R.N.D., was killed in action on June 28th, and that he conducted the burial service. Enlisting in July last, he went to France in Easter week this year. He was formerly employed by Messrs. J. Cave and Sons, boot and shoe manufacturers, Rushden, and was for some time in the Rushden Volunteers. The deceased soldier was killed on the day after his 19th birthday.

The Rushden Echo Friday 19 July 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Mr and Mrs G Swingler of 54 Duck-street, Rushden, wish to thank all kind friends for their sympathy in their sad loss and also for flowers and wreaths for the Roll of Honour in memory of their dear son.

The Rushden Echo Friday 2 August 1918, transcribed by Nicky Bates

An Open Air memorial service was held on Sunday evening at the Duck-street Roll of Honour for A.B. Sydney Swingler, R.N.D., who was killed in action on June 28th. The deceased was a former St Mary's chorister, and the choir proceeded from St Mary's Church singing a hymn. The Rector conducted the service. A quartette was sung by Mrs Flood, Mrs Corbett, Mr Ablett and Mr Howes. The hymns were "Fight the good fight," "Thy will be done," and "A few more years shall roll." The Rector gave an impressive address.

The Rushden Echo Friday 14 July 1919, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

SWINGLER - In loving memory of Able Seaman George Sidney Swingler, R.N.D., the belloved son of Mr and Mrs G Swingler, who was killed in action June 28th, 1918, aged 19 years. From his father, mother, brother and sisters. "Ever in our thoughts."

The Rushden Echo Friday 25 June 1920, transcribed by Nicky Bates

In Memoriam

SWINGLER - In loving memory of our dear son, Able Seaman George Sydney Swingler, R.N.D., who was killed in action June 28th, 1918. — From his Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother.

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