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  • Photo courtesy of Sidney Swaby's great nephew John Pollard.
Person Details
Boston Lincolnshire
Joseph Sydney Swaby known as Sydney was born in 1898 at Boston and was the son of Joseph a forman baker and Mary Alice Swaby née Bosworth of North Road, North Muskham Newark and a resident of Cromwell Newark. His father Joseph was born in 1872 at North Coates, Lincolnshire and his mother Mary Alice Bosworth was born in 1875 at Little Steeping, Lincolnshire, they were married in 1894 at Boston and went on to have 4 children, sadly one died in infancy or early childhood, their surviving children were Edith May b1895 Boston, Joseph Sydney b1898 Boston and Alfred Leslie b1907 Lincoln. In the 1911 census the family are living at 17 Elms Road, Worksop and are shown as Joseph 39 yrs a forman baker, he is living with his wife Mary Alice 36 yrs and their children, Edith May 15 yrs no occupation listed, Joseph Sydney 13 yrs delivering milk and Alfred Leslie 4 yrs of age.
In 1911, aged 13, he had left school and was delivering milk in Worksop. Immediately before he volunteered for The Great War he was in the employ of farmer and cattle dealer George Dakin, who became one of Cromwell’s special constables when invasion seemed a possibility in December 1914.
08 Dec 1916
19
506274 - CWGC Website
31045
Corporal
17th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Sydney enlisted in the Welbeck Rangers on 20 September 1915 at Boston, whilst residing at Newark and went to the Flanders battlefront in early March 1916. He was deployed as a sniper and earned promotion to Corporal in the field. After emerging through six battles without a scratch, he received 'most serious wounds in the head' on 3 September and his family was informed by the Army that no hope could ever be entertained of his recovery. His father and sister Edith (born 1896 and the future Mrs Cecil Pollard of North Muskham) were able to spend a week with him in a French hospital before he passed away. This was a rare occurrence (a) because the authorities were reluctant to expose grieving families to the dangers – German submarines haunted the Channel; b) enemy attacks frequently forced hospitals to be closed down. So Sydney’s bravery and fortitude must have persuaded the hard-hearts that he was a special case. In response to his father's question as to whether or not he was sorry now to have joined the Army, the Herald reported, he replied 'No, I am glad I had the opportunity of doing what I have'. He died on 8th December 1916 at No 20 General Hospital at Camiers and is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.
Much of the information on this page is courtesy of Trevor Frecknall. Article published in the Newark Herald 13th January 1917 :- Son of Joseph & Alice Swaby of Cromwell. Previous to the war was in the employ of Mr Dakin, Cromwell. Enlisted in the Welbeck Rangers (17th Sherwood Foresters) on Sept. 20th, 1915 and went to the front in early March 1916 where he was employed as a sniper, receiving his stripes on the field. After being through six battles without a scratch, he received most serious wounds in the head on September 3rd and no hope was ever entertained of his recovery. His father and sister were able to be with him a week in the French hospital before he passed away. In response to his father’s question as to whether or not he was sorry now to have joined the Army, he replied, “No, I am glad I had the opportunity of doing what I have”.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Photo courtesy of Sidney Swaby's great nephew John Pollard.
    - Photo courtesy of Sidney Swaby's great nephew John Pollard.
  • Obituary from unknown local newspaper. Courtesy of Trevor Frecknall.
    - Obituary from unknown local newspaper. Courtesy of Trevor Frecknall.
  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Sidney Swaby - Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle