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Person Details
Nottingham
Alec was the son of William Arthur (aka Arthur) and Mary Catherine Swift (née Stevens). His father, William Arthur, was born in Nottingham in 1859 (A/M/J Nottingham-Walker) and his mother, Mary Catherine Stevens, was born on 19 July 1858 (J/A/S Nottingham) also in Nottingham. They were married at St Wilfrid's church, Nottingham, on 23 January 1879 (J/F/M Basford). William and Mary had nine children all of whom except the eldest, May, were born in Nottingham: May Harriet b. Liverpool 1879 (J/A/S West Derby Lancashire), Robert William Harold b. 12 March 1881 (A/M/J Nottingham), Tom Stevens birth registered 1883 (J/F/M Nottingham), Elsie Lisse M b. 23 September 1884 (O/N/D Nottingham), Henry Arthur b. 1887 (A/M/J Nottingham), George Stanley (k/a Stanley) b. 1888 (O/N/D Basford), Alec b. 1890 (O/N/D Basford), Charles Ernest birth registered 1893 (J/F/M Basford) and Bernard Alan (k/a Alan) b. 1897 O/N/D Basford). With the exception of Alec, all the registrations of birth give the mother's maiden name (Stevens). William and Mary have not yet been traced on the 1881 Census nor has their eldest son, Robert, who may have been born by the time of the census (A/M/J). However, their first child, May (1), was living at 160 Queen's Walk, Meadows, Nottingham, with her maternal grandmother, Harriet AP Stevens, and her children. Her grandmother was married but her husband was not recorded in the home on the night of the census. May (11) was still living with her grandmother, now widowed, in 1891 although they had moved to 211 Wilford Road, Nottingham. Also in the household were May's sister, Elsie (6) and two of Harriett Stevens' great-nieces, Emma Ferrier (18) and Annie Litchfield (19), who were both pupil teachers. Arthur (32), a commercial traveller, and Mary (32) were living at 215 Wilford Road, in 1891, with their five sons Robert (10), Tom (8), Henry (4), George (2) and Alec (5 months). By 1901 the family home was at 29 Healey Street, Nottingham. On the night of the census Mary (42) was in the house with six of her seven sons: Tom (18) a grocer's assistant, Henry (14) a butcher's boy, George (12), Alec (10), Charles (8) and the youngest child Bernard (3). May (21), a church school teacher, Robert (20) a cigar box manufacturer's clerk and Elsie (15) a tailoress, were living with their grandmother, Harriet Stevens, at 211 Wilford Road. Their father, Arthur, has not yet been traced on the census. By 1911 Mary had moved to 30 Mayfield Grove, Meadows, where she was living with her five sons Henry (24) a butcher, George (22) and Alec (20) who were both bobbin and carriage hands, Charles (18) a tool fitter, and Bernard (13) who was still at school. May (31), a school teacher, Robert (30) an engineer/motor dealer, and Elsie (25) an assistant at a chemist (manufacturer) were still living with their grandmother on Wilford Road. Tom (28) had married in 1908 and was living with his wife, Ellen (29) at 30 Mayfield Road. Arthur has not yet been traced on the census. Alec's brother, Bernard Alan, served in the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers (7719 Lance Corporal) and was killed in action on 13 November 1916 (Theipval Memorial). (See record on this ROH). By the time of Bernard's death in 1916 the family home was at 28 Mayfield Grove, Meadows. It is possible that his father Arthur served in the war as he was named as Bernard's legatee and was described on the record as 'Private Arthur Swift'. His father Arthur died at 28 Wilford Grove on 26 March 1924. His mother Mary Catherine was still living at the same address in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled; she was described as 'incapacitated'. Also in the household was her daughter Elsie, a retired warehouse clerk. Mary died at home on 7 February 1940. Or Alec's surviving siblings: May Harriet has not yet been traced after 1911. Robert William Harold married Harriet Minnie Cowen at the Unitarian Chapel, High Pavement, Nottingham, on 6 March 1915 and they had at least one child, Harriet Mary (b. 13 March 1916). He enlisted in the Army Service Corps (Motor Transport) in about 1915 giving his trade as motor engineer; he and Harriet were living at 8 Queen's Road, Beeston, Nottingham. He served at home from 29 September 1915 but later in France. He was discharged as no longer physically fit for war service, probably in 1917. In 1939 Robert and Harriet (b. 27 April 1893) were living at 124 Foxhall Road, Nottingham; he was a general manager for a cigar box manufacturer. Robert died on 24 August 1944. Tom married Ellen Hempstock in 1908 and in 1911 they were living at 30 Mayfield Grove, Meadows. It is likely that he served in the Army Service Corps (118191 Private) as there is a medal roll record for a Tom Stevens Swift. He died on 1 August 1925. Elsie Lisse M was living with her widowed mother at 28 Wilford Grove in 1939. She did not marry and died in 1960 (J/F/M Basford). Henry Arthur also served in the war, initially in the Army Service Corps then in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (47014 Sergeant). He served in France from 2 August 1915. He died at 28 Wilford Grove on 27 April 1919. The notice of his death gave the cause of death as 'gas poisoning' suggested that he had been gassed while on active service. (See record on this ROH) George Stanley (Stanley) died at 28 Wilford Grove on 23 September 1928. It is likely that he also served in the war. Charles Ernest has not yet been traced after 1918 when he was included on a form, completed by his mother, of his late brother Alec's surviving blood relatives. The address is illegible apart from 'South Shore'.
He was a carriage bobbin hand in 1911.
07 Feb 1918
28
315378 - CWGC Website
R/7576
30 Mayfield Grove Meadows Nottingham
Sergeant
1st Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps
Alec Swift enlisted in Nottingham on 18th November 1914 and served in 1st Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps. He was promoted to lance-corporal on 26th February 1915, corporal on 28th August 1915 and sergeant on 26th June 1916. He embarked Southampton for France on 16th August 1916 disembarking the following day at Le Havre. He joined his battalion on 6th September 1916. He fractured his left ankle on 19th November 1916 and was admitted initially to a field hospital then medically evacuated to England in the Hospital Ship St Dennys on 21st November 1916. He was treated in hospital from 22nd November until 6th December 1916. Alec remained in England, probably at Sheerness, on light duties until returning to France on 8th September 1917. He was killed in action on 7 February 1918 and was buried in Metz-en-Couture Cemetery Extension (Grave Reference: II G 8).
War Diary 1st Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps for the 7th February 1918: 'At about 8.30 pm the enemy sent over several shells, one of which unfortunately fell on ‘A’ Company Headquarters killing Sergt Swift and wounding three other Sergeants.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 12 December 1916: ‘Swift. Killed in action, November 14th (sic), Lance-Corporal Alan Swift (Joey), Royal Fusiliers, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Swift, 28 Wilford-Grove, aged 19 years.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottinghamshire Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 22 February 1918: ‘Swift. Killed in action, February 7th, Sergeant Alec Swift, KRRC, the beloved son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Swift, 28 Wilford-grove, Nottingham.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 22 February 1918: ‘Swift. Killed in action, February 7th, my dear friend, Sgt. Alec Swift, KRR, Sadly missed. Saray (sic).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘’in Memoriam’’, 8 February 1919: ‘Swift. In loving memory of my dearest friend, Sgt. Alec Swift, killed in action February 7th, 1918. Memories.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘’in Memoriam’’, 7 February 1919: ‘Swift. In loving memory of dear Alec (Sergt. A. Swift) killed in action February 7th, 1918.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Alec's personal property was returned ot his mother in November 1918; this comprised phtos, letters, cards and several other items (list partly illegible). Alec's mother completed a form for the army in 1919 listing her son's surviving blood relatives: four brothers (Robert, Tom, George, Charles), two sisters (May and Elsie, both unmarried) - addresses largely illegible - and his parents who were both living at 28 Wilford Grove. Nottingham Evening Post, 'Roll of Honour', 30 April 1919: 'Swift. At 28 Wilford Grove on April 27th, from gas poisoning, Sergt. Harry Swift, DCLI, the beloved son of Mr and Mrs A. Swift. Military funeral Friday, 2.30, General Cemetery, Derby Road.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 28 March 1924: ‘Swift. On March 26th, at 28 Wilford-grove, Arthur Swift, the beloved husband of Mary C Swift, aged 55.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 3 August 1925: ‘Swift. August 1st, Tom, dearly loved son of Mary and the late Arthur Swift.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 4 August 1925: ‘Swift. Tom, beloved husband of Ellen Swift, passed away after much suffering. Interment Wilford Hill, Wednesday 2.30 pm.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 25 September 1928: ‘Swift. September 23rd, at 28 Wilford-grove, Stanley (Bant), the dearly loved son of Mary and the late Arthur Swift. Wilford Hill, 2.30 Wednesday.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 10 February 1940: ‘Swift. On the 7th inst., at 28 Wilford-grove, Mary Catherine, wife of the late Arthur Swift, aged 81. Funeral 2.30, Monday, Wilford Hill.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
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