SWAIN, John Thomas

Private John Thomas Swain
14458 3rd Bedford Regiment
203352 2/5th Battalion The Royal Scottish Regiment

SwainJT smlJohn Thomas Swain was born in Grantham, Lincs on 7th July 1892, son of Tom Swain a railway porter and his wife Elizabeth (nee Watson). John had siblings Harry (Henry), Francis Sidney and James. In 1895 the family moved to Newark. John left school in 1906 and was an errand boy for two years. In 1911 the family was living at 45, Vernon Street, Newark, Notts and, at that time, John was employed as a telegraph lad with the Great Northern Railway.  After training at Peterborough he moved to Jacksdale, working at Jacksdale Signal Box and lodging with Mrs Lancaster of Main Road.

John enlisted on 3rd September 1914 giving his civilian occupation as railway signaller G.N.R.  He served at home in the UK until May 1915 when he was posted to France until the September of that year. The remainder of his service, until 19th November 1918, was spent in the UK,  although his military record notes that he had dislocated his left shoulder whilst ‘skirmishing’ in Ireland. He was a recipient of the 1914-15 Star, the Victory and British War Medals and also awarded Silver War Badge No B265300. John had been discharged from 1/10th (CYC) Bn, The Royal Scots, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, Ireland on 10th November 1918 with instructions to return to civilian employment as a signalman. He worked as a signalman at Hucknall, Notts and lodged in Woodstock Street.

On 15th January 1921 John married Florence Pressland and they had 2 children: Marjorie b. 1922 at Codnor Park and Derek b. 1926 at Newark. After marriage he moved to Papplewick Signal Box and lived in the station master’s house at Linby until 1923. He then returned to Newark to be nearer his family.  He continued as a railway signalman until his retirement aged 66. The family frequently returned to the Codnor Park area to visit Florence’s sisters Minnie and Elsie. John died aged 77 years and his remains are buried in the Garden of Remembrance at Newark Cemetery, London Road, Newark.

(Information kindly provided by his daughter Marjorie Norris.)