Charles Frederick Sworder

Date of Birth      1895
Place of Birth     Claygate Surrey.
Service No          2860
Rank                      Second Lieutenant
Regiment             Suffolk
Battalion              Honorable Artillery Company
Died                        3rd July 1916
Death Location  Ovillers France.

Family life Before The War.

Charles Frederick was born on 14th December 1895 in Claygate Surrey, his parents were William (1848)born in Shillington Bedfordshire and Edith (1864)born in Roydon Hertfordshire.

They had 2 sons Charles Frederick who was educated at Ipswich and worked as a clerk in a surveyors office and John Leslie 21st July 1892, they also had 2 daughters Ethel M (1889) and Mary C (1890) all 4 were born in Hitchin. Hertfordshire.

The family lived at The Limes. Earls Colne and employed a Governess and a General Servant/Domestic.

John Leslie went to Canada where he worked on various farms. He returned to England on the outbreak of war and served in the Honourable Artillery Company, he was killed in action on 31st March 1917.

Charles’ grandfathers brother John (1816) was a farmer of 416 Acres at Offley and his grandfather William (1821) was a farmer owning West Mill Farm Shillington,Bedfordshire a farm of 320 acres where he employed 16 men and 8 boys.

He married Charles grandmother Sarah (b1824) and the family had a nurse,cook,housemaid,groom and 2 housekeepers.

They had 1 son (Charles father William) and 2 daughters Rose (1851) and Ellen (1860).

Service History.

Charles Frederick joined the Honourable Artillery Company in January 1915,he entered the theatre of war in France on 1st July 1915 and obtained a commission in the Suffolk Regiment as a Second Lieutenant on 21st April 1916 after which he served in France serving with the 2nd battalion from 27th April 1916 until he was killed in action on 3rd July 1916, while leading his men at Ovillers.

Memorial Information.

Charles was awarded the Victory Medal. British Medal and 15th Star.
It was said by his Company Sergeant, “I can truthfully say I never  had a better man or N.C.O under me,and he was a fine soldier” and his Chaplain said “I was in his mess for sometime and had grown very fond of him, he was such a good sound fellow in every way and always so kind and considerate”.

John Leslie his brother was also awarded the British Medal and Victory Medal,  his commanding officer said of him “He was a very splendid fellow and is a great loss to his platoon and to myself”

Foot Note.

The medals awarded to Charles and John together with 2 lockets containing photographs of the brothers and one of their mother were put up for auction in September 2000, but were not sold.

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