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Thomas James Swift Serving with the KLR

Thomas James Swift Serving with the KLR

submitted by Bernard Gerard Swift, nephew of Thomas James

It is not known when Thomas decided to enlist in the Army. As he was around 15 or 16 years old when war broke out it is likely Thomas was one of many underage soldiers.

Thomas signed up in Park Street, Bootle and he joined the 7th Battalion of the King’s Liverpool Regiment. His Service number was 2665354 (this has also been recorded as 265354)

In March 1915 the Battalion landed in Le Havre. and became part of the 2nd Division. In November 1915 they became part of the 7th Division, before transferring again in January 1916 to 55th (West Lancashire) Division. Thomas may have seen action at Battles of the Somme, before moving to Ypres. At some stage Thomas was promoted and reached the rank of Lance Corporal.

On 7th April 1918 the Germans used phosgene gas in a bombardment in the Lys area. Thomas and his battalion were involved at the battle of Estaires and at the defence of Givenchy. At some point Thomas was injured.

Thomas died of wounds sutained on 11th April 1918. He was 19 years old.

Thomas is buried in Post Office Rifles Cemetery, Festubert, Pas de Calais, France. A few years ago his nephew Bernard visited his grave. Thomas was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

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