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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

James Henry Swinton RE 175th Tunnelling Company


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Can anyone shed any light on this story about a Gorebridge man?

It sounds like a very brave act that would be mentioned somewhere perhaps, thanks.



Initials: J H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Sapper

Regiment/Service: Royal Engineers

Unit Text: 175th Tunnelling Coy.

Age: 25

Date of Death: 25/10/1918

Service No: 79811

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: LXV. K. 6.


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soldiers died confirm he lived Gorebridge and that he died of wounds

unusual that he saved civilians

was also 14275 Cam. Hgh's.

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Thanks for that , yes struck me as strange as well the part about civilians. The died of wounds part fits in with being gassed and I suppose by this late in the war he would not have been involved in Tunnelling at all due to the return to more open warfare. I might have to try and get access to the war diary I think to establish what they were up to that day.


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The civilian element doesn't strike me as particularly strange at that stage of the war. Women and children were generally left behind as the Germans retreated and when the British army moved into an area it was liable to be bombarded with gas shells. The service personel would all have had respirators but the civilians would not. A scenario where a (brave) soldier tries to assist distressed women and children to his own injury is an easy one to imagine. Perhaps he took off his own mask to save someone else. I hope you might discover more details - there is certainly a good chance of something like that being in the war diary, if it exists.

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