Home Events Soldier – Swallow J.T. – Bolton Hero – Gave his Life for a Comrade

Soldier – Swallow J.T. – Bolton Hero – Gave his Life for a Comrade

May 1917

Mexborough and Swinton Times May 26, 1917

A Bolton Hero
Gave his Life for a Comrade

Sapper J. T. Swallow
(Royal engineers)

36, Mexborough Road, Bolton on Dearne, died from gas poisoning on April 25, aged 29. He was married and prior to enlistment in October, 1915, worked at Wath Main.

He went to France three weeks after enlistment. He is the second of three soldier brothers to fall.

Private also trawls Swallow was killed in action in August 1915, aged 20.

The surviving brother of private James The Swallow, who is a married man, with two children.

Mrs Swallow has received the following letter from the Reverent Alexander Spence, a Church of England chaplain:

“I dare say you heard some time ago particulars of the death of your son, from some of the officers of the unit. I am the chaplain who conducted the burial service, I am writing to send you my deep sympathy in your sorrow. I would have written you long ago but I a considerable difficulty in finding your address, and your son’s unit is some distance away.

I do say you know how your son died. He was down a mine with some other men when an escape of poisonous gas was detected. One man came under its influence and became unconscious and unable to escape. Your son and Sapper Middleton gallantly attempted to rescue their comrade and in doing so in the other gas themselves and becoming unconscious, soon died.

It may be some consolation to you to know that it was an absolutely painless death. This gas simply puts one to sleep and that sleep is fatal. Respirators were procured, the bodies were recovered, and laid to rest in the little military cemetery not far away. The grave will be marked with a cross and carefully looked after.

I can realise how great must be your sorrow, I can only hope and pray that God, will help you to bear it bravely and hopefully. If there is anything you would like to know, do not hesitate to write.”

Sapper Swallow, while at the Front, gained two certificates for proficiency in mine rescue work.