Sam Swindells, Private 242708, 10th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 30th May 1918 in France, aged 24
Sam Swindells was born on 6 December 1893 and baptised on 4 February 1894 at St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Mary and Samuel Swindells, a mill worker of 48 Waterloo St, Macclesfield. In 1901, seven-year-old Sam was living at that address with his parents and siblings Ellen (12), Dorothy (9), and Frank (5).
In 1907, after reaching standard grade VI at Daybrook Street School, Sam found work as a cotton weaver and enrolled at Macclesfield Technical School to further his education. Sam re-enrolled in September 1908 for another year.
By 1911 the family had moved a few doors along to 43 Waterloo Street, and the census shows that Sam and his sister Ellen were both employed as cotton weavers at the Globe Cotton Spinning Company, Lower Heys Mill, while his brother Frank was an apprentice mechanic at P. Devonport’s.
Sam attended Fence Sunday School and enjoyed playing football, being a member of the Globe Spinning Company’s football team.
Sam was already serving as a Territorial, Private 1587, with the 7th Cheshire Regiment when war broke out, and he was mobilised immediately. He was sent with the battalion to Bedford for training and left for the Mediterranean in July 1915, participating in the Suvla Bay landings at Gallipoli on 9th August. He became ill and was admitted to hospital in Alexandria, Egypt, later returning to England to recuperate. After his convalescence, Sam was sent to join the 10th Cheshire Regiment in France, with service number 242708, which by 1916 came under orders of the 7th Brigade in the 25th Division.
The circumstances of Sam’s death are not known, but he was killed in action in France on 30 May 1918.
His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times of 21 June 1918:
Mr and Mrs Swindells, 43 Waterloo St, have had official news that their son, Pte Sam Swindells, Ches Regt, has been killed in action in France. Pte Swindells was 24 years of age and was educated at Daybrook Street School. He also attended Fence Sunday School. Prior to enlistment he was employed at the Lower Heys Mill as a weaver and was a playing member of the football team. Pte Swindells was a Territorial before the war, and on the outbreak of hostilities was mobilised. He took part in the landing at Suvla Bay and had also served in Egypt. His brother, Pte Frank Swindells is in the Motor Transport.
Private Sam Swindells has no known grave and is commemorated on the Soissons Memorial in France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Sam Swindells, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Private Sam Swindells is commemorated in Macclesfield on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, Beech Lane Methodist Chapel and the Fence Sunday School war memorials, and on Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church roll of honour.
Brother of Frank Swindells, who served as Private M/334814 with the RASC and survived the war.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books: Macclesfield Technical School
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Courier: 24 July 1915
Macclesfield Times: 21 June 1918