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Date of Crossing the Bar

RBA Member


Lest we forget an Oppo
SWIRE Thomas Willam
15 Dec 1959


Thomas Swire

Memories of Thomas Swire


David Addis

I did not know Thomas personally but have got to know him from the emails I have received from his grandson Ian Foster.
Ian contacted the Association as his family had some mementoes and artefacts that his mother wished to donate to the Museum.
As you will see in the photo of Thomas he was a MAA and very smartly dressed in his number ones, frock coat, swords and medal, makes me a bit envious that I did not have the chance to wear a frocked coat.
From his service records Thomas was born in Houghton in Lancs in 1889 and joined the Andrew in January 1898 as a Boy 2nd class joining his first ship the Northampton in February 1898, in May 1911 whilst serving on board HMS Edgar a cruiser of the Edgar class HMS_Edgar.jpg
Thomas was rated Ships Corporal and his time in our branch then started. Serving on various ships and establishments until August 1914 he joined a newly build dreadnought HMS Agincourt the ship it’s self has its own history having been ordered by the Brazilian Government in 1911 and being built on the Tyne by Armstrong’s, just as she was due to be launched in 1913 the Government decided to sell the ship to the Ottoman Empire, another turn of fate touched the Agincourt the first world war was declared and the Government seized the ship for the Royal Navy in August 1914, it is thought that this action was due to concerns of the Ottoman Empire German alliance. She was the most well armed Dreadnought with 14 heavy guns.
So there we have Thomas joining Agincourt just after she had been taken into the RN as a Ships Corporal, and taking part in the Battle of Jutland. In August 1917 Thomas’s B13 arrived and he was promoted Master at Arms, he continued serving on the Agincourt until March of 1919, when the ship was laid up in Rosyth.
After about a year in Victory Thomas joined HMS Maidstone as her Master at Arms in January 1920, until October 1920 when he returned to Victory until November 1920 when he joined HMS Monarch until January 1921, he then joined RNB for release to pension on the 23rd January 1921.
I thank Tom and his mother for sharing this information with us which helps to foster a personal history of the people and their lives in the Regulating Branch.