James SWALE
Rank: Private
Number: 8506
Unit: D Company, 1/8th Battalion LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 4 May 1918
Age: 30
Cemetery: Couin New British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

James' mother had died by the time of the 1901 Census and her name is not known. 58 year old Benjamin Swale lived with his five children at the family home of 27 Davis Street, Reddish. James was the youngest of the five. In 1910, he married Elizabeth Ann Holt at St Elizabeth's Church.

James' army service number is relatively low and may it have been in 1915 when he enlisted into the Fusiliers.

On 2 May 1918, the Battalion left billets at Rossignol to relieve the 1/5th Battalion, East Lancashires  in the front line. "A" and "B" Companies occupied the actual front line with "C" a little way behind in the support trench and, behind them, "D" Company in reserve.

The Battalion's War Diary records that the 3rd was a "Quiet day without incident".

The following day, the Diary notes that the Battalion took over a further section of the line from the 1/7th Fusiliers. It also mentions that during the night "an operation" was carried out by the units on their right. This was probably a raid on the enemy trenches opposite. Such raids were usually preceded by a short artillery bombardment. Unfortunately this usually caused the German artillery to retaliate and this may be how James was killed.

   
           
   
     
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