Humphrey SWINDELLS
Rank: Private
Number:
Unit: 69th Company MACHINE GUN CORPS
Date of Death: 29 September 1917
Age: 31 (based on 1901 Census)
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

The Census shows that Humphrey had been born in Heaton Mersey and, at the time, was living in Heaton Norris. He worked as a commercial clerk. When Humphrey joined the army, he was assigned to the Manchester Regiment and given the service number 7005. This service does not appear on his medal entitlement records at the National Archives which confirms that he never served abroad with the Regiment. He was, almost certainly, transferred to the Machine Gun Corps when he completed his training.

The 69th Company went overseas on August 1915 but Humphrey's service number seems too high to suggest that he was an original member. He will have joined at some unknown later point as a replacement for casualties.

On 27 September 1917, the Company took up it's positions in the front line trenches near Polygon Wood, near to the Belgian town of Ypres (now Ieper). Although the Third Battle of Ypres had been underway since 31 July, there was a lull in the fighting, although shellfire still caused daily casualties of dead and wounded. The Company's War Diary entry for the 29th reads only "Company remained in trenches". This terse entry made by a junior officer perhaps shows how accustomed to death the troops had become - William and two other men had been killed. Their names are only mentioned in a brief casualty report submitted after the tour of  duty. William has no known grave.

   
           
   
     
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