SWARBRICK, George Henry  98296

Medal Index Card:

Swarbrick George H., R.G.A., Gunner, 98296
Victory medal
British medal

Extract from “The Long Long Trail” website:

The Royal Garrison Artillery
The RGA developed from fortress-based artillery located on British coasts. From 1914 when the army possessed very little heavy artillery it grew into a very large component of the British forces. It was armed with heavy, large calibre guns and howitzers that were positioned some way behind the front line and had immense destructive power.

Extracts from WO 95/4407 War Diary of 379 Siege Battery RGA

1st - 5th January 1918
In the field – Gaza
Strength: 7 officers and 137 other ranks
Engaged in fatigues and building weatherproof shelters for officers, NCOs and men.

5th January 1918
Court of Enquiry into the accidental death of Fitter Sgt Brook
One man proceeded on leave
One man admitted to hospital
Loaded ammunition on tractors for conveyance to dump

6th – 9th January 1918
Loaded ammunition on tractors for conveyance to dump
4 men proceeded on leave

10th – 12th January 1918
Building and loading of ammunition as above

13th January 1918
Route March

14th – 23rd January
Fatigues and Instruction classes
1 officer and party to tractor park for laying practice
Col Hancock visits Battery position
Instruction on signalling and laying on sighting frames

24th – 31st January 1918
Fatigues and Instruction classes
5 men on short musketry practice
Commenced and completed rifle range
Strength 7 officers and 144 other ranks

February, March and the early part of April continued the pattern set above. On the 8th April 1918 the Battery moved from Gaza to Deir el Bilah. The following day the Battery entrained and moved on to Kanlana. They continued by train on to the Transit camp at Sidi bashr, Alexandria, where they arrived on the 11th. The next two weeks saw the men attending Church parade, bathing and more sessions of training. On the 29th April they loaded their guns aboard a waiting ship at Alexandria.

The 379th Siege Battery was equipped with 4-6" howitzers and formed part of the 13th Mobile Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery. In 1917 that unit saw service in Palestine, in September of that year it was in Gaza. In January of 1918 the Battery was still at Gaza and, as the extracts below demonstrate, spending their time in the relatively peaceful duties that soldiers are called upon to perform when not actually fighting. They were, in fact, winding down and beginning the process of returning home.

George Henry Swarbrick was born in 1893 in Preston, the sixth child of seven born to George and Jane [Cooper] Swarbrick. In 1911 he was living with his brother Frederick in Heywood and working in the Beehive Billiard Hall managed by his brother Frederick, who is listed above. Another brother, Charles Peter Swarbrick, also served. George Henry did not long survive the end of the war and was buried on 9 July 1921 at Preston Cemetery.

See also the entries for his brothers, Charles Peter and James
In Name Order / In Address Order


Home What's in a Name Who, me? Family History Files
Burial Records Surname Index Thanks Contact Me