SWARBRICK, Thomas  49514

Thomas Swarbrick

Regimental number(s):

Birthplace: Preston, England
Next of kin: George Swarbrick
Address of next of kin: 127 Norris Street, Preston
Birth date: 1st August 1889
Trade: Butcher
Married: no
Active Militia: yes 14th Company C.A.S.C.
Dated: 15th April 1915

Apparent age: 25 years 8 months
Scar on left hand at base of thumb
Height: 5 feet 5 ˝ inches
Chest: 35 ˝ inches
Expansion: 2 inches
Complexion: fair
Eyes: medium blue
Hair: light brown
Church of England
Passed fit: 5th April 1915 at Calgary
Final approval 6th April 1915
14th Company Canadian Army Supply Corps

UK Outward Passenger Lists:
Name: Thomas Swarbrick
Gender: Male
Age: 23
Birth Date: abt 1888
Departure Date: 29 Aug 1911
Port of Departure: Liverpool, England
Destination Port: Quebec, Canada
Ship Name: Laurentic
Shipping Line: White Star Line
Official Number: 127959
Master: J Mathias
[Thomas gave "Cooper" as his occupation]

* Authorized in October 1916 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander McDougall, the Canadian Forestry Corps was composed of companies, each of which came under one of the six district headquarters in Great Britain or one of the eight district headquarters in France. Companies in France were numbered below 100 and those in Britain were numbered 101 and up. The base depot was at Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park. The Canadian Forestry Corps in France came under the British Expeditionary Force Director of Works until March 1917 when a Directorate of Forestry was created.

Forestry Battalions raised in Canada (224th, 230th, 238th, 242nd) were absorbed by the Canadian Forestry Corps depot upon their arrival in Great Britain.

Districts in Great Britain were Nos. 51 (formerly No.1 at Inverness), 52 (formerly No.2, at Carlisle), 53 (formerly No.3, at Egham), 54 (formerly No.4, at Southampton), 55 (at Stirling) and 56 (at East Sheen).

Districts in France were organized in groups (Central, Bordeaux, Jura).
Most companies were engaged in forestry operations (including the making of sitprops, sleepers, sawlogs and axe handles) but some cleared, drained, levelled and graded sites for aerodromes, both in England and in France.

Thomas Swarbrick was born on 1st August 1889 at Broughton, near Preston, and christened at Broughton Parish Church on 11th September 1889. He was the fifth of eleven children born to George Roskell and Sarah Eleanor [Pomfret] Swarbrick. In 1911 he was living with his parents at 127, Norris Street, Preston and working as a shop assistant to a wholesale grocer. At the end of August 1911 Thomas emigrated to Canada, eventually ending up at Calgary. When he returned to England with the Canadian ASC he was stationed at the Remount Centre at Romsey in Hampshire where he met his future wife, Nellie Ling. In 1919 Thomas was registered as an absent voter at the same Preston address as his brother William Edward Swarbrick. At that time his unit was given as the Canadian Forestry Corps. It is possible that Thomas served with a unit in District 54 [formerly No. 4] based at Southampton, just down the road from Romsey. No. 54 District, Canadian Forestry Corps was formed of the following numbered Companies: 103, 104, 105, 114, 117, 118, 123, 124, 125, 134, & 137. This District was set up on 22nd August 1917. Canadian ASC personnel were attached to the Forestry Corps, so it is entirely possible that Thomas was one of the men so attached. By the end of the war some 31,000 men were serving in the various Companies of the Forestry Corps.

When Thomas returned to Canada at the end of the war Nellie followed him and they were married in 1920. Thomas and Nelie raised their family in Vegreville. Thomas and his family returned to the UK in 1935 and settled in Romsey where Thomas worked at Strongs Brewery until his retirement. Thomas died on 20th January 1960 at Romsey Hospital. His older brother John served in the Royal Engineers and his younger brother William Edward also served in the Machine Gun Corps.

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