Pte 15/1173 West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 15th Battalion, Leeds Pals

Edmund Charles Jack Swabey was born in Leeds, March 1891. He was the first son and third child of Edmund William, a grocer’s bookkeeper and cashier, and Mary Ann Moses. The two had been married in Leeds in 1893. They had four children in total, three of whom lived – Ethel K, Winifred and Edmund. (Source: 1901 Census)

In 1901, all five were living in East Keswick with Mary Ann’s mother, Elizabeth who was 65 at this point. By 1911, Elizabeth had died and there was a visitor to the family, a Miss Martha L Rhodes – but otherwise nothing had changed and the same address was still being given ten years later in 1921. (Source: 1901, 1911, 1921 Census)

Edmund Charles was only 16 when war broke out in the August of 1914, but his number and the record of his service in Egypt suggests that he joined early in 1915, as soon as he was seventeen perhaps. (Source: Medal Index Card)

His service records are missing, but he presumably went to France after Egypt and took part in the Somme and everything which followed. There is no suggestion anywhere that he was captured or even wounded in the final German offensive of the war. He was posted to an Officer Cadet Battalion in May of 1918 which in fact would have removed him from the fighting. (Source: List of Officer Cadet Battalion, 13th May 1918: Sheet 2)

On the 4th February 1919 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the West Yorkshire Regiment and subsequently awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

In December of 1923, he married Miss Sarah J. Noble in Weatherby.

Even though he survived the war, Edmund is commemorated on the Stockbroker’s Memorial in Leeds Town Hall.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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