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Private Charles Frank Swingler

89392 117th Company Machine Gun Corps

Frank family
Frank Swingler
With Annie & their children
Son of Mr Thomas & Mrs Ann Swingler
Husband of Annie

Aged 28 years

Died 4th August 1917

Commemorated on Ypres Memorial (Menin Gate), Belgium
Panel 56

Born at Irchester, enlisted at Rushden. Married Annie Emily Perkins in 1909.
The Rushden Echo Friday 17 August 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden Volunteer Killed - Private C F Swingler Found Dead by the Side of His Gun

We regret to report that Mrs C F Swingler of Crabb-street, Rushden, has received unofficial news that her husband, 89392, Pte C F Swingler, of the Machine Gun Corps, has been killed in action. The grievous news was sent by a French lieutenant, who writes that Pte Swingler was found lying dead by the side of his gun.

The late Pte Swinlger, who was 28 years of age, leaves a widow and two children, to mourn their loss. He joined the colours about seven months ago, and proceeded to the western front in Whitsun week. His employers, up to the time of enlistment were Messrs. John Cave and Sons Ltd, boot manufactures, Rushden. The late Pte Swingler, before joining the regular forces was a member of the Rushden Company, 2nd Battalion, Northants Volunteers, and was highly respected by his comrades and officers. Much sympathy is felt with the widow in her sad bereavement.

Letters sent home by Frank to his wife shortly before he was killed, transcribed by Peter Brown
Wednesday 20/6/17
Same address

Dear wife
just a few lines to let you know I am quite well and I hope this will find you all the same at home. I am getting a bit used to it now but I don't believe I shall learn to like it very quick, of course I am got used to my mates now so it doesn't seem so bad, I hope you will have good luck and all keep well at home then I shant mind so much, I had a letter from Bill this morning he posted it on the 11th so it took it a good while to come, it seems a treat to get a letter from home, I have not wrote your people yet but I will sometime but out here you want to get to sleep every little chance you get as you never know when you will get the next one, I am getting a decent going on regards food here in the trenches the corporal in charge is a good chap to look after and cook the food for us we have got rabbit for dinner today that is alright you know for trench food, I think I would sooner be in the M.G.C. than the infantry according to what I can see but of course whatever you are in you want good luck, and I hope I have good luck, I should think men that have been out long are fed up with it, the time seems to go slow when you are in the trenches especially when Johny is shelling like hell, its one continual rattle of guns I don't wonder at it weakening anybody's nerves, the chaps that I am with have been out here a long while and of course we are pretty lively, though I think of home a lot All the time. I don't feel miserable you know I shall be alright if I have good news from home and I hope you will do as well as you can to be bright and we must wait patiently till the time comes when I come home again, let me know if you made anything out of the capital letters in the last letter, look for the dots under them, I have got a green envelope this time and I don't think these are read through, I don't think I have any more to say so I close with love to all from your loving husband Frank xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
give the kids a hug for me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

June 23rd Sunday
Same address

My dear wife
Just a line or two hoping you are all well at home as it leaves me alright and well, I have not got much to tell you but it is just a line in change of a field card, you say you have had some very hot weather, we had it very hot last weekend but we have had two or three miserable wet days during the weekend you soon get up to your neck in mud then, well I have done just over a week in the trenches and I can tell you it seems much longer than that, I don't know how long I shall be in before getting a rest but I hope it won't be long as I am getting very tired, of course we don't get much help, being a bit chatty you lay and scratch yourself till it is time to turn out again, will you send me a Sunday paper each week so I can get a bit of news as we don't know nothing how things are going on now, send the Chronicle if you can get it, I am pleased to hear Margaret isn't much trouble as I know you have got enough with the other two, George hasn't answered my letter yet but it takes them a long time to get here sometimes, how is Nat going on does he think he will have to join up. I expect Alice will worry about Sid if he has to join up but I should think the war will be over before it is time for him to come out here hope so any road remember me to all at home, I think this is all this time, so I close now hoping this will find you all keeping well I remain your loving husband Frank xxxxxxxxx give the kids a kiss for me

July 17th same address

My dearest wife
just a few more lines hoping to find you all going on well at home as it leaves me quite well. I am still at the same place, we are getting a fair lot of rain here and it makes it bad in our farm billets, I met Fred Parker the other night he has come down to the next village for a time he is getting on alright. I suppose you know which Parker I mean, I shall have to go and find him again when I can find time, it comes as a treat to find someone you know to have a chat with, I heard last night that that fellow named Trainer has got killed him that courted Surridge, have you heard anything of old Turpin Warren at all since I have been away, let me know if you hear anything about anybody that I know, I have not had a letter for a few days so I have not got much to put in this one and of course I can't tell you much in a letter only that I am getting on alright, how are you finding the potatoes, are you tried any of the late ones yet, shall you have any beans at all I don't suppose you will have many this year but a few will be better than none, how is that place of Margarets getting on, shall you have to take her to the doctor again, well dear wife I think this is about all this time, remember me to all. I now close and remain your loving husband Frank xxxxxxxxx give these to the children from me xxxxxxxxx

Saturday 9th
89392 Pte C F Swingler
117 ….... 39 Division

My dear wife
Just a few lines hoping to find you back home and all well, I was pleased to hear Rose was going back with you as I know you will need the company, I thought Harry would like being at Bozeat this time, I am shifting from here tomorrow morning early and I expect I am going a bit nearer the Germans, I have put my new address on this letter and I think it will find me alright, my mate Jim Smith is not going with me but he is going in another day or two, and I think he will get in the same company as me, I have not got time tonight to write any more letter, so you might let Ern and Bill know that I am shifting and tell them I am alright, I never wrote to Alice down Duck St but tell her I have had such a lot of letters to write and I thought George would mention me in his letters, I didn't notice that little card inside the other one I sent you but that is quite near enough for me, you say I know what your father is I think it would do him good to come out here a little while, it would sharpen him up a bit, I don't think I have any more to say this time only as I am alright and will write you as often as I can, I close now with love to all from your loving husband Frank xxxxxxxxx how are you getting on with your potatoes.

memorial panel name engraved
Pictures from the Menin Gate Memorial to the Machine Gun Corps. Private Swingler's name is in the infantry section.
The pictures were sent in by Lynn & Tony Dobbs, 2014

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