Norman came from a Military family.
Norman first shows up on the 1901 census where he was living in Aldershot. His father William Henry was an Infantry Sergeant in the Cheshire Regiment, aged 28 and born in Madeley, Staffordshire. His wife was Mary 24 born in Ireland. Their children were Norman Harold 2, born in Ireland, and 8 month old baby Ada Mary, born in Colchester.
By the 1911 census more siblings had been added and they were living at 6 Militia Barracks, Chester. Father, William Henry was then a Colour Sergeant. Norman was 12 years old. The new additions to the family were Margaret Louise 9, John Joseph 7 both born in Aldershot, Hants. Helen Ann 4 had been born in Wellington, Madras, William Henry 3 and Ina Kathleen 1, had been born in Chester. The census form records that 9 children had been born, 2 of whom had died.
UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and adds that he enlisted in Shotton. It is this source that tells us he ‘Died of wounds’. (This source unlike most others said that Norman had been born in Connah’s Quay. Probably an error by the transcriber).
Norman Swinnerton in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was father William who was paid £9. 4s 4d on the 7th October 1918 and his War Gratuity of £3 on the 11th December 1919
There is an index card for Norman Swinnerton in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record office in Hawarden. (Connah’s Quay F64) The name on his card stated his initials as N.A. and not the N.H. that is on the Cenotaph. Card dated 24th September, no year and no signature.
Norman is named on the Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.
On the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database it states that Norman was the son of William and Mary Swinnerton, of 24, Fron Rd., Connah’s Quay, Chester. Born at Limerick Castle, Ireland.
There is a family gravestone in Hawarden Churchyard. On the stone that is left is inscribed ” Norman their son Killed in action 21st July 1918 age 19 years.”
I believe that Norman’s father William Henry Swinnerton had previously been in the Army for 21 years enlisting in 1890, discharge on the 11th November 1911 and had re-enlisted in Nov 1914 but then Discharged under Para 392 (XXVI) K.R. 27th April 1915 ((xxvi) at his own request after 21 (or more) years service (with a view to pension under the Pay Warrant)), after 149 days, so it seems that he did not go abroad to fight. William Henry, Norman’s father died of Bronchitis on the 16th April 1929 and is buried in Hawarden Churchyard, (see gravestone below). His death was registered by his son William Henry Swinnerton and his address was 24, Fron Road, Connah’s Quay which is the address that was on Norman’s Flintshire WW1 Index Card which is in Flintshire Record Office at Hawarden. I was worried that he had been missed off the War memorial, but it seems that with only 149 days in the Army he wouldn’t have had time to go abroad and receive war wounds or gassing with his war service and he died in 1929 with nothing on his death certificate to signify anything to do with the Army, in any case after the War Memorial had been built. Many thanks to the Flintshire Register Office for their help. If anyone wants my notes on William Henry or Norman, please contact the website.
Buried in Hawarden Churchyard. – SWINNERTON, William Henry. (Late S.M. Cheshire Regt.) Fron Road, Connah’s Quay. Died 16th April 1929