Swanscombe Memorial
Swanscombe Memorial

Thankfully, the majority of the men from Swanscombe who answered the call to arms returned home to their families & friends. It shouldn't be forgoten that many returned home with injuries, both physical & mental, but they were home and that was what mattered. On this page, we will try to document & remember those that made it home.

If you have information about a relative that served during the Great War and would like to share it please contact us.


Freed. Walter Ernest. Born 1897. Lived in Sun Road, Swanscombe. Enlisted April 1914 and discharged February 1919. Private 9136, Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). Arrived in France 7th December 1914. Moved to Gallipoli 1915 (possibly August 1915 with the 2/4th Bn). Returned to France March 1916 and took part in many actions until the end of 1918. Returned to the UK and was discharged 1919.

Remembered by Mr Clive Wells, Grandson.



Walter. Francis George. Born 10th July 1897, Blue House Cottage, Bean. Moved to 5 Manor Road as a child. Enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery on the 16th November 1914. Driver 55541, D Btty 97th Brigade. Arrived in France on the 10th October 1915. Dispersed on the 9th March 1919 & returned to the UK. Placed on the Army Reserve on the 12th April 1919. 

Also served in the Swanscombe Home Guard as 2nd Lt from the 20th June 1914 to the 31st December 1944.

Remembered by Mrs Margaret Moon (Nee Walter), daughter.

Dvr Francis Walter. Image curtesy of Margaret Moon.

Skews. Albert John. Born 1880, Swanscombe. Labourer living at 11, The Grove with his wife Alice & four children. Enlisted into the Queens Own, Royal West Kent Regiment on the 5th September 1914 in Gravesend. Posted to the 7th Bn Queens Own, he arrived in France on the 26th July 1915. Albert was wounded during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 & returned to the UK for treatment. After he recovered, he returned to France & joined the 11th Bn Queens Own on the 14th July 1917. He remained with the Bn core during the Battle of Pilkem Ridge but was part of the attack during the Battle of Menin Road on the 20th September 1917. He was again wounded in action & returned to the UK. He was discharged due to his wounds & issued a Silver War Badge no. 377758. Albert died in 1936 aged 55.

Information kindly supplied by Rob.

Savege. Arthur Charles Mears.  Born 12th January 1888. Son of James Savege. Attended University of Aberdeen. Served in the territorial Scottish Horse Yeomanry then commisioned into the North Scottish Royal Garrison Artillery. Qualified with as a Bachelor of Medicine (M.B) & Bachelor of Surgery (Ch.B). Transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps (Territorial) in June 1914. Mobilised August 1914. Served in France & Flanders for the duration of the war, ending as a acting Major. After the war he continued as a practising surgeon in Linconshire then Yorkshire. 

Hazel. Arthur. Born 1888, Sutton-at-Hone. Son of Robert & Emily Hazel, brother of Charles & Leslie Hazel. in the 1911 census, Arthur is shown as residing at 82 Swanscombe Street, Swanscombe, working as a paper finisher. He married Florence Scott at St Peter & St Paul church on the 6th November 1915. At present it is unknown when Arthur joined the Grenadier Guards however records would suggest that he did not serve overseas until after the 1st January 1916. He served with the 2nd Bn Grenadier Guards & survived the war. Arthur died in 1964 & is buried at St Botolphs church, Northfleet.

Cooper. John. John Cooper was born in 1884 in Bandon, Ireland.  In 1891 he was living with his parents, John and Margaret Cooper and his brother, James (b.1882), in Northfleet.  By 1911, he was living with his father John in Swanscombe as they were boarders with Henry Letchford and family.  In 1913 he married Alice Amy Letchford.  John enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery on 16 October 1914 and his service number was 868 (on his attestation) and  128476 (on discharge).  He served with the 239 AA (Anti Aircraft) Sec RGA. He survived the war and was discharged on 1 March 1919. John died in 1965 in Swanscombe.

Wells. Bernard George. Born 1895. Lived Broomfield Road, Swanscombe. Enlisted January 1913 and discharged June 1920. AB J.18265, Royal Navy. On board HMS Astraea December 1915 when transferred with 21 other sailors to merchant ship RMS Appam to guard 150 German PoW's en route from Dakkar, West Africa to Liverpool. 70 British civilians also onboard. Sailed January 1916 and boarded 4 days later off the Canary Islands by the German armed merchant raider, SMS Moewe. The German PoW's were liberated and in turn the 22 Royal Naval personnel became PoW's themselves. The Appam sailed to the USA with a German crew and the British civilians put ashore. Bernard was taken to Germany where he was imprisoned in the infamous PoW camp at Soltau until the end of the war. Returned to the UK December 1918.

Remembered by Mr Clive Wells, Grandson.

Bernard Wells, PoW seated front centre


11th November 2018

Today, on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, we particularly remember all those who gave their lives in the great war, no matter which side they fought on.

We will remember him.

A proud partner of the IWM First World War Centenary

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