Bedales 1897-1898, 1st Gloucesters

Kenneth Swanwick (as he was usually known) was another who spent only a short time at Bedales. He arrived in Sussex in the Summer term of 1897 and left Bedales at the end of the first term of 1898; he would have known Lionel Mundy for one term. He played cricket, not very successfully, for the Second XI in summer 1897: scores in first match 4 runs and in the second 0!

Kenneth’s father was the farm manager at the Agricultural College in Cirencester and he intended to make Land Management his career. After studying at Uppingham from the summer of 1899 to 1903 he progressed to Trinity College, Cambridge (1903 – 1906) and then went to train with Messers Fisher, Bolam & Co in Market Harborough. By 1911 he was back in Cirencester as his father’s deputy.

It was at Cambridge that, as an accomplished horseman, Kenneth joined the Cambridge University Mounted Infantry. Back home in Cirencester he joined the College’s Officer Training Corps and in June 1913 he was commissioned Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.

Immediately following the declaration of War on 4th August his Battalion was held in reserve but Kenneth was attached to the 1st Battalion (then stationed at Bordon) and, as part of the B E F, sailed with them to Le Havre on 13th August. In the 1st Division of the B E F the Gloucesters played an active part in the Battle of Mons and the retreat, the Battle of the Marne and finally the Battle of Aisne, in which Kenneth was killed near Troyon. de Ruvigny’s Roll states he died on 14th September “while leading his platoon to the help of his hard-pressed comrades under heavy fire, and died cheering on his men”.

On 20th October his commanding officer reported to the War Office “this officer was buried in Troyon Church Yard, by south wall of the Church, marked by a stone with name cut in. The burial was performed by Rev D A Morrison Church of England Chaplain to the Forces No 1 Field Ambulance, 1st Division”. After the war his body was re-interred in Vendresse British Cemetery, III K. 4.

Swanwick Memorial Hall was built in his memory by members of his family. It was opened to the public in October 1915 as a village hall and rifle range.
Of course he is also commemorated in the Bedales Memorial Library.