Swallow Resource Centre
Swallow Family History - Hertfordshire, East London and Beyond
s3206: HERBERT SWALLOW (1887) - ANZAC HERO

ORIGIN: Romford, Essex

Herbert Swallow

1422A Private Herbert Swallow (15th Battalion (Queensland and Tasmania), 4th Brigade) was killed in action on 8th August 1915 at Lone Pine, Gallipoli. A solider in of the Australian Imperial Force he was aged just 29 years old. He fell in action but his body was never identified and so he joined one of the many thousands of soldiers who were lost ‘missing in action’.

Herbert was one of 12 known children born to George Swallow (s3206) and Jane Coe. Born on Christmas Day 1886 in Romford, Essex the 1901 Census lists him as a Milk Boy and living at home with his parents at 9 Willow Street, Romford.

On 1st January 1915 he enlisted in the Australian Army at Rockhampton in Queensland and so he had immigrated to Australia sometime prior to that (date and method not yet know - he is not listed in 1911 census so may have already moved overseas at this time). He listed his occupation at the time of his enrolment as a Labourer and that he was unmarried.

His medical examination states him to be 5ft 8.5 inches tall, 12 stone in weight, brown hair, grey eyes, dark completion and with a 38 inch chest. His religious denomination is given as Church of England.

At the time of his enlistment his next of kin was listed as his mother - Mrs George Swallow of 23 North Romford, Essex. Sometime later this was adjusted to reflect the passing of his mother, giving his eldest brother George Swallow as next-of-kin and residing at 188 Dereham Road, Norwich.

The Attestation Papers of Herbert Swallow were signed and witnessed by 2nd Lt C.C. Robinson on 1 January 1915. His ANZAC embarkation details are that he embarked at Brisbane per HMAT A48 'Seang Bee' on February 13 1915 as part of the 2nd Reinforcements to the Battalion that had been formed three months earlier. He was paid 5s 0d per day.

Herbert spent less than four months in active service he was ordered to proceed to NEF [North East Field?] on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 12th April 1915. On the 6th May he was transferred to “Lutzow” [it is assumed this refers to the SS Lutzow, a German ship that had been captured by the Allies] where he was accessed by NEF Ambulance as having a ‘severe crushed finger’. On the 15th May he was admitted to 17th General Hospital in Alexandria and on the 30th May he was discharged to an ‘Overseas Base’ at Mustapha.

On 2nd June he was said to be “on marching state’ and sailed back to Alexandria on the Itonus. On 12th June he rejoined his Battalion on the Gallipoli Peninsular. As of 8th August 1915 Herbert was listed as “Wounded and Missing” and an official Court of Inquiry determined on 6th April 1916 that he had been “Killed In Action”.

Herbert was awarded the Australian Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his heroics.

LInk: More about Herbert and his voyage to Gallipoli

Link: See Herbert's ANZAC War Records

ItemAvailable Last UpdatedDetails
FGN Summary No 15th Feb 2009  
Census Summary Yes 15th Feb 2009 1901
Census Return Yes 15th Feb 2009  
Photo Yes 15th Feb 2009 See above and links
Birth Certificate No 15th Feb 2009
Marriage Certificate No 15th Feb 2009 Never married
Death Certificate Yes 15th Feb 2009 See above link to war records
Children No 15th Feb 2009 None
Parents Yes 15th Feb 2009 George Swallow & Jane Coe - s3206