Ralph Swales


About Ralph

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    13 April 1891
  • Birth town
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Royal Field Artillery


Ralph Swales was born, raised and died in Leeds.  He was one of twelve children born to parents George and Mary.  Sadly by 1911, six children had died.  The family lived in Speedwell Road, Woodhouse for many years.  Before the outbreak of WW1 Ralph  joined the 7th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, his local Territorial Force that was raised in Leeds.

During the war Ralph transferred to the Royal Field Artillery as a Driver, probably because he had a background of working with horses, (on the 1911 Census he is recorded as a horseman).  After just four months he became an Acting Bombardier, promoted to this rank in September 1915, and achieved substantive rank of Bombardier in January 1917.  However, in May 1917 he was court martialed and reduced to the rank of Driver for ‘disobeying a lawful command given by his supervising Officer’.

At the end of September 1918, he suffered gunshot wounds to both legs near the town of Etaples.  He was repatriated to the UK and treated at No 16 Canadian General (Ontario) Hospital, Orpington, Kent.  Ralph was sent home on leave one month later, three days before the war ended.  Ralph’s leave was extended to the end of 1918 and he returned to serve for 10 days before being posted to the reserves and then discharged from service.

He married Nellie Dorrington in November 1916, seven weeks before his first embarkation to France.  We believe they had three children before Ralph died at the age of 41, in Leeds, 1933.

Please get in touch if you can you tell us more about this soldier.


Campaign Medals

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