Swanger, Thomas Slade (Thomas)
No. 157563, Inland Water Transport, Royal Engineers
Drowned on Thursday 10 May 1917 (aged 43)
Newtownards (Movilla) Cemetery, Co. Down (Grave 11. 97)
In some records his surname is spelt Swainger.
Thomas Slade Swanger was born on 14 February 1874 in Bristol, and he was a son of John and Sarah Ann Swanger (nee Davis).
Thomas Slade Swanger and Thurza (sometimes Thursia) Pocock were married on 21 July 1901 in St Clement’s Church Bristol, and they had at least nine children:
Thomas George (born around 1902)
Gladys Eveline (born around 1904)
Hilda May (born around 1905)
Arthur John (born around 1907)
Dorothy Grace (born 17 April 1915)
At least two of their children died in infancy.
In 1911 the Swanger family was living at 116 Newfoundland Road, St Paul’s, Bristol, Gloucestershire. Thomas Slade Swanger worked as a dock labourer.
Thomas Slade Swanger enlisted in Bristol and he served with Inland Water Transport in the Royal Engineers.
With a crew of 19 men, the Steam Tug PT1 left Greenock at 10.00am on Wednesday 9 May 1917 bound for Mesopotamia (now Iraq). When nine miles south of the Calf of Man on 10 May 1917 the ship began to take in water because of a mechanical failure. Captain Donald McLeod ordered the crew to take to the lifeboats. The starboard boat got clear, but the port boat capsized, and the occupants fell into the sea. Six men died.
Lance Corporal Thomas Slade Swanger (No. 157563) was found drowned at Ballyhalbert on 10 May 1917 and he was buried in Movilla New Cemetery, Newtownards.