Swift, Derek Rodney (No. T/88493)

Swift, Derek Rodney


No. T/88493, Royal Army Service Corps

Died as the result of an accident on Thursday 21 November 1940 (aged 24)


Blackpool (Carleton) Cemetery, Lancashire, England (Section B Grave 1130)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Derek Rodney Swift was born in August 1916 and he was a son of Thomas Whittham Swift, who was born in October 1883, and Agnes Swift (nee Young) of 3 Canterbury Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire.

Thomas Whittham Swift worked as an electrician and he and Agnes Young were married on 30 March 1903 in St. John’s Church, Blackpool.  They had at least three children – Frank George, Charles Victor and Derek Rodney.  Thomas Whittham Swift enlisted on 15 March 1915 and served with the Army Service Corps during the First World War.

During the Second World War Private Derek Rodney Swift (No. T/88493) served with the Royal Army Service Corps and his death was reported in the 30 November 1940 edition of the County Down Spectator under the headline Tragic Death of Three Soldiers.  Three young soldiers were killed in Clandeboye Camp, Ballyleidy when trees fell across huts in which they were sleeping.  They were Driver George William Evens (aged 23) from Plymouth; Private Derek Rodney Swift (aged 24) from Blackpool and Driver Sydney John Wren (aged 23) from Stansted in Essex.  The roof of the hut in which Private Swift was sleeping caved in and pinned him to the bed.  To release him, his comrades used a heavy jack to raise the fallen roof, and hacksaws to cut down the bed.  Private Swift suffered severe head injuries and was dead when his comrades got him out.

Driver Wren and Driver Evens were crushed by fallen debris and both died from ‘asphyxia due to crushing’.

Private Derek Rodney Swift (No. T/88493) was buried in Blackpool (Carleton) Cemetery, Lancashire, England.