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Born: 14th December 1895, Claygate, Surrey.

Died: 3rd July 1916; age 20; KiA – Reported missing on the 3rd July, and later reported killed on that day. He was twice wounded on the day of his death but insisted on continuing to lead his men right up to the German lines, where he fell.

Residence: Rosebank, 110, Constable Road, Ipswich.

Occupation: Charles served his articles with Civil Engineer, Mr. Henry Miller, County Surveyor.

Joined the Honourable Artillery Company, in January 1915 and attained the rank of Lance Sergeant.


Date of Entry Therein: 1st July 1915 – France.


Rank: 2nd Lieutenant; Service Number: 2860

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion.

Commissioned from the Hon. Artillery Company 23rd April 1916 – Private 2860.


Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.


The body was found and exhumed in 1920, identified and reburied with many, many unknown/unnamed soldiers at Ovillers Military Cemetery.


Grave Reference:

VIII. F. 10.

Ovillers Military Cemetery,




Relatives Notified and Address: Son of the late Mr. William Sworder and Mrs. Edith Sworder, of 110, Constable Road, Ipswich.






1901   The Limes, Earls Colne, Essex.


Charles was 5 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

William Sworder, 57, a retired Farmer; born Shillington, Bedfordshire.

Edith Sworder (nee Smyth), 37; born Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Edith Margaret Sworder, 12, born Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

Mary Smyth Sworder, 11, born Hitchin.

John Leslie Sworder, 8, born Hitchin.

2 servants.


1911   Rosebank, 110, Constable Road, Ipswich.


Charles was 15 and living with his widowed mother & siblings.

Edith, 46.

Edith, 22.

Mary, 21.

John, 18, a Clerk for a Surveyor.


Charles’s father, William Sworder died in July 1901, at his residence The Limes, Earls Colne, Essex.


Charles was educated at Ipswich School – entered in 1908 and left in 1913.

Ipswich School magazine June 1917


Soldiers’ Effects to Mrs. Edith Sworder – mother, Miss Edith Margaret Sworder and Miss Mary Smyth Sworder – sister. The sisters were also issued their brother John Leslie Sworder’s share.


Charles is also remembered on the Chapel war memorial at Ipswich School, on the Southampton Cenotaph, at St. Margaret’s Church, Ipswich and at St. Mary le Elms Church, Ipswich.



The medals awarded to Charles and John and two lockets containing photographs of the brothers and one of their mother were put up for auction in September 2000, valued at £500 – £550. The package was not sold.


Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion:

The 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment lost many Ipswich men during day 3 of the offensive. On July 1st, at 7.30 am the Battle of the Somme started.
That day was a terrible and tragic day, out of the 1000 British and Commonwealth men who went ‘over the top’ to attack the German positions 19,340 were killed and 38,500 were wounded.

“On 2 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 7th Battalion was moved up to the British front line trenches. On 3rd July, as part of the 35th Brigade, along with the 5th Royal Berkshires, the 7th Suffolk’s Battalion took part in a two Brigade frontal attached on Ovillers, zero hour was set for 03.15 am. The first four waves reached the enemies’ third line of defence where after meeting very stiff resistance, the attack stalled. Due to the darkness, the succeeding waves lost touch and could not assist. Casualties numbered 470 including all company commanders killed.” The remnants of the Battalion remained in the trenches until 8 July.

Extract from the history of the Suffolk regiment 1914-27. by Lt-C0l.C.C.R .Murphy.

Fellow Ipswich 7th Battalion men lost on this day:

Benjamin Charles Baker

Arthur Ernest Holmes

Leonard Parson

George Arthur Snell

Charles Frederick Sworder

Alfred Percy Self

George Henry Grimwood


Suffolk Regiment Battalion movements


Friends of The Suffolk Regiment

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