Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Ship's Boy Drowned

H.M.S.Wisteria, Arabis-class sloop [Wikimedia]

Thursday 7th December 1916: A sixteen year old Luton boy has given his life for his country. Arthur George Swain, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Swain of 30, Arthur Street, joined the Navy as a ship’s boy twelve months ago. It is now believed that he, along with another eight boys, were among the crew lost when H.M.S. Genista was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in the Atlantic on 23rd October 1916. An Arabis-class sloop, she had been launched only eight months ago.

The Vice-Admiral has sent to Mrs. Swain a copy of the memorial service held at Haulbowline Parish Church, Queenstown, on November 5th for the officer and men who were drowned when Genista went down. This loss compounds the family’s grief as they heard recently that another son, Private Thomas James Swain, had been killed in France fighting with the Grenadier Guards. A third son, William, is serving with the Bedfordshire Regiment in Egypt. Before the war young Arthur worked as a baker with Mr. Shuter of Tennyson Road. If he had lived he would have celebrated his seventeenth birthday on Sunday.

Source: Luton News, 7th December 1916

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