Private John Swindle


John Swindle was born on 4 October 1888 at Cornafannoge, Maguiresbridge, County Fermanagh, the second or third child of farmer John Swindle and his wife Isabella (née Potts). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Cornafannoge with his parents and five of his seven surviving siblings and working on the family farm.

Swindle enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 6 and 10 October 1914 (No. UD/19). While most of the squadron embarked for France on 6 October 1915 as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division, Swindle remained at the Enniskillen base. On 13 January 1916 he married widow Sarah Jane Noble (née Johnston) in the Enniskillen Church of Ireland Parish Church.

On 27 July 1916 the Fermanagh Times reported on an assault on Swindle:

Acting Sergeant Walsh summoned Wm. Wylie, Mullyknock, Tempo, for having assaulted Trooper Swindle, of the 6th (Service) Squadron Inniskilling Dragoons, on 10th July, Swindle having declined to prosecute.
Trooper Swindle said he was cycling past McManus at the Jail Square when defendant called him. They stood chatting, and he believed a young man named Woods struck him first. He struck Woods and Wylie struck him with a stick. Before it finished he believed four men were round him. His nose, ear, and chin were cut.
Defendant said if he struck complainant it was the first man ever he struck. He (defendant) had been a year and a half on active service.
Constable Frazer said as far as he could see defendant struck Swindle twice with a stick.
Defendant – I was at the front, your Worship.
The Chairman – Were you wounded?
Defendant – No my time expired. This was my first time in Enniskillen, and I met a number of friends.
A fine of 2s 6d and costs was imposed.

In the second half of 1916 or the first half of 1917 Swindle embarked for France to join his squadron.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron had joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded, its men being transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Swindle, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Swindle was issued regimental number 41115.

No information has been discovered about Swindle's service with the 9th (NIH) Battalion through the latter part of 1917 and during 1918.

After the war he returned to farming at Cornafannoge. His first wife having died, on 16 November 1920 he married Kathleen Weir in the Church of Ireland Parish Church in Aghavea, County Fermanagh.