Private John Swanton Forde


John Swanton Forde was born on 16 October 1887 at 8 Panorama Street, Cork, the second of four children of grocer (later tea buyer) James Forde and his wife Elizabeth (née Swanton). The family moved to Belfast in the 1890s. By the time of the 1911 Census he was working as second refrigerating engineer on the ship Star of Scotland, which at the time was docked at Canning Town in London.

Forde enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 11 and 30 December 1914 (No.1360 – later Corps of Hussars No.71351). On 17 November 1915 he embarked for France with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry.

Forde, however, was not one of those transferred. On 17 January 1918 he was discharged from the Army to take up employment with the Admiralty, presumably in relation to his engineering skills.

At some point Forde moved to London. By the time of the 1939 Register he was living with his wife Anna at 124 Creek Road, Greenwich, and working as a marine and general engine fitter. By 1956 he was living at 119 Douglas Way, London SE8. He died on 18 December that year at the New Cross General Hospital.