Service Number: 1405
Enlisted: 30 September 1915, Holsworthy, New South Wales
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 2nd Remount Unit
Born: Gosford, New South Wales, 17 May 1857
Home Town: Ultimo, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Driver
Died: Natural causes, Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales, 30 May 1926, aged 69 years
Cemetery: Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, New South Wales
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World War 1 Service

30 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1405, Holsworthy, New South Wales
10 Nov 1915: Involvement Trooper, 1405, 2nd Australian Remount Unit
10 Nov 1915: Embarked Trooper, 1405, 2nd Australian Remount Unit, HMAT Orsova, Sydney
18 Aug 1916: Discharged AIF WW1, Trooper, 1405, 2nd Remount Unit, Medically discharged

Help us honour James Swadling's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

'Though 58 years old when he enlisted James Swadling thought that his knowledge of horses, teams and blacksmithing would be of vital use to the war effort. With that in mind he enlisted on 20 September 1915 at Holsworthy, Sydney. He was accepted and his records issued ten days later read "#1405 Trooper James Swadling 5’61/2 tall". James had a dark complexion with brown hair and blue eyes.

He served in the 2nd Remount Division, 5th Squadron which had been formed in Sydney in September 1915. He was listed as a 49- year-old driver (presumably of horses as he had never driven a car) and would earn the princely sum of five shillings a day to live in the desert and fight a war at close hand.

These reinforcements, containing a high proportion of Boer War veterans and expert horsemen, embarked on 10 November 1915 on the HMAT Orsova from Sydney. As was the case, the older men with experience of horses were put in charge of these valuable animals and not allowed in the main theatre of fighting.

By the time they arrived in Egypt however, the evacuation of Gallipoli was imminent. When the Light Horse left for Gallipoli in 1915, they left behind detachments to take care of the horses. To free these men to rejoin their regiments two remount units were formed, each of four squadrons. Accordingly, at the end of March 1916 the units were reduced by half, each contributing two squadrons to a single remount unit.

Following the evacuation of Gallipoli in December 1915, the Australian and New Zealand forces in Egypt underwent a period of reorganisation and expansion. It was decided to expand the Australian Imperial Force from two infantry divisions to four, and then five.

Fortunately in James’ case (or so it was thought) the maximum age for enlistment was set at 50, and the units still contained a high proportion of Boer War veterans and expert horsemen needed elsewhere. I ANZAC Corps was initially commanded by General Alexander Godley and comprised the three “veteran” ANZAC divisions, the Australian 1st and 2nd Divisions and the newly formed New Zealand Division.' LINK (www.soldieron.militaryshop.com.au)

A SOCIAL and Presentation to PRIVATE J. SWADLING will take place in the


Gents, 1s 6d; Ladies, 6d.
Hon. Secretary.' from Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate 17 Oct 1916 (nla.gov.au)


SWADLING.— May 30, 1926, at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, James, beloved husband of Elizabeth Swadling, of 84 Vine-street, Redfern, aged 69 years. For Funeral see Tuesday's "Herald." from The Sydney Morning Herald 31 May 1926 (nla.gov.au)