An old soldier's prayer book found behind an old boiler

First World War soldier Albert Swain’s prayer book was found in a property in Kiln Lane

First World War soldier Albert Swain’s prayer book was found in a property in Kiln Lane

First published in News
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St Helens Star: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

NINETY nine years ago Albert Edward Swain was serving in France with the British Expeditionary Force during The First World War.

All we know at present is that he was tag number 15521 and served with the 17th battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

Those are the details gleaned from his “Official Copy” of the Book of Common Prayer dated January 1915 which was discovered at a house in Kiln Lane, Dentons Green.

Forty-five year-old Karl Birks of The Shires called into the Star office after a friend had passed on the prayer book he found while visiting the empty house.

Karl is hoping that by publicising the find in the Star Fusilier Swain’s descendants may come forward to claim the prayer book bearing his details written in ink on its first and last pages.

“A friend of mine was looking at a property in Kiln Lane when he found it stuck behind a boiler,” said Karl.

“It tells us where the soldier was in 1915 and he might have grandkids who the prayer book would mean a lot to. Maybe somebody will know where his family are.”

If anyone would like more information ring the Star on 01744 762766.

The inside page of the book contains ‘A Soldier’s Prayer’:

ALMIGHTY and Everlasting God, by Whose grace Thy servants are enable to fight the good fight of faith and ever prove victorious: We humbly beseech Thee so to inspire us, that we may yield our hearts to Thine obedience and exercise our wills on Thy behalf.

Help us to think wisely: to speak rightly: to resolve bravely: to act kindly: to live purely. Bless us in body and in soul and make us a blessing to our comrades. Whether at home or abroad may we ever seek the extension of Thy Kingdom. Let the assurance of Thy Presence save us from sinning: support us in life, and comfort us in death. O Lord our God accept this prayer for Jesus Christ’s Sake. Amen.

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2:43am Mon 20 Jan 14

Big_Jeff_Leo says...

Edward Albert Swain served as a Private in the 17th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers in the First World War.
His service number was 15521. Later in the war he joined the Labour Corps (Number 445261) which would likely indicate that he was not fully fit for front line service anymore.
Edward was born about 1898 in Walthamstow, Essex which is confirmed by the 1901 Census. Sometime after this date the family moved up to St.Helens living at 113 Windleshaw Road, Dentons Green.
The 1911 Census tells us that 13 year old Edward was employed at a "shop assistant" and lived with his Father, James Thomas Swain aged 43 (Died 1940), Mother Sarah Alice Swain aged 37 (Died 1948) and siblings Margaret, 11, Ada, 8, James Thomas, 5, Mary, 4, Stanley, 2 and his aunt, Ada Jane.
It seems that after the war, at some point between 1919 and 1924 Albert Edward Swain may have emigrated to Canada.

Big_Jeff_Leo
http://www.sthelensr
ollsofhonour.co.uk/
Edward Albert Swain served as a Private in the 17th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers in the First World War. His service number was 15521. Later in the war he joined the Labour Corps (Number 445261) which would likely indicate that he was not fully fit for front line service anymore. Edward was born about 1898 in Walthamstow, Essex which is confirmed by the 1901 Census. Sometime after this date the family moved up to St.Helens living at 113 Windleshaw Road, Dentons Green. The 1911 Census tells us that 13 year old Edward was employed at a "shop assistant" and lived with his Father, James Thomas Swain aged 43 (Died 1940), Mother Sarah Alice Swain aged 37 (Died 1948) and siblings Margaret, 11, Ada, 8, James Thomas, 5, Mary, 4, Stanley, 2 and his aunt, Ada Jane. It seems that after the war, at some point between 1919 and 1924 Albert Edward Swain may have emigrated to Canada. Big_Jeff_Leo http://www.sthelensr ollsofhonour.co.uk/ Big_Jeff_Leo
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