b. 14/12/1891 Blackwell, County Durham. d. 21/03/1967 Darlington, County Durham.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 28/02/1911 River Tees, County Durham.
Albert was the third of six children born to William and Martha Swainston. Following a basic schooling, Albert became an apprentice plumber, a position he held at the time of his Albert Medal action. He was presented with his medal by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 6th July 1911 at Buckingham Palace. He was also presented with the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal. He enlisted with 160 (Wearside) Brigade, Royal Artillery, on 17th March 1915 at Darlington. He served on the Western Front, being demobbed on 17th May 1919.
After the war, he returned to his trade as a plumber and lived at 144, Bartlett Street, Greenbank, Darlington. He also returned to his wife, Jane (known as Jennie) who he had married in 1914. Her maiden name was Johnston. By 1939, he was still in Darlington working as a plumber, and had three children. He died in 1967 in Darlington, aged 75.
On the 28th of February a boy, aged thirteen, went for a walk along the bank of the river Tees, with some companions, and, while playing with a piece of wood in the water, overbalanced and fell into the river, which was running very high and about 12ft. deep. Albert Swainston, an apprentice plumber, being called to the spot by the cries of the boy’s companions, immediately jumped into the river, fully dressed, and swam towards the boy, who was then about 22 yards from the bank. He got hold of the boy, and struck out for the bankside, but, owing to a strong current of water, he lost his grip. He soon recovered the boy again, and, after considerable difficulty, brought him to the side of the bank, where he managed to get hold of a wall which projects from the bankside, but, owing to his exhausted condition and the boy’s continued struggles, he was unable to pull the boy up, and the current of water carried him away. The lad went under the water, and this time did not rise to the surface, and Swainston was too exhausted to attempt again to rescue him.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.
Allan Stanistreet – Image of Albert Swainston AM.