Sergeant James Firth V.C. - Boer War hero
Sergeant James Firth, a Swalwell resident, though originally from near Sheffield, lived in Quality Row and enlisted in the Duke of Wellington's West Riding regiment in July 1889; winning the Victoria Cross on 14 February 1900, during the Boer War, when he rescued two men from enemy fire by carrying them to safety.
The citation reads, "At Plewmans Farm near Arundel, Cape Colony February 24th 1900, Sergeant Firth gained the Victoria Cross for two acts of bravery and devotion" "Lance Corporal Blackman had been wounded, and was lying not more than one hundred yards from the enemy, who were keeping up a severe hail of fire on all around" "Sergeant Firth scorning the bullets aimed at him and his brigade, advanced to the stricken corporal and carried him to the cover of their own lines". Shortly afterwards, second Lieutenant T H B Wilson fell dangerously wounded, in spite of the proximity of the Boers who had advanced quite close to the firing line, Firth carried the Officer over the crest of the ridge to shelter, receiving a bullet through the eye and nose, whilst engaged in this humane act".
In 1900, Sergeant Firth was discharged as medically unfit from the services. He applied for service again in 1914 at the outbreak of World War One, but he was turned down on medical grounds. After a long period of disability he died of tuberculosis in May 1921. He probably attended Swalwell School and a presentation was made to him by the villagers on his return from South Africa.
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE FASCINATING SITE THAT THRO' HARD WORK YOU HAVE "GLUED" TOGETHER THANK YOU...BILL NORA STOREY NORTHUMBERLAND BUT IN THE DAYS GONE BY,,,,,,,JUST ACROSS THE TYNE,,,,, DENTON BURN FENHAM AREAS........ WILL SPEND MORE TIME NEXT TIME I VISIT CHEERS
Posted by: BILL STOREY at August 11, 2008 11:52 PM
this web is to so so so so so long it took me 3 hours to read one tenth of it
Posted by: diego at March 12, 2009 1:23 PM
Does anyone remember Bill and Mary Collingwood who lived at Marley Hill? Bill worked at Marley Hill Colliery. Bill died in 1972 of cancer. Mary eventually was in a home in Whickham.
Posted by: Patricia Robson at February 20, 2011 9:19 PM