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John Liam Birkinshaw and Ernest Swift
Different experiences of war
Christmas card and photograph from Princess Mary to the troops Ernest Swift's New Testament Photograph of Ernest Swift Photograph of Ernest Swift issuing the rum on board the Black Prince Group shot of sailors at Christmas on board Black Prince Photograph pf "Rag Time Barber" on board Black Prince Cigarette tin sent as Christmas present to troops Shawl sent from India by Reg to his sister
John Birkinshaw was in the army and Ernest Swift was in the navy. Their stories highlight the different experiences of war that could be felt even in one family. John signed up with his two brothers Reg and Horace and all of them fought either in France or India. Unusually, they all came home. John vowed that when he came home from the war, he would never leave Grenoside again and he didn’t. Ernest joined the Navy and served on the Black Prince. It’s easy to forget that the First World War was fought on the seas as well as in the trenches. During the Battle of Jutland in 1916, the Black Prince was sunk along with all her sailors, sadly, including Ernest.