Project Description

JOHN AUGUSTUS SAWARD 1900–1971

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Born: 13th June 1900 in London

Married: 1937 to Hilda J. Howkins in Oxford

Died: 1971 in Uckfield, Sussex

1901 Census

Living at Beacon Street Lichfield with mother Violet Georgina née Boulton, older brother Norman (b.1898), his aunt Annie Collard, a nurse, cook and housemaid. His father was serving as Chaplain to the Forces in South Africa and was later awarded the Queens South Africa medal with three clasps.

1904 moved to Bolnhurst when his father was appointed rector.

1911 Census

Bolnhurst rectory with father William Thomas, clergyman, mother Georgina, brother Norman, sister Agatha (b.1909) and a cook and housemaid.

On 30th May 1913 Rev. W. T. Saward was formally inducted as vicar of St. Edmund’s Church, Holme Pierrepont.

J. A. Saward was a pupil at Nottingham High School, where he had the nickname Seaweed. He was a prefect, then Captain of the school in 1918 and very involved with the drama group. A copy of the school magazine notes he played Jacob(?) who married the Queen of Sheba in one of the drama group’s productions.

Military Service: Royal Flying Corps, Royal Air Force

Rank: Flight Cadet (the rank comes between a Warrant Officer and a 2nd Lieutenant)

Service Number: 175621

Military Unit: Royal Flying Corps, Royal Air Force

Enlisted: 4th May 1918, 5ft 10ins tall, a student

10th May 1918 a flying cadet and sent to reception area 28th May 1918

28th August 1918 transferred to Cadet Wing Armaments

By the time of the armistice, standards of training in the flying corps had improved greatly from the early years of the war. In 1918  it took  eleven months to qualify as a pilot. Training included 50 hours of solo flying. John Saward was still in training when the war ended; it is evident that he qualified afterwards as a pilot (London Gazette, 29th July 1919).

John Augustus Saward is named on the Holme Pierrepont War Memorial as a Flight Cadet, Royal Flying Corps.

From the 1939 Register

Address: Burfield Road, Witney, Oxfordshire

Occupation: textile representative. Listed as emergency services air force officer.

Household: living with wife Hilda J. Saward, born 1912

Other information

On 26th September 1940 his appointment as a pilot officer is confirmed in the London Gazette.

His father, Rev. W.T. Saward was a composer and author of 21 plays including the historical and ecclesiastical play ‘Glastonbury’ and the drama ‘William Shakespeare’.

W T Saward