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Thomas Warren-Swettenham WW1

by Jess Gibby | People, World War One

Major Thomas Robert Eaton Wybault Warren-Swettenham was born in Cheltenham and married Emmété Florence Cope whose parents lived in Cockhaven Road, Bishopsteignton. He was a professional soldier before the Great War and was killed in action in Eloi, Flanders in 1915.

Early Life

Thomas Robert Eaton Wybault Warren-Swettenham was born on 10th October 1867 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. His parents were Robert and Amelia Marion Warren-Swettenham and the family home was Swettenham Hall, Congleton, Cheshire. He studied at Cheltenham College until 1886.

He married Emmété Florence Cope in Herefordshire in 1907. Emmété was the daughter of Edward S. Cope, JP. and Florence Cope of Cockhaven, Bishopsteignton. Although Thomas Warren-Swettenham is on the Roll of Honour for Bishopsteignton, his marital home was Homestead, Oak Park, Dawlish. He was a professional soldier and when stationed in Aldershot he was master of the Aldershot Beagles as well as a keen polo player and big game shot.

Military Experience

Thomas Warren-Swettenham was in the West India Regiment in 1889, becoming a Lieutenant in 1890. He transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment in 1893 where he remained for the rest of his service. He was made a captain in 1899 and a major in 1901. He served in the South African War being present at operations in the Orange River Colony from February to April 1902. Thomas received the Queen’s Medal with three clasps and the King’s medal with two clasps. In 1911 he was awarded the Delhi Durbar medal from the Adjudant General in India.[1]

Death and Burial

Thomas died on 5 February 1915 aged 48 years. He was killed in action in Eloi, Flanders and his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres.[2] He was posthumously awarded the 1914 – 15 Star on 23 December 1918. There is also a memorial to him in St Peter’s Church, Congleton, Cheshire.


Emmété is buried next to her parents, Edward and Florence Cope, in St John’s Churchyard, Bishopsteignton. Emmété died on 16 October 1932, aged 52 years.

Thomas and  Emmété had a son, Thomas Edward Eaton Warren-Swettenham who was born on 10 April 1910 and died in October 1986. He was not quite 5 years old when his father was killed.

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