Swift was admitted to St John's College in 1914 to study for the Mechanical Sciences Tripos, but his studies were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. Swift served in the London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles) with the rank of Captain, and was wounded and mentioned in Despatches. Returning to St John's, he graduated BA in 1920 with a First Class. After working as Chief Engineer at William Hollins Ltd (1920-22), he became an Assistant Lecturer at Leeds University. From Leeds, Swift moved to Bradford College of Technology, where he was Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department from 1926 to 1936. Swift's final appointment was as Professor of Engineering at the University of Sheffield (1936-55).
Papers concerning Prof. W. Johnson's lecture 'The centennial year of Herbert Walker Swift' and its subsequent publication, letters and papers concerning a patent, correspondence of Mrs Maisie Swift after her husband's death, Swift's notes on plasticity, work by Swift's students.
Given by Prof. W. Johnson, 1997.