Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Swaleses in:
 • Leopoldsburg War Cemetery
 • Leopoldsburg
 • Arrondissement Hasselt
 • Limburg
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Edwin Essery Swales
Birth: Jul. 3, 1915
Death: Feb. 23, 1945

World War II Victoria Cross Recipient. He was born Inanda, Natal, one of twin boys of four children born to Harry Evelyn Swales and Olive (nee Essery) Swales. Educated at Durban High School, he was also a member of the Boy Scout movement. After leaving school he worked for the Barclays Bank, DC & O in Durban. He joined the Natal Mounted Rifles on 30 June 1935 and left after four years service on 31 May 1939. After the Second World War broke out he re-joined the Natal Mounted Rifles on 4 September 1939 and saw action in Kenya, Abyssinia and in North Africa, rising to the rank of Sergeant Major. He transferred to the South African Air Force on 17 January 1942. He received his wings at Kimberley on 26 June 1943 as a Second Lieutenant. On 21 August 1943 he was seconded to the Royal Air Force whilst retaining his South African Air Force uniform and rank. In January 1944, while he was at Flying Training School at RAF Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, he was used as a ‘model' of a typical young airman for a red charcoal drawing which was done by Sir William Rothenstein. The original of this drawing is now held at the R.A.F. Museum in Hendon, London. After his training on heavy bombers he was posted to the R.A.F. Pathfinder Force with No. 582 Squadron at Little Staughton, Huntingdonshire. His first operational flight was on 12 July 1944. He was promoted to Captain on 4 November 1944. On 23 December 1944 he took part in a daring daylight bombing raid on the Gremberg railway yards, Cologne, Germany. He was the number two Pathfinder leading the main flight as he marked the target. Six of the thirty aircraft on this operation were lost. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions during that operation. (bio by: nettlyne) 
Leopoldsburg War Cemetery
Arrondissement Hasselt
Limburg, Belgium
Plot: VIII.C.5.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Nov 28, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9978720
Edwin Essery Swales
Added by: CWGC/ABMC
Edwin Essery Swales
Added by: Dieter Birkenmaier
Edwin Essery Swales
Added by: Graeme Wright
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Happy Birthday!
- sjm
 Added: Jul. 3, 2015
- Sanshl
 Added: Feb. 23, 2015
On my first visit to Durban SA, I travelled down a street named after Edwin Seales VC and looked up his citation. He was a member of the South African Air Force, and a bomber command pathfinder. Even though bomber command are criticised nowadays, he was a...(Read more)
- MrBob
 Added: Feb. 15, 2015
There are 65 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.4 after 32 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service