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 Edwin Essery Swales

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Edwin Essery Swales Famous memorial

Birth
Inanda, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Death
23 Feb 1945 (aged 29)
Denain, Departement du Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Burial
Leopoldsburg, Arrondissement Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium
Plot
VIII.C.5.
Memorial ID
9978720 View Source

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.

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


Inscription

IN PROUD MEMORY
OF THE NATAL MOUNTED RIFLES
FROM COMRADES
AND S. A. AIR FORCE

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 28 Nov 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 9978720
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/9978720/edwin-essery-swales: accessed ), memorial page for Edwin Essery Swales (3 Jul 1915–23 Feb 1945), Find a Grave Memorial ID 9978720, citing Leopoldsburg War Cemetery, Leopoldsburg, Arrondissement Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium; Maintained by Find a Grave.