L/Cpl T N Swan, 16 DLI, Wedding Photograph, 1941

L/Cpl Thomas Swan, C Company, 16 DLI, Wedding Photo, July 1941

This Wedding photograph of the then Lance Corporal Thomas Norman Swan of C Company, 16 DLI and his wife Dorothy was taken on July 26th 1941. This photograph and those on the following pages all courtesy of his great nephew, Graeme Edwards.

Born and raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, from his Army Number of 4466607 it seems likely L/Sgt Swan enlisted directly into the Battalion in Scotland in mid-1940--see this page from the Army Numbers section of the site. His wife was from Glasgow, which suggests that he was one of several 16 DLI soldiers who met and married local girls during the Battalion’s time north of the border.

Later promoted to Lance-Sergeant, Norman, as he was always known to his family, was one of the many casualties suffered by the Battalion at Sedjenane in February-March 1943 who have no known grave. Initially posted as missing, he was not confirmed as a fatal casualty until June 1944. My father’s Sergeants in 15 Platoon during the Battle were Sgts Forsythe and Rennison with Lt Charles Duck (killed in action) as their Platoon’s Commander. This suggests that L/Sgt Swan must have been in either 13 or 14 Platoon at this time, one of which was commanded by Lt M B Davies, who was wounded and taken POW in the Battle and the other by Lt H Pritchard, who later became the Battalion’s adjutant.

Pte George Forster, of 15 Platoon in 1942-43, vaguely remembers L/Sgt Swan from the time that the Battalion was engaged in farm work in Sussex in 1942. George was accidentally caught in the forearm by L/Sgt Swan’s scythe and still bears the scar this day!

The family photographs on the following pages (click on the links below) all feature the young NCO on leave in 1941-42. Also included here is the newspaper photograph of L/Sgt Swan from the Roll of Honour section of the site, the 1942 Sergeants group photo on which he features and links back to his listing on the Roll.

On leave in Newcastle, April 1941.

On leave in Newcastle, May 1942.

The 1942 16 DLI Sergeants group photo.

16 DLI Roll of Honour, 1944 Newspaper Photograph.

16 DLI Roll of Honour Listing.

L/Sgt Swan on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial.

Sgt Swan also also features in this collection of photographs, of Pte Percy Ord.


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