Swann Sidney George Pte 6107514
Name Swann Sidney George
Army number 6107514
Date of birth Born 1924 in West Hartlepool, mother's maiden surname Watson. Birth registered in Easington District, County Durham.
Age 19 at the time of his death.
Unit Enlisted in the Queen's Royal West Surreys 17/4/1942. Transferred to the Middlesex Regiment 5/11/1942. Posted to Kensington Regiment - 2nd Battalion.
Company/Battery B Group.
Platoon or other sub-unit
Task or role Not yet known.
Prisoner of War No.
Died/Killed in action 12/12/1943 in a road accident involving a truck in which he was a passenger.
Home address Resident in Lincolnshire at the time of his death. Father - Thomas Swann, Farmer, Park Farm, Essendine, Stamford. Commemorated on Panel 13, Column 2 of the Brookwood Memorial.
To read Pte Swann's CWGC record please click here. Following an approach from the researcher, CWGC corrected his record to show that he was serving with the 2nd Battalion at the time of his death - the original record showed 1st Battalion. We are grateful for that update.
The details of the accident were not included in the War Diary, but, thanks to local historian Douglas Gillespie, the text of two local newspaper reports have been made available as follows:-
The Paisley Daily Express, Mon., 13th Dec., 1943, page 2 - Smash at Elderslie - Young Soldier Killed
A young soldier was killed and other members of the party were injured yesterday (Sun., 12th Dec.) afternoon when an army truck collided with an electric lamp standard in Beith Road, Elderslie. After striking the lamp standard the truck made a complete circle and the men were precipitated on to the roadway.
Private Sidney George Swann (19) who hails from Lincolnshire, died a few minutes after the accident, Sergeant S. Pharoah, Driver Reginald Davis and Pte. Arthur Messer are detained in Paisley Infirmary.
Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette , Sat., 18th Dec., 1943, page 3 - Fatal Road Accident
A serious road accident occurred at Beith Road on Sunday afternoon (12 Dec) when an army lorry collided with an electric lamp standard. The scene of the accident was about 500 yards west of the Wallace Monument. A 19 year old soldier who was in the rear of the lorry died a few minutes after the accident. He was Sydney George Swann, of Lincolnshire. The driver of the lorry , Driver Reginald Davis, and two others, Sergeant S. Pharoah, and Pte. Arthur Messer, were seriously injured and were removed to the Royal Alexandra Infirmary, Paisley.
In addition, Douglas Gillespie traced Pte Swann's death certificate, as follows:-
The death certificate of Sydney George Swann was found (spelling as per certificate) the death was registered at Johnstone on 17th Dec.,1943, by his Commanding Officer, Major S. Jacobson, whose home address was 6 Avenue Rd., St Albans. Sydney George Swann was stated on the certificate to be 19 years of age, a General Labourer by occupation, and a Private in the British Army. He died on 12th December 1943 at Beith Riad, Elderslie, the time of death given was 5hrs 30 min. (I think this is the time the doctor saw the body and pronounced life extinct). Sydney's home address is given as Park Farm, Essendine, near Stamford. His father's name is given as Thomas Swann, occupation Farmer. Cause of death is given as Traffic Accident - Instantaneous.
There is also an Entry in the Register of Corrected Entries for this death. It shows that George Sydney Swann died at 12.30pm on 12th Dec., 1943, which conforms to the War Diary entry. Death was sustained through being thrown from a motor lorry, there being a fracture of the base of the skull as certified by Dr. A. E. Struthers.
The Brookwood Memorial includes his name as follows:-
It has now been confirmed that Pte Swann does indeed have a recorded grave - the headstone being erected by his family in the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene Church, Essendine, Lincolnshire, following his funeral - which took place on 20/12/1943 - but his name is also included by CWGC on the Brookwood Memorial - normally reserved for those from the UK Land Forces who had, for whatever reason, no known grave. The family presumably did not accept the offer of a CWGC headstone at the time and apparently did not respond to the Commission's requests for information to include on a headstone. The Commission therefore had no trace of a recorded burial, or cremation, for this casualty. Thanks, however to Jayne Williams of Rutland Council and Mrs Katy Parkinson of the Essendine Parochial Church Council a photograph of Pte Swann's headstone has been included above, and also passed on to CWGC.
The inscription on the headstone reads as follows (for which thanks again to Mrs Parkinson):-
In Sacred and loving
Sidney George Swann
killed serving his country
Dec 12th 1943
aged 19 years
Pte Swann is also recorded on the World War Two Memorial within the Parish Church at Essendine as follows:-