Victor Roy (Roy) SWANN

Badge Number: S8954, Sub Branch: Port Lincon

SWANN, Victor Roy

Service Number: 195
Enlisted: 26 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 3rd Light Horse Regiment
Born: Keyneton, South Australia, 26 October 1889
Home Town: Jamestown, Northern Areas, South Australia
Schooling: Prince Alfred College
Occupation: Draper (menswear business owner)
Died: Natural causes, Port Lincoln, South Australia, 24 September 1968, aged 78 years
Cemetery: Happy Valley Cemetery, Port Lincoln
RSL Section
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Jamestown Methodist Church WW1 Roll of Honor, Jamestown Soldier's Memorial Park Arch
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World War 1 Service

26 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Morphettville, South Australia
22 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 195, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
22 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 195, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Port Lincoln, Adelaide
11 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN 195
23 Feb 1919: Discharged AIF WW1

The Noble Eight - "Our Boys for the Front – God speed and a safe return”

Thank you to the works by Mrs Barbara I Parri (dec) and Mrs Kaye B Bottrall, from Jamestown, SA.

Colour-Sergeant W C (Claude) Burford (dec)
Private Colin Cameron (dec)
Private C A Tonquest (dec)
Lieutenant J J (Joe) Brooks
Private Jim Dawes
Private Stan Lambert
Private W G (Bill) Rosie
Private V R (Roy) Swann

First Party of Volunteers to join the AIF, after declaration of war with Germany 4 August 1914.

All these men served at Gallipoli and from there to Egypt and France. Three paid the supreme sacrifice and the remaining five men returned to Jamestown, South Australia.

Mentioned in the “Agriculturist & Review” newspaper – September 1914 (see picture) and 12/11/1914.

AU REVOIR 11 September 1914

“Our Boys for the Front – God speed and a safe return”

Local folk turned out enmasse on Monday morning, 7 September 1914, to give ‘Our Boys in Khaki’ a right royal send off. Almost the whole of the business places were closed until after the train, which bore our quota of heroes, had gone out of sight.

At about 9:30am residents of the town, of all ages, began to assemble at Victoria Square and about 10 o’clock the time fixed for the ceremony, there was a large and enthusiastic gathering including the school children. Willing workers had made the Square brighter with strings of bunting in which the grand old Union Jack predominated, whilst the band, under the leadership of Mr Barclay, enlivened the proceedings with a number of selections.

At 10:00am the Mayor Mr R E Humphris took his place on the trolly, and was accompanied by Ministers of Religion and other leading citizens with the soldiers for the front drawn up at the end as follows:-

Lieutenant J J (Joe) Brooks and Privates: V R (Roy) Swann, Jim Dawes, W G (Bill) Rosie, Colin Cameron and C A Tonquest with the B Squadron Australian Light Horse. Colonel Sergeant W C (Claude) Burford with the 12th Infantry and Private Stan Lambert with the 10th Infantry.

His worship said that they were gathered together for the purpose of saying goodbye to their boys who were going to Europe to help uphold the integrity and freedom of the Empire. They were boys of he good old Bull Dog Breed.

Lieutenant A D Mitchell, Officer Commander (OC) B Squadron 24th Light Horse, said he felt proud that the men from his squadron were going. The offer of Jamestown lads for the first contingent had been very pleasing and the boys had offered themselves with pleasure.

Other speeches and good wishes from Mr H Boucaut, Reverend W T Shapley and Reverend R A Adams. Cheers for the King and Empire, Joe and the other boys and Song of Australia.

The trolly was then commandeered for the ‘Boys in Khaki’ who were drawn by willing hands through the people, al of whom were eager to get close enough for a hearty handshake and a personal wish of good luck, so that progress was exceedingly slow until the Square was cleared. The band headed the march to the railway station playing ‘Songs of the Brave’.

At the station the boys met with right royal treatment until the train steamed out, when rousing cheers were again given in last efforts to cheer and strengthen the departing soldiers on their journey to honour.

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Known as ‘Roy’.

b. 27/10/1889 at Keyneton, South Australia
(Sth Australian Birth record - Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 448 Page: 85 District: Ang.)

Father George Lomax SWANN   -   b. 24/3/1858 in Gumeracha, SA
(SA Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 13 Page: 496 District: Tal.)
George's Father: George SWANN. Mother: Sarah REDMAN.)

Mother Alvenia (nee Treloar)   -   b. 15/11/1859 in Angaston, SA
(SA Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 18 Page: 139 District: Ang.)
(Alvenia’s Father James TRELOAR. Mother: Elizabeth JOHNS.)

George was in business at Jamestown 1909 to 1913.

Roy had a menswear business at Jamestown next to H. Medlin from 1912 (later in 1995 Black & White Café), until he enlisted in 1914 – as one of “The Noble Eight”, with the 3rd Light Horse.    His father took charge of the business until Roy’s return.

Next of kin in service:
Eldest brother:
43 George ‘Gordon’ Swann   b. 6/11/1885 in Angaston, SA
(Sth Austn Birth records - Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 363 Page: 265 District: Ang.)
Lieutenant - Australian Motor Transport Section
Returned to Australia and  discharged from service on 17/11/1919

Youngest brother:
2156   Lyell ‘ Keith’ Swann     b. 18/5/1895 Keyneton, SA
(Sth Austn Birth records - Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 564 Page: 368 District: Ang.)
20/6/1917 Awarded the Military Medal (for distinguished service on the battlefield in France)
Lieutenant - Australian Flying Corp
14/11/1918  died of wounds - paying the supreme sacrifice
buried in: Ascq Communal Cemetery (Row D, Grave No. 12), France

20570 Dr Eric Swann     b. 9/2/1899 Angaston SA
(Sth Austn Birth records - Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 635 Page: 437 District: Ang.)
Father : John Edward SWANN. Mother: Mary Jane HOLMES.
of Jamestown 1925-1946
Served with the Australian Army Medical Corp (AAMC)
Returned to Australia 17/3/1919


Previous service:
3 years  17th Australian Light Horse

Victor was one of the first to enlist from Jamestown – in August 1914 with “the Noble Eight” as a Private.

Described on enlisting as 25 years 10 months old; single; 5' 5"tall; 127 lbs; healthy
complexion; grey eyes; light hair; Methodist.

28/8/1914      Enlisted at Morphettville
                     completed medical - fit for service

25/9/1914      Commanding Officer appointed Roy to
                     A Squadron, 3rd Light Horse Regiment

22/10/1914    Embarked from Outer Harbour, Pt Adelaide on board HMAT A17 Port Lincoln
as a Private with the 3rd Light Horse, A Squadron

10/12/1914    Maadi base camp

31/1/1915      Heliopolos camp

9/5/1915        proceeded to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, Gallipoli
12/5/1915       Gallipoli camp

He saw service in Gallipoli, Egypt and France.

10/10/1915    Appointed Lance Corporal

 20/12/1915    disembarked off of HT Karoola, from Gallipoli into Alexandria

29/12/1915    joined Western Frontier Forces

26/1/1916      Promoted to Sergeant, 3rd Light Horse Regiment

4/7/1916        Staff Quarter Master Sergeant, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Romain

24/9/1916      Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant, 3rd Light Horse Regiment

10/7/1917      to rest camp, Shalith
20/7/1917      rejoined unit

20/3/1918      To Cadet School, Zeiuton - in the field

15/6/1918      Appointed 2nd Lieutenant

22/6/1918      marched out to Moascar
                     joined Cadet School in Moascar

1/7/1918        marched out to 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Moascar

29/9/1918      sick to hospital in the field
30/9/1918      admitted to Anzac Hospital, Jericho
1/10/1918      admitted to 34th ___ Hospital, Jerusaleum - with Malaria
2/10/1918      admitted to 34th Stationary Hospital, Egyptian Expeditionary Forces
8/10/1918      admitted to 24th Stationary Hospital, Kantara

9/10/1918      detached to duty, joined 1st Light Horse Regiment, Moascar
11/10/1918    marched out to rest camp
21/10/1918    marched in from rest camp, Moascar

27/10/1918    marched out to 3rd Light Horse Regiment

5/11/1918      marched in from Moascar in the field

The War Office granted a request from Australia that “The Anzacs” who had served continuously from 1914-1918 be given 3 months leave, and allowed to return to Australia for that period

Victor was one of the first Anzacs to return home to Australia and before his leave expired, Peace terms (the Armistice) were started and were finalised, which meant the Anzacs on leave did not return to France.

15/11/1918    Embarked on board  HT Port Darwin for return to Australia (on 1914 leave), 
                     ex Suez, Egypt

23/2/1919      discharged from service

WWI 1914-15 Star (2226);  British War medal (623);  Victory medal (624).

On his return from the war, Roy married at the age of 29, to Clarice Edna Skippen, a sister of Mrs Lester M W Judell of Jamestown.   The sisters had come from Inverell in NSW.

Roy and Clarice had a family of 3 children:-

Robert (died in the Middle East in the Airforce – WWII)
John (a jeweller living in Adelaide)
Beth (lived interstate)

Roy sold his Jamestown menswear business in 1922 and purchased a Clothing Store in Rundle Street, Adelaide. He went to Port Lincoln in 1937 and took over the Menswear business from Piercy in 1938.

In 1955 Don Spry joined him on the understanding that Spry would have first option when Swann wished to retire – in 1960 Spry took over the shop.   The shop was also the start of the sons jewellery business (both sons had this trade).

24/9/1968        Roy passed away at the Port Lincoln Hospital
buried in:         RSL section at Happy Valley Cemetery, Port Lincoln SA

Headstone inscriptions:
                       195 Lieutenant V R Swann
                       3rd Light Horse
                       Husband of Clarice
                       Father of Robert, John and Beth
                       “Lest we forget”

Thank you to Mrs Barbara I Parri (dec) and Mrs Kaye B Bottrall, from Jamestown SA, for
their research.

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  6/1/2015.  Lest we forget.