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cas1986

Lt C F T Swan

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cas1986

I was lead to this forum after a google search on my grandfather and the third rifle brigade. A member had posted a letter of his about the Christmas truce back in 2008- i never met him and know very little about him so this was just amazing! I've found his MIC. Could anyone help me find war diaries of the third rifle brigade? I'd like to see why he received his MC. Are they at Kew and if so does anybody know the document reference number?

Clara

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David_Underdown

WO 95/1613 is the only one I can see immediately - and it doesn't cover a very long date range

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battiscombe

Swan is mentioned in various prewar numbers of the Rifle Brigade Chronicle.. and I seem to remember there were photos of him in various group photos - he won many prizes for shooting.. he and a Serjeant Walwyk often appear together (Walwyk has appeared in the forum as well, so perhaps search for references to both in past Forum posts?) ..as he was clearly an active young officer... and lucky, as he was one of the few of his contemporaries to survive, i seem to remember. You can download some of the war diary for a small fee. I had it but lost it in a computer crash I am afraid... The Chronicle is apparently free online in N America (there are posts about it on this Forum..)..

Strangely, somewhere I have a copy of a field sketch drawn by him on the Aisne 28/29 September 1914 after a patrol of the German positions with his Scout Serjeant and a few others, at a spot which became known as 'Rifle Point' - which is also where my (artillery) grandfather was wounded a few days later .. as his battery was providing artillery support to the infantry in the frontline trenches there. [they would almost certainly have met at Rifle Point].

Swans sketches from his field notebook turned up in the war diary of an artillery brigade having been passed to 2nd Division headquarters when 17th Infantry Brigade was temporarily attached... In fact it runs to several pages and colour files so i can't post here.

with some more posts you can personal message me and i could get this sent to you - i will get it reassembled as a pdf.

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cas1986

David, thank you for the reference, looks like it covers a year and a few months. I'm sure it'll have something interesting

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cas1986

Battiscombe,

Thank you for all this information. It gives me so many directions to go in! How incredible that our grandfathers (probably) met in France and that you have a field drawing of his, I'm keen to see it. I don't think he was known for his draftsmanship but I'm guessing it was common practice for the men to draw strategic points along the line at the beginning of the war?

My grandfather was very lucky to survive WW1, he even served at the beginning of WW2. I think he was sent away from the western front to Namibia (trying to find out why?) and so avoided the Somme which I think the third rifle brigade were involved with. My knowledge of all this is pretty sketchy. Did your grandfather get sent back to France after he was wounded at Rifle Point?

Thanks again for you help

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CGM

Hello Clara.

Welcome to the forum!

You can send a Personal Message now as you have made more than two posts. Just click on the envelope on the LH side of Battiscombe's post.

CGM

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battiscombe

From an old post of mine (which i had forgotten) For the 3rd Rifle Brigade ... a bit of info on their brief stay on the Aisne, where they were used to reinforce troops of the 2nd Division,

On 4 August 1914 the 3rd Bn Rifle Brigade were in Cork. On the 18th August they were in Cambridge and then moved to Newmarket. 12.9.14 the Bn landed at St Nazaire and headed for the Aisne front ..

The Battalion War Diary reads as follows:-

1.30 p.m. 21/9/14 14 miles S. of Dhuizel. Battalion marches into Dhuizel and billeted.

4.30 p.m. 21/9/14 Dhuizel. Battalion relieved the 1st Royal Berks Regt. in the trenches 2 miles N. of Soupir ... which became known as 'Rifle Point' or 'Riflemans Point'

22/9/14 In trenches. 2nd Lieut. G.W. Sherston severly wounded and 2 Riflemen killed, 2 Riflemen died of wounds 1 Rifleman dangerously wounded 11 Riflemen severely wounded 6 N.C.O.'S and men slightly wounded 1 Rifleman missing.

23/9/14. A & D Companies on the right relieved by Coldstream Guards. 3 N.C.O.'s and men killed 3 N.C.O.'s and men wounded.

25/9/14. Attack on German trenches by "C" Company and part of "B" Company under Major A.D. Boden.

Major A.D. Boden and Lieut. M.K. Mackenzie (K R Rifles) missing Captain P.A. Kennedy wounded, 2 Riflemen killed, 1 Rifleman died of wounds 26 N.C.O.'s and men wounded 23 N.C.O.'s and men missing

Night 25 - 26/9/14. Battalion supported by S. Stafford Regt

28 Sept 1914 – recce of enemy positions – mapped by Lt C Swan – hoped to assist artillery support from 47th Battery. recce by Lt Swan, Sgt Hornby (Scout Sgt), Corporal Wheeler, Rifleman Lawler, Rifleman Appleton.

[Lt C T E Swan, Sgt Richard Hornby (1482), Corporal Wheeler, Rifleman Lawler (1087) kia 06/09/1915; Rifleman Appleton (9311) kia 4/1/15 ].

1st Oct – relieved by 2/South Staffs and back to Bourg billets .. soon after heading north I believe to Ypres area ..

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battiscombe

here is a photo of Captain Somerville- Lt D Ovey - 2Lt C F T Swan - Lt T Baring - 3rd Bn RB -winners of the Officers' Challenege Cup and the Wellington Cup - Aldershot Command Rifle Meeting 1909

post-7621-0-82903100-1328604331.jpg

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cas1986

Awesome uniforms. And moustaches!

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cas1986

Once again, Battiscombe, huge thanks for all the info you gave me and advice about where to look for more. I’ve been living and breathing the Rifle Brigade Chronicle (thanks to you and the Hathi Trust) for the past two weeks and found funny (before the war) and not so funny occasions where my grandfather is mentioned. It’s amazing how one becomes as interested in all the men that you come across as much as your own relative.

I have a very detailed picture now of his career from 1907 to 1915 but was wondering if you, or anyone else, might be able to point me in the right direction once again?

He serves with the 3rd Battalion in France from September 1914 – 1915 (last mentioned 2nd August ‘Swan - sick.’) He doesn’t appear in the 3rd Battalion War accounts of 1916-1918 but I can see that he is listed as “staff” in the 1919 Chronicle.

I know from my father that he served in Namibia and Egypt but how can I find out about this? There doesn’t seem to be anything in the Chronicle about 3rd Battalion and Africa. Is my best bet to get his file from the MOD?

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Guest chrismilla

Hi all

I hope someone here is still able to contact Clara as I discovered this forum after looking for

info on Lt Swan for the project I've been working on at familyletters.co.uk for my friend Ben,

contactable at her twitter address for the project here.

Together we've been compiling the letters written home by her grandfather Captain Edward

"Ted" RP Berryman DSO of the 39th Garhwal Rifles during the Great War along with those of

his brothers, which included naval officer Paul Felix Palmer Berryman who in 1917 married

his sweetheart Nancy "Nance" Swann (sic), younger sister of the above Charles FT.

On the way I discovered some more of the family picture from references to Conway-Gordons,

which turned up this account of how they're related - CFT and his older and younger sisters

are mentioned at the bottom.

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/ENG-LINCSGEN/2002-04/1018040061

This in turn led me to the Roll of Honour at Sausthorpe Village Hall in Lincs which places the Major,

at time of its creation, Swan between brother-in-laws Paul, and at the top Major Matthew Buckle DSO.

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Lincolnshire/Sausthorpe.html

A later letter from another brother of Ted, Richard in August 1918, serving somewhere in Egypt (his

post having been requested to be sent to Alexandria), mentions CFT Swan directly.

"Nancy's brother is near here I hear. I must go over & see him tomorrow. I only heard yesterday

he was in the offing & I've been wondering how we are related, & I have decided that we are no

relation at all until Paul gets a baby, then we shall both be uncles to the same child, so must be

related somehow."

The very next letter from Ted (in Mespot) completes the trio on the Roll of Honour.

"Col Wolff-Flannagan of the Royal West Kents is commanding the Bde temporarily- Buckle, Nance

Swann's brother in law who was killed early in the war, was in the R.W.K & Col W-F speaks very

highly of him & knows Mrs Buckle well."

It doesn't illuminate a great deal of her grandfather's travels but at least establishes his presence

in Egypt in August 1918. I hope this is of some use to Clara and that she may like to get in touch

with my friend Ben - her grandfather's brother-in-law's great-niece, (named after her grandfather's

sister-in-law, Benedicta).

The story of these letters is due to appear in a feature in the Sun newspaper in a few weeks on a

Saturday; more likely than not, June 28th.

It's been a real treat being involved and I hope this helps a little. All the best

Chris

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