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Capt H.W. Swannell M.C.


Transcript of Military Cross Citation

Brigade

14 Infantry

Division

3rd Indian

Unit

2 Bn The Black Watch (R.H.R.)

Date of
Recommendation

22 August 1944

Regtl. No.

201145

Rank and Name

Captain (Temporary) Hector William SWANNELL

Action for which recommended :-

During the action north of NATHKOKYIN on 8 May 1944, Capt Swannell was acting as Staff Officer to the Commanding Officer and a force consisting of 6 Infantry Platoons.

Throughout the action lasting some five hours, Capt Swannell with complete disregard for his own personal safety organised with admirable judgement the immediate defence of the Command Post, and on several occasions undertook hazardous journeys to outlying platoons to co-ordinate their actions. It may be said that, as a result of his efforts, the first Japanese counter-attack was beaten off with heavy casualties.

It subsequently became necessary to break off the engagement and a party of approximately 90 men including eleven casualties was faced with an exceptionally difficult march over mountainous country to rejoin the main body. Capt Swannel was a member of this party. The early part of the march lay through Jap infested territory, and before marching Capt Swannell carried out recces of enemy positions by himself and gained information which enabled the party to slip through the enemy net carrying its casualties.

During the 24 hour march, when all ranks were becoming exhausted from lack of food and recently concluded action, Capt Swannell's personal example of fortitude, courage and determined spirit was a great source of inspiration to all ranks, and were in a great measure responsible for the safe arrival of the party to the main body.

On 16 July 1944, Capt Swannell was 2 i/c of the company attacking PUNGAN. He was in command of two platoons ordered forward after the initial clash to feel their way towards the village. Strong opposition was encountered and as the positions reached by the two platoons were untenable, Capt Swannell was ordered by his Column Commander to withdraw. This proved to be a most difficult operation,  but Capt Swannell with great skill and the utmost coolness in the face of heavy enemy fire organised mortar support and successfully extricated the force under his command.

Capt Swannell has previously rendered outstanding service in CRETE, SYRIA and TOBRUK.


Recommended By

Lt-Colonel G.G. Green,
Commanding, 2 Bn The Black Watch (R.H.R.)

Honour or Reward

Military Cross

Signed By

Major General W.D.A. Lentaigne
Comd. Special Force

General G. Giffard
Commander-in-Chief 11 Army Group


(London Gazette 26.04.1945)

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