Robert Tait McSwain

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: October 1913
  • Place of enlistment: Glasgow
  • Service no: CH/18204
  • Rank: Private
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Light Infantry
  • Unit/Ship: H.M.S. Theseus
  • Place of Death: H.M.S. Theseus
  • Age at Death: 21
  • Date of Death: 28.07.1918
  • Burial Country: Greece
  • Cemetery: Syra New British Cemetery
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Spec. Memorial, 6

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 208 Strathmartine Road, Dundee.
  • Occupation: Grocer
  • Mother:

    Isabella McSwain, 27 Crichton St, Dundee

  • Father:

    Alexander McSwain, 27 Crichton St, Dundee

  • Siblings:


  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about Robert Tait McSwain

Robert was the brother of Pte Alexander McSwain 9243, 1st Battalion, Black Watch, who was killed in action 09.05.1915.

According to the ships log, Robert died aboard H.M.S. Theseus and was buried the day after his death.

Robert Tait McSwain   CH/18204   Royal Marine Light Infantry

Private Robert Tait McSwain, R.M.L.I., eldest son of Mr and Mrs Alexander McSwain, 27 Crichton Street, Dundee, has died from the effects of dysentery.  Deceased was 22 years of age.

Dundee Courier 1st August 1918

Robert T McSwain was the son of Mr Alexander and Mrs Isabella McSwain of 208 Strathmartine Road, Dundee. He was a Grocer when, in October 1913 , he volunteered to join the Royal Marines Light Infantry in Glasgow in October 1913. He completed his recruit training at the Royal Marine Barracks at Deal in Kent before being drafted to the Chatham Division. In October 1914 he went to Dunkirk with the Royal Marine Brigade during the Antwerp battle. On the Brigade’s return to England he was drafted to the old battleship HMS Magnificent acting as a Guardship for the Grand Fleet anchorage at Scapa Flow. He remained with the Magnificent until June 1915 when he was transferred to HMS Theseus. It is likely he joined the ship, an elderly cruiser, whilst she was in refit being given protective bulges against torpedo hits before being sent to the Eastern Mediterranean to support Allied forces at the Dardanelles, the Adriatic and Salonika . She spent most of 1917 anchored in Suda Bay in Crete, moving in late November to the island of Milos in the Cyclades. The Ship’s Log for 28 July 1918 reads “11.40pm: CH/18204 Robert Tait McSwain, Pte. RMLI passed away”. He died of illness, most likely influenza, and was buried the next day on Syra, a Greek Island in the Cyclades.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Information supplied by Gary Thomson, additional information kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie


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