William Swan

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: 11 August 1914
  • Place of enlistment: Glasgow
  • Service no: PO/17417
  • Rank: Private
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Light Infantry
  • Unit/Ship: Portsmouth Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Age at Death: 18
  • Date of Death: 06.05.1915
  • Burial Country: Turkey/Gallipoli
  • Cemetery: Helles Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 2 to 7

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 3 Ellen Street, Dundee
  • Occupation: Apprentice Fitter
  • Mother:

    Isabella Scott Young Swan, 3 Ellen St, Dundee

  • Father:

    Robert Swan, 3 Ellen St, Dundee

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about William Swan

William Swan was born in Dundee and was the son of Mr Robert and Mrs Isabella Scott Young Swan of 3 South Ellen Street, Dundee. He was an Apprentice Fitter when he volunteered to join the Royal Marines Light Infantry in Glasgow on 11 August 1914. After initial training at the Royal Marines base at Deal in Kent he was deployed to Dunkirk in France from mid September to mid October. During this period Royal Marines were sent to Ostende in Belgium as part of the Royal Naval Division to divert German forces away from France and, later, to Antwerp to help defend the city from German attack. After October he returned to Britain and joined the Portsmouth Battalion. He would be involved in more advanced military training as the Royal Naval Division was brought up to strength after losses at Antwerp. At the end of February 1915 all four Royal Marine Battalions and five Royal Naval Battalions sailed for the Middle East. After the failure of the Allied Navies to force a passage through the Dardanelles it was decided to land troops on Gallipoli and, at the end of April, the landings took place. William Swan was killed in action during the Second Battle of Krithia, an unsuccessful attempt to take the high ground overlooking the Allies foothold on Gallipoli. His body was not recovered and he is commemorated on the Helles Memorial on Gallipoli.

William has no known grave but is remembered on the Helles Memorial.

William Swan   PO/17417   Royal Marine Light Infantry

SWAN___Killed in action in the Dardanelles, Private William Swan, P.O. 17417, R.M.L.I., second son of Robert Swan, 3 Ellen Street.

Dundee People’s Journal 3rd July 1915

Additional information kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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