An emotive First/Second day of Loos, Attack on Hill 70 Officer Casualty group.
To 2ndLieutenant H.L.St George Swallow, 10thService battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment. Present on the Western front from the 10th September 1915, and was Killed in Action on the 25th September 1915, the First Day of the Battle of Loos, although possibly actually Killed on the 26th, having been wounded in the right arm earlier that morning, and despite instructions from his Adjutant to return to the rear for treatment, was then observed to have gone into action whilst wounded during the charge at Hill 70 on the 26th September 1915
1914-15 star, 2 Lieut H.L. St.G. Swallow. York & Lanc R; British War and Victory medals, 2.Lieut H.L.St.G Swallow; Memorial Plaque Harvey Lancelot St.George Swallow.
Harry Lancelot Saint George Swallow was born on the 2ndAugust 1896 in Weston Favell, Northamptonshire, the son of Reverend William Swallow M.A. Rector of Weston Favell, and his wife Amelie. Educated at Saint Edmund’s school in Caterbury, with the outbreak of the Great War he volunteered for service in August 1914, and was gazette as a 2ndLieutenant with the York and Lancaster Regiment on the 23rdFebruary 1915.
Posted the the 10thservice Battalion, he arrived on the Western Front on the 10thSeptember 1915, and was then killed in action during the morning of the second day of the Battle of Loos on the 26thSeptember 1915, being killed during the Battalions action at Hill 70, having made a charge on the position the day before.
CWGC states that Swallow was killed in action on the 25th, the First day of the Battle of Loos, however a letter by his Adjutant wrote to Swallows mother and stated that:
“Your boy was with me through the night of the 25th, he was wounded just before dawn on Sunday 26th, but for some time said nothing about it. We were digging ourselves in at the time. I then noticed he was working with the left hand only, and found he had been wounded in the right arm… Having made him comfortable, I told him to go to the rear and see the Doctor. About half and hour later he came back and asked me to be allowed to stay. I then told him he had far better go to the rear and find the field ambulance. He left me then, that would have been about 8 am on Sunday 26th, the shell fire was terrible, but I feel convinced he would find his way back. It is possible he found some men without officers, and took them forward, or it is just possible he may have been hit on his way back. But as the fight surged backwards and forwards over the ground all day on Sunday it is difficult to say… I, too am anxious to discover what has become of one I esteemed as a friend and was proud of as a brave and efficient officer. I cannot speak too highly of his conduct during the Great Advance.”
It is a letter from his servant, written whilst in hospital in England at Homerton which seems to confirm that he was in fact killed on the 26th September, Swallow having clearly disregarded part of his Adjutants instructions, the officers servant wrote:
“I saw Lieutenant Swallow on the day which I was wounded, when I fell he stopped to shake hands with me, but he had no time to stay, as the enemy were advancing on us, I could see he was wounded himself, but he went on with his duty, and helped in the charge on Hill 70”
Swallow has no known grave, and is commemorated by name on the Loos Memorial, His medals were sent to his mother who by that time was a widow, andresiding at Coventry Preparatory Scool, Coventry, Warwickshire.
With copied images taken from De Ruvigny’s Roll, and second from the Imperial War Museum
Medals with separate wearing pins, as probably worn by a relative, generally Good Very Fine..