John Swayne

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John Swayne
Born 1890
Died 1964 (aged 73 or 74)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1911–1946
Rank Lieutenant-General
Unit Somerset Light Infantry
Commands held 1st Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
4th Infantry Division
South-Eastern Command
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Lieutenant-General Sir John George des Reaux Swayne KCB CBE (1890–1964) was a senior British Army officer who became General Officer Commanding South-East Command.

Military career[edit]

Born the son of William Swayne, Bishop of Lincoln,[1] Swayne was commissioned into the Somerset Light Infantry in 1911.[2] He served in World War I spending most of it as a prisoner of war.[2] After the War he was appointed Aide-de-camp to the General Officer Commanding Western Command in India before becoming Adjutant of his Regiment in 1924.[2] He became a General Staff Officer at the War Office in 1927 and Brigade Major for 7th Infantry Brigade in 1929.[2] He was made Military Assistant to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff in 1930 and Chief of Staff for the International Force for the Saar Plebiscite in Germany in 1934.[2] He was selected to be Commanding Officer of 1st Bn Royal Northumberland Fusiliers in 1935 and Chief Instructor at the Staff College, Camberley in 1937.[2]

He served in World War II initially as Head of the British Military Mission to the French General Headquarters and then as General Officer Commanding 4th Division from 1941.[2] He was appointed Chief of the General Staff for Home Forces in 1942 and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South Eastern Command in 1942.[2] His final appointment was as Chief of the General Staff in India in 1944; he retired in 1946.[2]


Military offices
Preceded by
Ralph Eastwood
General Officer Commanding the 4th Division
Succeeded by
John Hawkesworth
Preceded by
Bernard Montgomery
GOC-in-C South-Eastern Command
1942 – 1944
Succeeded by
Edmond Schreiber
Preceded by
Edwin Morris
Chief of the General Staff (India)
Succeeded by
Arthur Smith