The purpose of this page is to gather 
whatever I come across re 

My immediate connection to the name 
is through my mother, 
one of four siblings born to
Roy Leonard Swadling 
Bridget Teresa Dillon.

* a few references to Pa (Roy Leonard Swadling) can be found here..

TROVE TATTLES  (Dillon Swadling entries)

Swadling heading courtesy of
Robyn McNamara nee Swadling
© Robyn McNamara

In no particular order, I will add bits and pieces as I come across them. If you think you may have a connection, or can add more to the story of anyone mentioned, please feel free to contact me via the email address in 
A work in progress...



this is a change of venue 
from what you may have originally seen.
Nathan Swadling is the one to contact. 
We look forward to seeing you there.


S. Swadling
Photograph appears on p. 25 of The Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to the Queenslander, 8 June, 1918
  • SWADLING Stephen : Service Number - 53294 : Place of Birth - Gracemere QLD : Place of Enlistment - Maryborough QLD : Next of Kin - (Wife) SWADLING Thyrza Mary Eliza

     This is the first page of 18 in Stephen's military file..

    You can retrieve the full file easily from SODA by typing in the barcode..  http://soda.naa.gov.au/item/8097374 as I have done here. These records can tell us a lot about a person, though not all are as complete as this.

    Date of Birth: 16th Jan 1885
    Age: 33 years 2 months
    Born: in or near Gracemere, Qld
    Occupation: Miner

    Wife: Thyrza Mary Eliza Swadling

    Address : March Lane. Maryborough Qld
    Day of enlistment: 3rd April 1918
    Joined the 9th Battalion
    5'6" tall 37" chest

    Sent to Sydney, embarked on the "Osterley" to Liverpool, Southampton, on to France..lost his service badge and had to submit a statutory declaration. You can also see why he was hospitalised..

    BDM HISTORICAL BIRTHS QLD has the following entry..

1885 C9304 Stephen Swadling  James  Sarah Norman 


Glebe, NSW
Courtesy of TROVE
researched by Robyn (Swadling) McNamara


Elizabeth Catherine Harriet (Rose) Swadling

Narrow Escape from Death by Snakebite.
A case of snakebite, which nearly proved fatal, occurred (says the Herald) at Webb's Creek, near Wiseman's Ferry, on Saturday afternoon last. 
Mrs. Swadling, wife of a farmer, was going bare-footed to the well, a little distance from the house, when looking over the cornfield, to see whether any cattle had strayed into the cultivation, she suddenly felt something pricking her right foot as if she had trodden upon a thorn. 
On looking down, she noticed a brown snake, about three feet long, on which she unconsciously had stepped, just in the act of putting the fangs into her left foot as well. With great presence of mind Mrs. Swadling frustrated the design of the snake and rushed back to the house, where, in the absence of her husband, she herself did everything to prevent the poison from circulating through her veins, by tying a tape as tightly as she could around the leg just above the ankle, and by making an incision where bitten, large and deep enough to cause the blood to flow freely, thus carrying off most of the injected poison.
Her mother and sister-in-law in the meantime sought help from neighbours; and whatever antidotes they had ready at hand -  such as brandy, salt, etc - were applied at once, so as to counteract the ill effects. 
However, Mrs. Swadling did not get off so easily; she fell from one fit into another, and for hours it seemed very doubtful whether her life could be saved. 
Towards midnight, however, she showed favourable symptoms of recovery. But the following afternoon fresh alarming symptoms appeared, and the help of the medical gentleman residing at St. Albans was sought, and under his treatment the patient is fast recovering.


The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) 
Sat 12 Feb 1887  Page 11
Maitland Mercury Tuesday 15 February 1887
The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889) Wednesday 16 February 1887 p 4 
The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922) Wednesday 16 February 1887 p 4
South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889) Saturday 19 February 1887 p 10

researched by Robyn (Swadling) McNamara
SWADLING children
Peace Day Celebrations

researched by Robyn (Swadling) McNamara

Thurs. 6 Nov, 1919


click to enlarge

 Bridget was my grandmother, born Clonboula, near Ennis, on 10 February, 1901. She was the second daughter and the 6th child of 12, born to Patrick Dillon and Ellen McGuane. 
She emigrated to Australia abt. 1923, married ROY LEONARD SWADLING on 21st August, 1924, in Dorrigo. They had 4 children, a son and 3 daughters...she died at just 40yrs 9 months of TB.

(c) RSwadling
Roy Leonard SWADLING b.1898, taken WW1 1918



born in 1894, in Sydney, to Cornelius (Con) Richard Swadling and
Ellen (Helen) Dobbie. 
In 1923, in Petersham, NSW, he married Margaret Irene Leslie (b 1894). He was living in Coff's Harbour, NSW, when the following took place.

I am yet to find the outcome of this court case... if anyone can tell me, I'd appreciate it.  I did find this, a happy occasion in 1949...

SWADLING-GALE - November 13, 1949 St. Augustine's Church, Coff's Harbour. Thelma Raye, third daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Gale, to Maxwell Richard, eldest son of of Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Swadling of Coff's Harbour.

THANKS to DavidL, who you will see commented on this post below and kindly gave me the links to follow up on this case.. While we still can't find what I suspect is all there is to learn about this case, this goes a long way to giving some answers..

Friday 17 August, 1945

Friday 31 August, 1945

So, now we wait, to see the final outcome...
Thanks, David.



Courtesy of TROVE

Truth, Sunday, June 26, 1949

 Please click to enlarge

Same story, different version

Courtesy of TROVE

The Sunday Sun and Guardian, June 26, 1949

Please click to enlarge

I have left the complete pages as I thought my readers might find other articles as interesting as I did.
Clippings courtesy of Robyn McNamara (nee Swadling)------------------


by Robyn McNamara (nee Swadling)


James Swadling was born in Erina, Gosford, NSW on 17 May 1857 to parents James Pattison Swadling (an 18-year-old sawyer) and Jane Swadling.

James P's parents had emigrated from Seddlescombe, Ssx in 1838, with James P being born just two months after their arrival in Sydney. His wife Jane nee Pettit had emigrated in 1854 from Cambridgeshire.

Since his father James P was involved in the timber industry, James Jnr followed - working as a teamster on the Central Coast and in Sydney. Along the way he met Elizabeth Rose, granddaughter of two convicts. They married on 25 May 1881 in Webbs Creek - this union producing ten children. 

James was aged 58 but thought that with his knowledge of horses, teams and blacksmithing he would be of vital use to the war effort. With that in mind he dropped his age ten years and enlisted on 20 September 1915 at Holdsworthy, Sydney. He was accepted and his records ten days later show that 
#1405 Trooper James Swadling 5'6½" tall, 
of dark complexion having brown hair and blue eyes 
was in the 2nd Remount Division - 5th Squadron 
which had been formed in Sydney in September that year. 

He was listed as a 49-year-old driver (of horses as he had never driven a car) and would earn the princely sum of five shillings a day to live in the desert and see war at close hand.

By the time they arrived in Egypt however, the evacuation of Gallipoli was imminent. When the Light Horse left for Gallipoli in 1915, they left behind detachments to take care of the horses. To free these men to rejoin their regiments, two remount units were formed, each of four squadrons. Accordingly, at the end of March 1916 the units were reduced by half, each contributing two squadrons to a single remount unit. 

Following the evacuation of Gallipoli in December 1915, the Australian and New Zealand forces in Egypt underwent a period of reorganisation and expansion. It was decided to expand the AIF from two infantry divisions to four (later five). 

Fortunately in James' case (or so it was thought) the maximum age for enlistment was set at 50. 

These reinforcements, containing a high proportion of Boer War veterans and expert horsemen, embarked on 10 Nov 1915 on the HMAT Orsova from Sydney. As was the case, the older men with experience with horses were put in charge of the animals and not allowed in the main theatre of fighting. 

I ANZAC Corps was initially commanded by General Alexander Godley and comprised the three "veteran" ANZAC divisions\'97 the Australian 1st and 2nd Divisions and the newly formed New Zealand Division. The corps' divisions were initially manning the defences east of the Suez Canal against the anticipated Turkish invasion of Egypt.

James, in the Second Remounts was in support of those fighting campaigns in Sinai and the Suez. Members of the division carried out their first offensive action, crossing the Suez Canal, in the Jifjafa raid between 11 and 14 April 1916.

It is said that the distinguished reputation of Australian horses in the Sinai and Palestine campaigns was in no small part due to the work of the remount units, which were responsible for their training.

On 13 March 1916, under the command of General Sir William Birdwood - the original commander of the ANZAC - the corps began the process of embarking for France but by this time James was in the 3rd Aust General Hospital for kidney related problems. Wife Elizabeth was informed of this in a letter on 23 Mar 1916 which only stated he was "suffering from mild illness".

He was still serving overseas when his father James P died on 14 May 1916 in Leichhardt.

On 9 Jun 1916 James was recommended for discharge from the Abbassia station on the grounds he was "permanently unfit and too old for active service." They had discovered his real age was 59 and he was sent home from Suez per HT Sydney on the grounds of "Senility and Eramillis Kidney".

So there is no great, heroic, Hollywood-style war story for James Swadling - he wasn't a young man seeking adventure as was the case for so many. He probably didn't think he could go over there by himself to win the war in a couple of weeks either. He was a simple man of the bush who, despite his advanced years, answered the call when his country asked and thought his skills could somehow make a difference. And probably the army were happy to take older, experienced men so possibly didn't do too much inspection of the applicant.

James was aged about 69 when he died on 30 May 1926 of Broncho Pneumonia in RPA Hospital Sydney.

He was buried in the Church of England section in Waverley Cemetery on 1 Jun 1926. 

James was my great grandfather and I thank him for his courage and service. RIP  Robyn McNamara nee Swadling


by Robyn McNamara (nee Swadling)


At nearly age 18, Roy Leonard Swadling enlisted as Regl No. 1235 with the "North Coasters" Route March on Sunday, 23rd January 1916 in Coffs Harbour. They became known officially as Carmichael's Riflemen's Club or unofficially as 'Carmichael's Thousand', taking the name from the NSW Minister for Public Information Ambrose Carmichael. 

Married men were insured for the princely sum of £300 (donated by local residents to pay premiums) and towns and neighbours issued challenges to each other.

Roy would have been encouraged to enlist as there were constant appeals and notices in the newspapers around the state for men, especially those belonging to rifle clubs, to fight for their country.

Roy was put into the 36th Battalion which became part of the 9th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division.

It was noted on his enlistment form that his father James was also with the Expeditionary Forces (with the 2nd Remounts). He had formerly been in the Citizens Forces - the Militia. It was no wonder that they were given a rousing reception for those already at camp as this meant their numbers had swelled to nearly 2000 men.

There were raffles run to ensure soldiers left with a wristwatch costing about 40 shillings and socks were being knitted by women and schoolchildren before the soldiers left.

Roy Swadling embarked on the HMAT 'Beltana' in Sydney as a Private on 13th May 1916 in 'D' Company - the same as cousin John James (Jack) Swadling.

It's not known if Roy was informed of the death of his grandfather James the day after his embarkation.

Although the Beltana was supposed to sail to Egypt via Albany in Western Australia, the urgency of troops needed in France meant the destination was changed to England. They arrived there on 9th July 1916 and spent the next four months in training at the Lark Hill, Durrington camp on the Salisbury Plains in Wiltshire. 

The Bn crossed to France via Southampton on 22nd November, arriving at Steenwerck, France a few days later. It moved into the trenches of the Western front in the Armentieres sector for the first time on 4th December 1916, just in time for the onset of the terrible winter of 1916-17. 

The men were usually rotated one week in and one week out of the front line. When out of the front line the Bn was housed in billets at locations west of Armentieres.

The Battle of Messines launched at 3.10am on 7th June 1917 was its first major battle. This was the battle's storyline in "Beneath Hill 60" about the miners who tunnelled under the German lines successfully, causing the biggest explosion on earth until that date. Nineteen underground mines were exploded along the several mile front line, from the south at Ploegsteert Woods to the north near Ypres. The shock could be felt across the English Channel at Dover.

The battalion held the ground captured during the battle for several days afterwards and was subjected to intense artillery bombardment. One soldier wrote that holding the line at Messines was far worse than taking it.

Roy was wounded in action near the Ploegsteert (Plugstreet) Woods in Belgium on 11th June 1917. He was admitted for a gunshot wound to the thigh and shell shock and was treated by the 9th Australian Field Ambulance, then moved to 12th Australian Field Ambulance where he was treated for abrasions, his wound and shell shock further treated. 

Roy was then moved to the Division Rest Station where he stayed until 26th June.

On 13th June the 9th Bde Commander placed a recommendation "this soldier who was conspicuous for his bravery and gallantry in the recent offensive." Roy was discharged to duty in Belgium (Messines) on 29th June 1917 and three days later was awarded the Military Medal.

On 29th June his family were also notified of his injury.

His mother Elizabeth received a letter from the Base Records Office dated 17th January 1918 stating "the London Gazette dated 14th August 1917 had printed an article relating to the conspicuous service rendered by your son..." This was also published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette #219 of 20th Dec 1917.

Meanwhile his cousin John had died of shrapnel wounds to the stomach on July 4.

On 23rd July Roy reported sick. He was treated by the 9th Australia Field Ambulance for scabies then transferred to the 20 General Hospital at Camiers where he stayed for four days. He was then transferred to the 3rd Australian Division Base Depot at Rouelles where he stayed for two days before being admitted to the 39 General Hospital at Havre.

His promotion to Cpl on 21st October was due to the death of Cpl Charlton who was listed as KIA.

When the German Army launched its last great offensive in the Spring of 1918 on 8th August, the battalion was part of the force deployed to defend the approaches to Amiens around Villers-Bretonneux. It took part in a counter-attack at Hangard Wood on 30th March, and helped to defeat a major drive on Villers-Bretonneux on 4th April. 

The fighting to defeat the German offensive had exacted a heavy toll upon the 3rd Division, and the 9th Brigade in particular. Reinforcements from Australia were dwindling and thus it was decided to disband one of the 9th Brigade's battalions to reinforce the other two. The 36th was the battalion selected. In what one of the battalion's officers called an "unselfish act" the 36th disbanded on 30th April 1918.

On 8th May 1918 Roy was transferred to the 33rd Bn ex Base Dep France.

On 21st June, he was involved in a reconnaissance action for which he was recommended to be mentioned in the Corps Orders "For conspicuous courage on the afternoon of 21st June, 1918, North East of Villers Bretonneux. Cpl Swadling, MM, showed great courage during a daylight reconnaissance of No-Man's Land, and subsequent raid on enemy front line when an endeavour was made to capture two Germans. He entered the trench and remained there until the party were forced to retire owing to the approach of an enemy Machine Gun Team."

On 3rd July 1918 Roy was "Congratulated for gallantry and devotion to duty during a daylight reconnaissance of No-Man's Land and subsequent raid on enemy front line on afternoon of 21-6-1918."

Roy was part of the Battalion's famed 8th August Offensive south of the Somme River which was the precursor to the end of the war 100 days later. Again thankfully he came through unscathed. 

Roy was with the Battalion when they fought their last battle at the end of September near Le Catelet (east of the Hindenburg Line). It was the last battle because by the order of the then Australian Prime Minister William "Billy" Hughes, all Australian Division had to be withdrawn from all front line duties from the 2nd October 1918. 

The 33rd disbanded in May 1919. 

Roy's war was not quite over and he must have celebrated a little too much because on 17th May 1919 Roy had to attend a District Court Martial held at Havre charged with "While on active service leave drunkenness on 12 May 1919". He was found guilty and deprived of seven days' pay. This was confirmed by Brig. Gen A R Burrows. Who could blame him after so many years of war?

Roy was left with a permanent limp caused when shrapnel was deflected by his utility belt on his hip. He had also been gassed but later said that nothing was done on his return about that. In his words he "just got off the bus and went on with life". 

Roy was discharged on 15th November 1919 and was awarded a Military Medal, BWM, BVM, MID.

I thank him for his sacrifice and courage. Roy was my great uncle in more ways than one. RIP     Robyn McNamara nee Swadling

(Roy was my maternal grandfather, known as Pa. Crissouli)


In Memoriam

Edmund Wood Lane Swadling was born on 11th July, 1891, to Cornelius and Anna Louisa  (nee Lane) Swadling. He passed away on 31st August, 1949.

He was the grandson of William Swadling and Elizabeth Watson, great grandson of Stephen Swadling and Lydia Stapley.



by Robyn McNamara (nee Swadling)


This is a tribute to my uncle, Roy Leonard Swadling, NX30509, who joined the 15th Lighthorse regiment at Dundurrabin. Roy was part of the 8th Division's 27th Brigade in the AIF 2/30 Bn that trained in Sydney, Tamworth and Bathurst in HQ Coy Carrier section under Lieutenant Colonel Frank Gallagher "Black Jack" Galleghan.

On 9th August Roy marched into Bathurst and on 17th September embarked on the Sibajak (HMT "JJ") and arrived three weeks later in Singapore. Once in Singapore Roy's daily wage went up from 50 cents to 60 cents per day.

Roy transferred from the Light Horse to the Bren Carrier #12 crew where he was to be a driver mechanic. A member of the 2/30th told me that the carriers at Gemas were used more as tractors. Their jobs at the end were to pull the anti tank guns out of positions after heavy rain when they were bogged.

On 23rd November the battalion received its first warning order "Awake" from the Division. Over the next couple of hours these warnings changed to "Armour" and by 7.30pm all troops and officers were recalled from leave. The manning of all strategic points were completed by 10pm.

On the 30th Roy wrote that they had gone into town and was "at the pictures when a call came through for everyone to return to camp. Inside ten minutes everyone was on the way. It looked like something was on."

On 6th December receipt of the code word "Raffles" meant that imminence of war with Japan was realised and all preparations were made for a sudden move by the battalion. At this stage the battalion's role was to counter attack in support of the 2/19th Bn near the crossroads at Jemaluang.

On 7th December the Japanese destroyed the Pacific American fleet at Pearl Harbor naval base and invaded Hong Kong and the Philippines. 

At 10pm three Japanese transports landed on Sabak-Badang Beach in Kota Bahru in Malaya, putting ashore more than 12,000 men unopposed. Simultaneously 16 transports stood off the Siamese coast preparing to land the first wave of the Japanese 5th Division at Singora and Patani in Thailand.

From 11th Dec the Japanese had engaged the British and Indian divisions in the north and within two days they were in full retreat.

On 13th December 1941 Roy's HQ Coy carriers moved to occupy the bivouac areas along Kluang road to Jemaluang. A side piece in the war diary noted that the "morale of all troops was excellent".

A war diary recorded on 2 Jan 1942 noted that while "equipment had been coming to hand at a reasonably good rate, only three pairs of binoculars had been issued out of an entitlement of 77 pairs" and they had not received any telescopes or signalling equipment. They had also had "great difficulty obtaining motor tools and parts - they were unable to get any of the usual tools and parts required for ordinary maintenance work. Parts for the repairs to the small arms, especially Bren parts, have been hard to get."

To brother Henry and his wife Lorna Roy voiced his concerns about only having "sticks and stones to throw at them" and thought that "Singapore would fall".

Bennett inspected the Gemencheh River bridge, 10 miles from Gemas, which the Australian general had chosen as the site for a major ambush of the advancing Japanese.

Roy and his fellow men of HQ Coy carriers lay in wait at a road block on 14th January. It is recorded that it was a brilliant ambush and the first AIF attack against the Japanese. The 2/30th suffered 20 killed or missing believed dead and 58 wounded. The Japanese casualties were thought to be about 800. However, since no trenches had been dug, and the Japanese began bombing the area a withdrawal was ordered by Galleghan and the troops reported back to headquarters at noon on 15th January.

British "A" Company's Major Anderson later commented: "The well-trained Australian units showed a complete moral ascendance of the enemy. They outmatched the Japs in bushcraft and fire control ... enabling the Australian to inflict heavy casualties at small cost to themselves. In hand-to-hand combat fighting (the enemy) made a very poor showing against the superior spirit and training of the AIF."

Australian commander Percival said, "our little force by dogged resistance had held up a division of the Japanese Imperial Guards attacking with all the advantages of air and tank support for nearly a week, and in doing so had saved the Segamat force from encirclement and probable annihilation."

Even the Japanese 5th Army paid tribute to the valour of the troops who had fought at Gemas and Muar. In fact the 2/30th was the only battalion mentioned in Japanese dispatches for their expertise in jungle warfare.

On that day Roy wrote: "Just a note this time to let you know that I am still OK and going strong." He supposed "you have heard by now that we have been in action. We were the first of the AIF to hit the Japs and did we hit them? (I'll say!)"

On 3rd February, after three weeks on the front line, Roy wrote: "Just at present sitting in the shade of our pit taking things easy while I can." He said he hadn't "even got a scratch... but I suppose I'd better touch wood."

They had been told that the enemy's casualties "have been at least 20 to 1 (so that's not bad for a start is it?)".

Roy acknowledged that although "we used to moan about the CO (Galleghan) being hard on us in Aussie, but our tune has changed now. It's marvellous the way he has got us out of holes and all he's done for us. There is no praise too high for him and this Bn will follow him through Hell and high water. No matter where you go our CO is spoken of as the best leader here."

His group had seen "about eight Jap bombers get hunted off" that morning. They had flown over "in formation and our anti aircraft guns opened on them and didn't they split! There were even little puffs of smoke all round them where our shells from the guns had burst and they were still following the planes when they went out of sight. One of the planes we saw heading north had a trail of smoke a mile long behind him and two of the others looked like they had been hit too. Then our fighters came out and the Japs went off home as fast as they could."

Early on 10th February Roy's battalion were in the Causeway sector in the Bukit Mandai area. They were being showered with debris from a Japanese bombing raid.

General Percival said that... "many of our troops looked more like miners emerging from a shift in the pits than fighting soldiers."
The Australians continued to withdraw under an attack by hundreds of enemy planes - five raids in 20 minutes.

They managed to explode an ammunition dump and moved to the vicinity of the Island Golf Club. Units became fragmentary and dispersed.

The "cease-fire" was reported to be in effect as from 4.30pm on 15th February. Many acted on it in good faith and some consciously deserted - feeling free to get away if they could.
The battalion never acknowledged a "surrender" as such but said they laid down their arms then marched into Changi prison
At the fall on Singapore after the Japanese invasion, Roy was wounded while his carrier crew was giving protective fire against enemy aircraft.

In evidence at an inquest held at Changi prison shortly after the Bn's arrival, it was stated that Roy was last seen by Cpl McCormick at B Echelon, Tyersall's Palace at 1730 hrs on February 15, 1942 - along with brother-in-law Calvert Sanderson (Driver Mechanic), Ptes EC Harrington (Gunner) and TC Sawers - loading a carrier with the intention of making a break northwards from the perimeter near the Sultan of Johore's Palace where they intended getting a boat to escape to Sumatra.
Although the Australian War Memorial records list Roy as Missing on 10/2/42 efforts are being made to correct this.
Roy is remembered on Column 133 at Kranji Cemetery, Singapore. His brother-in-law Calvert Sanderson, also in the same crew is on Column 132.
The 2/30th still celebrate "Gemas Day" as their very own Anzac Day.

Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1915 - 1954)
Thursday 27 June 1940 page 8

There was a large attendance of Dundurrabin and district residents at the Dundurrabin Hall, on Saturday last, at a dance organised by Mesdames McCudden and McGill. The opportunity was taken to bid farewell to several local boys who had enlisted in the 2nd A.I.F.  

Mr. Claire Sinclair congratulated the boys on the step they had taken, and wished them a safe return. Mr. Vincent McMahon, on their behalf, suitably responded, and Mr. Frank Chesson, of the A.I.F also suitably replied.  

The music was supplied voluntarily by Mrs. McGill and Miss Richardson. A chocolate waltz was won by Miss J. Black and Mr. Hewitt Richardson. Refreshments were provided at about midnight.  

The boys who enlisted from Dundurrabin and Billy's Creek, were Neil J. McGill and Stan Richardson, Nixon, Roy Swadling, Frank Chesson and Lyal Rhodes. 

Mr. McCudden acted as M.C.

and sadly

The Don Dorrigo Gazette and Guy Fawkes Advocate (NSW : 1910 - 1954) Friday 21 June 1946 Page 1

(From Our Correspondent)

Word has come through that Pte. Roy Swadling, a local boy, had previously been posted missing, is now presumed dead. Nothing has been heard since the fall of Singapore and much sympathy is extended to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Swadling and family, who recently moved from here to Nowra. Roy also leaves a wife and child.

We thank them for their sacrifice and honour their memory.
Robyn McNamara nee Swadling

National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15290171

Death Pearl Emma Swadling Nov 16, 1911 Sydney Morning Herald 18 Nov. 1911 

SWADLING.- November 16, 1911. Pearl Emma Grace Swadling,
late of 94 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont, aged 15 years. At rest.

Born 1896 to James Swadling and Elizabeth Catherine Harriet (nee Rose). Pearl was their seventh child of ten, and fourth daughter.

Birth Cert. Registry, NSW 18020/1896                   SWADLING   PEARLY E G   JAMES   ELIZABETH C H   WISEMANS FERRY
Death Cert.,Registry, NSW13189/1911
NB. Photo of headstone says Pearl Emma Grace..

Pearl Emma Grace
Pearl has been listed with a couple of different names:
NSWBDM #18020/1896
Pearly E G - Father James, Mother Elizabeth C H at Wisemans Ferry
NSWBDM #13189/1911
Pearlie Elizabeth Gladys - father James, mother Elizabeth at Sydney
also listed as
Pearlie Emma Gray Swadling
but a photo of one headstone states 'In loving memory of my dear daughter and our dear sister Pearl Emma Grace Swadling. Died 16th Nov 1911 aged 15 years 9 months. Rock of Ages cleft for me. Erected by her mother and brother Roy.'
There is another book-type memorial at Waverley Cemetery which she shares with sister Ivy Lydia and parents James and Elizabeth. This also has her name as Pearl Emma Grace.

Pearl's cause of death was Mitral Stenosis - a form of congenital heart disease - and she was aged 15 yrs 9mths
She had been ill for 7 days in Sydney Hospital. The witnesses at her funeral were listed as Albert C Leeming and Stephen Swadling.
At the time of her death the family were living at 94 Pyrmont St, Sydney. Father James, the informant, was a timber labourer.
SMH Tues 16 Nov 1915 p8
SWADLING.-In sad but loving memory of our dear daughter and sister, Pearl, who departed this life November 16, 1911.
A light from our home is gone,
A voice we loved is still,
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled.
Inserted by her loving mother and sisters. Dulcie, Ivy, Elsie, and Ray and Tom.
Ray is her sister Rachael and Ray's husband David who was known as Tom.

Source: NSW BDM, Robyn McNamara (nee Swadling) Roy Swadling (brother)


We Shall Remember Them


John James (Jack) Swadling, 28 years, had been employed as a Draper for Scotts Ltd Newcastle with Messrs H. W. Worms for 3 years and for the past few months with H. J. Geary in Singleton during the early years of WWI. He was recently engaged - perhaps to a Miss K Allsop.

He had no wish to fight, however, a family anecdote claims he was sent a 'white feather' indicating cowardice, so he joined the Army on 10 Jul 1916 in Newcastle as part of the 9th Training Bn.

He was a handsome, well-styled man, and, according to his enlistment papers, measured 5'9½" tall and weighed 140lbs. He had dark hair and blue-grey eyes.

John #2384 was part of the troops sent to England on the 'Borda', arriving on 21 Jan 1917. On 28th March he proceeded to France from Folkestone and marched out to his unit at the 3rd Australian Division Base Depot in Etaples. 

On 2 April he joined the 36th Bn in D Company.

On 4 Jun 1917, maybe prior to a big battle, John wrote a new Will bequeathing any real estate and personal items from his estate to his mother Gunella.

Shortly after 11pm on June 6, the eight attack-battalions of the 3rd Australian Division left their several camps and their billets between Romarin and Pont de Nieppe to move to Ploegsteert Wood and through it to the front. Soon the sound of exploding gas-shells gave way to the steady heavy drops of shells forcing them to don their gas masks. These masks, while making them immune against gas, restricted their breathing, causing distress under the effort of marching with their rifle, ammunition, tools, rations as well as the excitement of going into battle. The restricted vision of the troops in masks slowed the pace and horses and mules gasped piteously in the poisonous air.

The Germans shelled the wood more heavily, using 13,000 high-explosive and incendiary shells as well as 620 huge gas-bombs - one exploded a dump near the track of John's column close under Hill 63. This left half of the 9th, the main assaulting force, which suffered most severely; several trench-mortar and machine-gun crews were killed, wounded or gassed.

Finally around 2am the men made it through the Wood and with intense relief the half-exhausted men took off their masks and were able to take a long drink of water which had been specially stored there. At least 500 men had either been gassed or temporarily lost their direction.

The rain of gas-shells descended all night south of Hill 63 but on the Messines Ridge opposite an occasional white flare was the only indication that a German garrison existed. John's 36th Bn was in the centre of where 19 great mines were laid. Then at 3.10am a number of big guns began to fire and the trench-walls rocked. Near Whyschaete on the left, a huge mushroom-like bubble was swelling from the earth, then burst to cast a molten, rosy glow under the dense cloud above it.

The massed artillery was already firing and a machine-fun barrage broke out. The ridge faded from view and for two hours nothing could be seen of it from Hill 63 through a fog of smoke and dust. Some of the Australians closest to the mines suffered a scare as these mines were fired seven seconds before expected - making the Australians think the enemy had exploded a mine of his own.

The mine blew vast craters, as much as 300 feet wide and 50-70' deep along some 150 yards of trench. Enemy resistance was almost absent as a consequence of the moral shock to them - and they were found either surrendering or cowering in concrete shelters. Others had simply fled, leaving all behind. All were completely demoralised. It was difficult for the Australians to realise the danger of an enemy still present over the Ridge. Their duty now was to entrench themselves so strongly that the enemy could not retake the ridge as every man had heard of the new German system of counter-attacking.

John's Bn was part of a support line bending back across the old No-Man's Land. This was rendered difficult and dangerous by the barrage of direct German artillery fire from machine guns at medium range.

A large gun situated a mile and a half away from the flank, began firing only single shots, continuing steadily day and night. It was responsible for more than half the casualties on that flank.
John was treated by the 9th Aus Field Amb on 8 Jun 1917 suffering shell-shock and was released from hospital one week later.

On his release, on 12th June he was also appointed Lance Corporal and made Temporary Corporal in the field of the 2/36th Bn.

On Jul 3, in Messines, while in the trenches he and some of his troop went on a scouting mission but were unable to find anything. John was walking on the top edge of the trench when a random German shell was fired. Shrapnel hit him in the stomach and he was severely injured. He was treated by the 11th Field Ambulance but died after excruciating pain before reaching the dressing station.

Sgt RJ Conway #1091 reported that John "was in D Co. He was very dark, and about 5'9" in height. I saw him wounded by the same shell that killed R. C. Kirby, coming home from fatigues about July 3rd, on the top of Messines Ridge. He was taken away by the stretcher bearers. His cousin Corpl R. Swadling, MM of the 36th Batt (now with the Battalion) had word that he died of wounds. He may know where he is buried."

One of his comrades, writing since his death, says: "He will be a great loss to his company, as he was an example to all young men." 

The flags in town yesterday were half-masted out of respect to the deceased soldier.

He was the only Australian Swadling killed in WWI.
Cemetery or Memorial Details: BELGIUM 42 Kandahar Farm Cemetery Neuva-Eglise.

We thank them for their sacrifice and honour their memory.
Robyn McNamara nee Swadling


See mention in Deaths in this article...  

Centenary of the Great War



Coff's Harbour Advocate 1952



Richard Neary

Born 13th May, 1884

Erina, Gosford, Brisbane Water, NSW
James Swadling and Elizabeth Catherine Harriet Rose
She was their second child of ten and second daughter of six..

Sarah married Albert Claude Leeming
on 15 March, 1905, in Leichhardt, Sydney, NSW.

Albert Claude Leeming

 Sarah had an interesting mention in the press when she just 15..

[Windsor & Richmond Gazette, Saturday, January 20, 1900]
Thursday, January 11
(Before Messrs. T. Primrose, D. Mayne, J's. P.)

Frederick Wellington, arrested at Emu Plains, was brought up, on
remand from Penrith, on a charge of assaulting Sarah Elsie May Swadling with
intent, at Catherine-street, Windsor, on 6th January.
The accused , for whom Mr. George McCauley appeared, was remanded till
the following day, bail being refused
(Before Messrs. T. Primrose, W. H. Dean, J. Ross, and D Mayne, J's. P.)
Frederick Wellington was again brought up on the charge set out above.
Constable Murdock deposed that he received the accused into his custody on
the 10th inst.
Sarah Elsie May Swadling deposed that she was a spinster residing with
her parents in Catherine-street, Windsor, she knew the accused, and the
information was her;  On Saturday, 6th January, between 9 and 10 p.m. she saw accused in
Catherine-street, accused accosted her;  she had been downtown on a message;
he came up behind her and took hold of her clothes in front;  she said, "You
cruel wretch, let me go";  he said "No Elsie" and threw her on the ground,
and held her hands;  she screamed, and he let her go and ran away;  no one came to
her assistance;  when she was on the ground accused sat on her;  his actions
were indecent;  none of her clothing was damaged;  she was slightly
acquainted with him, and had spoken to him once before;  had only been four months in
Windsor;  accused had liquor in him at the time;  after it had occurred she
went to Mrs Brooks' in the same street;  she was too frightened and nervous
to go any further;  Mrs Brooks afterwards took her home;  as soon as she got home
she made a complaint to her father;  the sergeant was informed the same
night; never gave accused any encouragement;  she was 15 years and 8 months old.

To Mr. McCauley : She went out at night with other girls, but not
alone, or walking with boys;  her father had scolded her about going out, so that
she wouldn't go out;  had a sister 2 years older than herself;  there had been a
dispute about her sister going out;  had been out with her sister, not
latter [sic] than 10 p.m.;  accused was coming in the opposite direction when she
saw him first;  she said "Good-night Fred";  had only met him once before;  he
always called her by her Christian name;  accused escorted her home from
Hoskisson's at Clarendon once;  her sister went to take her home;  accused
did not take her home alone;  they became familiar enough to call one another by
their Christian names;  they had no conversation at the gate;  he kissed
her, but it was against her will;  did not scream then, or mention it to a soul;
she declined to answer why on the second occasion of meeting accused greeted
him by calling him Fred, when on the first occasion he treated her so
unproperly;  when he caught hold of her she was walking very fast;  he
behaved indecently;  he did not immediately trip her;  she knew it was accused when
he spoke, although she had only heard his voice once before;  He did not meet
her at the corner and escort her home;  he did not attempt to kiss her on that
occasion;  it was a dark night, and there were no people about;  accused
wore dark clothes;  she did not say "goodnight" when he left;  he never walked
with her on first occasion;  he went with her brother and sister;  never kept
company with accused. 

To the Police : She did not look upon being kissed as a great crime;
she went from her own home to Hoskisson's;  accused's sister was working with
her at Hoskisson's;  she did not accompany her or walk by her side;  the offence
took place on a footpath.Mary Ann Stubbs, widow, residing in Catherine-street, 
Windsor, deposed that she was standing on her verandah on Saturday night, 6th inst.;  it was
a dark night and no lamps were lit;  did not see the last witness on that night,
but heard the screams;  she sang out, "what is the matter";  there was no
answer;  just after that a man went by;  did not know who the man was;  he
was dressed in dark clothes;  the screams came from between her place and
Chaseling's, about 12 yards away;  had not seen complainant passing her
place at night.

Rosetta Brooks, married woman, residing at Catherine-street, deposed
that on the night inquestion, about 7.30 p.m., she heard a terrible scream;  it
came from a woman in the street;  soon after that the girl Elsie Swadling came
from the other side of the street and made a complaint and said she had received
a great fright from Wellington;  she was very much upset and stayed a little
while, and then went home;  witness did not see the accused;  had known
Elsie Swadling a few weeks;  when she came across to witness other people were
there; there was no dirt on her clothes;  no man was present;  they had a general
conversation afterwards, in which the girl took part;  her father passed,
and she called to him and went home after him;  saw the girl Swadling go down
with her brother and come back alone.

James Swadling, father of complainant, deposed that when his daughter
came home she seemed terribly frightened;  she made a certain complaint;  in
consequence he took her to the Senr.-Sergeant of police;  had not seen the
accused to his knowledge;  his daughter was not in the habit of going out at
night alone, except when sent on a message;  she gave him no trouble to look
after her.

To Mr. McCauley : He had never heard his daughter speak of accused;
did not know she was in the habit of calling people by their Christian names,
and meeting them;  he did not think she would meet in a friendly way a person
who had kissed her;  did not recollect scolding her for going out;  she had
asked to go out, and asked him to let the children go out with her;  he had had a
disputewith someone concerning his other daughter;  never knew his daughter
to be out after 10 p.m., only when they went to church, or the army;  when he
passed Brooks' she called out "Is that you, dad?" and came home after him;
she was not in the house more than two or three minutes before she made the

This closed the complainant's case.

Frederick Wellington, the accused, deposed that he knew Elsie
Swadling; remembered meeting her on Saturday, 6th inst.;  in George-street, Tommy
Jones was with him;  when he met her she said "Good-night, Fred";  he said
"Good-night, Elsie";  she stopped, and he asked Jones to wait a bit, and
went back to her;  she asked him to walk home with her;  they went together and
got hold of each other's hands;  they walked down George-street again and turned
into Catherine-street;  between Stubbs' and Chaseling's they stopped;  she
said "I must go home";  and he said "alright," and with that put his arm around
her neck with the intention of kissing her;  she let out a scream, and with that
they parted;  she said "good-night, Fred," and he answered "good-night,
Elsie"; she walked home and he walked up the street again;  that was all that
occurred; on a previous occasion he had seen her home from Hoskisson's;  he put his
arm around her neck then, and she put her arm around his neck;  they kissed each
other and said "good-night";  on the 6th theywere having a similar

To the police : She had hold of his finger;  he thought Tommy Jones
saw them;  they were swinging hands;  she bade him good-night after the scream;
he did not touch her clothes;  he was perfectly sober;  he had had four drinks;
when he left the girl he walked as slow as he could.

Frederick William Jones deposed that he was with the accused on the
night in question;  saw Elsie Swadling when he was with accused;  they both said
good-night;  they walked down George-street together;  he was a friend of
accused's;  had one drink with him;  accused drank soda;  the girl was
waiting for accused, and he went away with her;  did not see him holding her by the
hand;  they walked away together;  accused had some drink in him;  he was
not quite sober;  did not see him after;  he walked six yards in front of them.
Accused was committed to take his trial at Sydney on 12th February

Bail was allowed, self in 40 pounds, and one surety in 40 pounds.

Sarah (Elsie) and Albert had two girls and five boys...
Dorothy May (1879), Hazel (1907), Richard James (1909), Allan Claude (1911-1912), Albert Kenneth (1915-1918), Kenneth (1916), Leonard (1917).

Sarah died on May 1st, 1962.  Albert (born 1879) died on 21 June, 1919.


This is a swag of clippings all Swadlings... are you connected? If so, please leave a comment so we can learn who they all are...

Brisbane Courier Mail Sat 5 Nov 1949

Jean daughter of Ralph W. Swadling

Brisbane Telegraph 1 April 1948
Loraine Marie
Daughter of C.V. Swadling

Brisbane Telegraph 20 May 1954
Coleen Mary
 daughter of Colin and Theresa
sister to Lauraine and Danny Swadling

Rockhampton Morning Bulletin 4 Nov 1950 
C.K. Swadling

Sydney Morning Herald 24 Aug 1946

Betty Swadling

 Richmond River Express & Casino Kyogle Advertiser 1923

Swadlings Rule!


Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), Friday 5 June 1896, page 3


 Extracted pages  2 & 3, from 8.

Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), Friday 5 June 1896, page 3 

"Swadling, Catherine nee Munro 55th birthday "
Comment on TROVE by researcher






The following items are from the Australian War Memorial Rolls..

You can search for any name here

This is a compilation of the SWADLINGs I came across.
There are some I don't know. Some appear in several different lists.


  1. My great aunt Emily Bridget Slattery married on 21Oct1919 to John James Patterson SWADLING. Have photo of their two sons taken in WW2. Also photos of EmB. Happy to share.


  2. Vicki, how lovely to hear from you. I don't have a great deal on John James Patterson/Pattison Swadling, but I do have an entry for your great Aunt, no photos though. I'd be more than happy to share information. You can find my email address by going to the HOME page in the panel at the top of the page and looking in About Me.
    I look forward to hearing from you. I'm sure there are others in the family who may have more than I do to share.
    Thank you for your comment.

  3. Hi Vicki - I too would love for you to be in contact as I'd love to collect as much as possible before the Swadlong Reunion in September.

  4. This is the link to details re the Swadling reunion...

  5. Re the court case involving William Cornelius Swadling, check out http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/195744938 and / or http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/173132196
    I couldn't find out what the final outcome of the remaining charge was, and suspect it was dropped. The last I could find about it was at http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/195752370
    Hope this helps. [my interest comes from the timber industrial past around Rozelle Bay, Blackwattle Bay, Pyrmont and Balmain, here in Sydney. Swadlings Timber and Hardware - previously A.W. Swadling - is of course still going strong in Lilyfield. The old company C Swadling and Sons (Carrying) Pty Ltd was still in Lilyfield up to 2007, although that business may have been sold out of the family about 1986-ish. Best wishes, DavidL]

  6. David, thank you not only for your comments, but for the links.. another task to tick off my To Do list. I will add those clippings to this page. I had looked previously, but had missed those, or they were released after I had searched. Many of my SWADLING clippings have been sitting in a file for ages.

    Having the reunion coming up made me think it was far better to post them here, in the hope that others can add to them and/or benefit from them.

    I suspect that all charges were dropped as there is still no final case that I've come across.

    Thanks again, Chris

  7. I come here to this (comprehensive) blog post because I'm looking for photos of Percy Swadling's old hall in Long Jetty (burnt down 1924). But I don't think your family was linked too closely - at least I can't find a Percy listed above.

    I started a Facebook group in August (2021) called Tuggerah Lakes History and Memories and it's proven popular beyond my wildest dreams, so here I am getting requests for photos and I'm visiting an incredible number of various web pages and sites. This one compares extremely well as family history pages go - well done.

  8. Hi Peter,
    Thank you for your comment... This is such a small selection of Swadling information..there are/ were so many of them. I don't have access to my full info just now. However, there is a Swadling group on Facebook.. You can also contact me on there. Many of my cousins know far more about the families from Long Jetty than I do. I will let them know what you are looking for when I can. I'm sure someone may be able to help. I take it you've tried TROVE and the State Archives...
    I don't recall Percy, but sure others will.

    1. Actually a Trove article started this search from the Gosford Times and Wyong Advocate in 1924. They really weren't into photos back then!

      I've searched Tove, State Library, State Archive, then thought I might get lucky with a few Uni Open Research places like the ANU, Sydney Uni, Melbourne Uni.... The Powerhouse Museum (MAAS) has a good archive, too, but not much Tuggerah Lakes stuff.

      What generally happens is I find photos when I'm looking for something else! I'll go to that Facebook group now

  9. There are two FB groups on "Swadling" do you mean this one? "Swadling One Name Study", in which case I probably won't be able to join judging by their intro text. (Private Group so I can't see the content). The other one is "SWADLING Family" I'll leave my membership request up and mention you!

  10. Yes, that's the one... I'll contact Pat ..Admin.


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