Lt Col G E Swinton MC
Commanding Officer - The East Surrey Regiment
Commanded 2nd Bn The East Surrey Regiment from April 1939 to December 1941.
George Edward Swinton was born on 20th November 1890 and was educated at Marlborough and was commissioned in The East Surrey Regiment in December 1912. During the 1914-18 War he served with the 1st , 2nd and 8th Battalions in France and Belgium being wounded three times. He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in 1918. After the war he served with the 1st Battalion in Egypt, Hong Kong and India and in 1932 was posted to the 2nd Battalion and commanded a party lining the route for the Coronation of King George VI in 1937. In the following year he embarked with the 2nd Battalion for Shanghai and was appointed to command in April 1939.
In August 1940 he took the Battalion to Singapore and then to Northern Malaya.
A few days after the Japanese invasion he was involved in a motor accident while on reconnaissance and as a result suffered a broken leg. He was evacuated to hospital but refused to be repatriated and remained to rejoin the survivors of his Battalion in captivity. In those three and a half years as a prisoner his unshakeable morale and uncompromising attitude towards the Japanese in face of brutal physical reprisals were a fine example to others. He retired from the Army on 10th December 1946.
He died on 19th January 1964.
For obituary see Vol.2 No.1 page 56 of the Journal of The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment.