John Swayne

Lieutenant-General Sir John George des Reaux Swayne KCB CBE (3 July 1890 – 16 December 1964) was a senior British Army officer who became General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of South-Eastern Command during World War II.

Sir John Swayne
Born3 July 1890
Warminster, Wiltshire, England
Died16 December 1964 (aged 74)
London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1911−1946
UnitSomerset Light Infantry
Commands held1st Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
4th Infantry Division
South-Eastern Command
Chief of the General Staff (India)
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Military careerEdit

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]


External linksEdit

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