Ted Swales - Awards and Recognition

Awards and Recognition

Swales was the only S.A.A.F. pilot during 1939-45 to be appointed a Pathfinder Master Bomber and also to have been posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. The full list of the medals awarded to Swales follows:

  • The Victoria Cross
  • The Distinguished Flying Cross
  • The 1939–45 Star
  • The Africa Star
  • The France and Germany Star
  • The Defence Medal, 1939–1945
  • The 1939–1945 War Medal (Victory Medal)
  • The Africa Service Medal

Swales' full size war medals and some other possessions are held and displayed at the South African National Museum of Military History in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. At his old school, Durban High School (founded in 1866), a school 'House' is named Swales House. In the city of Durban, there was a major arterial road named 'Edwin Swales VC Drive'. In terms of controversial proposals made by the eThekwini Municipality, Swales' name was expunged, and the road's name changed to honour instead anti-apartheid former terrorist Solomon Mahlangu.

The original set of miniature medals belonging to Swales, and a silver model Lancaster Bomber, are now housed in an exhibition honouring Swales at his old school, Durban High School. Many years ago, the miniature medals and the model had been sold by a member of the Swales family. After changing hands a few times, the group came up for auction in London in July 2004, at which time the medals and model were sold to a UK collector. A medal collector and D.H.S. Old Boy tracked down the buyer and convinced him to sell his recent acquisitions to the School. After four months of negotiations, the medals and model were delivered to their new home at DHS, where they were first displayed on Armistice Day, 11 November 2004.

The silver model Lancaster was one of only ten such models which were commissioned by the aircraft’s manufacturers, Messrs A.V. Roe & Co. and by Rolls Royce (suppliers of the Lancaster engines) and presented to the ten Victoria Cross winners (or their families) who flew Lancasters in the Second World War. On the base stand of the model is a silver plaque inscribed: "A Tribute from the Directors of A.V. Roe & Company and Rolls Royce Limited. To the Memory of Captain Edwin Swales,

V.C., D.F.C., S.A.A.F., who was Awarded the Victoria Cross for his great Gallantry and Self-Sacrifice during Operations Against the Enemy on 23rd February 1945".

Read more about this topic:  Ted Swales

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