Alexander SWAINSON

Regimental number23/1833
Next of kinMother, Mrs E Swainson, Te Karaka Gisborne
Rank on embarkationRifleman
Unit nameNew Zealand Rifle Brigade, 1915, 3rd Reinforcements of 1st Battalion, E Company
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Wellington on board HMNZT 38 Tahiti on 8 January 1916
Final rankSergeant
Final unit2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment

Bar to Military Medal

'Operations: British Front north of Hebuterne 24th July 1918. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the attack on the German position, east of Rossignol Wood, this NCO displayed consummate skill and leadership. Prior to the attack a machine gun was causing casualties in our front line and communication saps. Sergeant Swainson, on two occasions, crawled out into No Man's Land. On the first occasion he shot three of the crew of the gun, and the second time he killed the gunner. One minute before zero he, in company with a companion, crawled out into No man's Land, and threw Stokes Bombs into the enemy wire which could not be dealt with by Trench Mortars. Again during the attack he, and a companion, rushed two enemy guns which were holding up our bombers and killed the crews. This NCO set a splendid example to all ranks at a critical period.'
Source: London Gazette
Date: 11 February 1919

Military Medal

'Operations: British Front line South of Hebuterne. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On the night of 31st May 1918, this NCO was one of a party of four who raided an enemy post. At 7pm, in broad daylight, he, with three others, moved out over 300 yards from the front line trench along an old disused communication trench which, near the objective, was completely locked with wire, necessitating movement over the open in full view of the enemy. The post captured, which contained at least 8 men, was rushed, 3 men killed and 1 officer and 1 other rank taken prisoner. In spite of heavy bombing and rifle fire the prisoners were brought safely back to our lines and an identification and much valuable information obtained without a casualty. The success of this daring enterprise was to a very large measure due to the personality and example of this NCO, whose boldness, determination and prowess on the occasion, as also on other patrolling operations, are beyond all praise and inspire in his men the greatest confidence and admiration at all times.'
Source: London Gazette
Date: 7 October 1918

SourcesNominal Roll Vol. 2: Roll 15, p. 5