A First War Trio to the 20th Canadian Infantry
A First War Trio to the 20th Canadian Infantry - 1914-15 Star (58212 PTE. F. SWANN. 20/CAN:INF:); British War and Victory Medals (58212 PTE. F. SWANN. 20-CAN.INF.). Naming is officially impressed on all three. Very fine. Accompanied by copies of his Attestation Paper, Service Records, Medical Records, Last Pay Certificate, Discharge Certificate and Death Notices. Footnote: Frank Oswald Swann was born on October 28, 1895 in Toronto, Ontario. He signed his Attestation Paper on April 9, 1915 in Toronto, stating that he had had one years' previous service with the 12th York Rangers, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Plumber. Swann arrived in England in May 1915 with the 20th Battalion, embarking for France in September, disembarking in Boulogne on the 14th. "Bandsman Swann" spent much of the latter part of 1915 and early 1916 with rhumatism, myalgia (muscle pain) and influenza, plus an arthritic knee. The end of November 1915 saw the arrival of snow in the French theatre, along with bitter cold, which brought sickness and "trench feet". Knee-deep mud, plus frozen hands, feet and body made the men involuntarily whimper. Chilling winds at dawn, whistling through the barbed wire, slashing rains, slippery trench-mats were among the pitfalls of trench warfare for the 20th Battalion. They had been under attack by German snipers in France on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1915, with many losing their lives to those same snipers. They assumed that the Germans would respect the terms of the Geneva Convention, in regards to the Canadians attending to their wounded but were sadly mistaken. What everyone was hoping for was a peaceful Christmas in the front line. As documented, "our thoughts were filled with anything but 'peace and goodwill' towards our goose-stepping friends across the way. Rain and cold on Christmas Day did not help to brighten things up." He has been treated at hospitals in France (5 months) and England (4 months). His third right toe had been removed due to contaction of muscles while in hospital in Birmingham in October 1916 and it was noted that he could only walk 3/4 mile with a a limp. It was determined that his ailments were aggravated by active service and that they were permanent. As noted by the Opinion of the Medical Board, it was recommended "That he be placed in Catgeory E. and be discharged as physically unfit, and pass under his own control. Further treatment will not benefit his condition nor reduce disability." Swann was invalided to Canada on July 7, 1917 and was subsequently discharged from active service on September 30, 1917 in Toronto. After the war, he married Mabel Frith and then died on August 30, 1972, at the age of 76 in Niagara Falls, Ontario.