Information

General Information

Career Information

Current Events

Transitions (NEWS)

Events / Calendar

Media

Photos and Articles

Videos

The Glen (newsletter)

The Regiment

Appointments

Honours & Awards

Regimental Association

Regimental Museum

Pipes and Drums

Regt'l Organizations

Traditions

Soldier Assistance

Affiliates, Allies & Friends

Prose and Music

Links

Detailed History


Return to Main Page


 

 

TRANSITIONS 2017 (link to 2017 calendar)

 

Last Post

Lloyd A. Swick, MSM, CD, BSc

The regiment is saddened to learn of the passing of Lloyd Swick, who served as an officer with The Calgary Highlanders during the Second World War. The official obituary published in the Ottawa Citizen is reproduced below. Mr. Swick was seen in recent years at the national commemoration of Victory in Europe (V-E) Day in the national capital.

 

Swick ended the war as a lieutenant in "D" Company. A correspondent writing for a souvenir edition of "The Glen" shortly after the war ended recalled:

Space will permit us to recount only a few of our activities in action.  Most of us still remember the time we were held up in Doetinchem on Easter Sunday and Monday.  We came out with only 16 men left in the platoon - but victorious.  Or the time when 16 Platoon had the sole honor of plowing through six canals between Hoogkerk and Groningen mopping up the enemy in our advance.   It was there that Number Three section lay on the bank for two solid hours freezing to death.  Finally, when the most patient of us gave out and began to voice his righteous indignation too loudly, Mr. Swick upbraided us for being uncivilized.

 

In addition to an obituary, a tribute to Swick by Kelly Egan of the Ottawa Citizen was published following his death (link to the original article here):

 

I first met Lloyd Swick in 2010 when he was 87 years old — and yet unstoppable.

He had this kooky plan to create a national monument — not to people — but to animals that had served in Canadian wars. In this town, where it takes nine agencies to change a light bulb, what chance did a long-retired soldier have of advancing such an offbeat memorial in bronze and stone, on public land?

Well, against odds, he did it. The Animals in War Memorial was unveiled in Confederation Park on Nov. 3, 2012, with Laureen Harper as honorary chair.

“He was an amazing guy,” said friend Don Dalziel, 75, who produced a short biography of Swick, one of the city’s best-known war veterans.

Mischievous? Audacious? Imaginative? Energetic? Daughter Patti told me that, one day, Lloyd decided the view from the kitchen table on Bonnie Crescent was insufficient because of a smallish window. Soon after, his wife Doris returned home from a walk to discover he had chainsawed a large hole in the wall. Oh yes, there were ways to get a better view.

Or the time he painted the garbage cans purple. Or turned an old grand piano into a garden ornament on the front lawn. Or took the kids camping in an army-issue tent, so big it had three compartments. Or taught the kids skiing by rope-towing them behind the car in Edmonton. “He wasn’t stopped by convention,” remarked Patti.

Retired major Lloyd A. Swick died on Saturday at the age of 94. He leaves five daughters grieving, a generation weaker, a town paler. Born in Winnipeg in 1922 of Polish parents — his father was a CN railway/hotel cook — Swick would join the armed forces not once, but twice. He first served with the Calgary Highlanders, rising to become a platoon commander as his unit made its way through Normandy shortly after D-Day in 1944. He was there for the liberation of several communities in Holland, forging links with the Dutch that would last a lifetime. Not only did he return to the Netherlands in 2015, as part of a commemorative delegation, but he was chosen to greet Princess Margriet when she visited Ottawa — her birthplace — in 2002.

He married Doris, a neighbour in Winnipeg, in 1943 and the couple had children in four different cities in a union that moved frequently but lasted 67 years. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba after the Second World War, he joined the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, became a paratrooper and commanded a company in Korea. He also served in India, Pakistan and Haiti, in a career that stretched 44 years. Retirement was but the start of a new phase, said Patti. “I don’t know, after the war, they just really jumped into life and lived it to the fullest.”

Music was an important part of the family life — a trait shared with Doris and passed to the childrren — and Swick played piano every day, well into his 90s. He often sang and provided music at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre, where he was honoured for his volunteerism, spoke to schools and cadet corps. He was an avid golfer and enthusiastic woodworker and Patti said he never missed an opportunity to “instruct” the girls in his various hobbies.

Yet his passion for war-time animals may stand as his most lasting achievement.

Swick made a persuasive case for honouring their sacrifice: Horses pulled heavy artillery; mules hauled gear and ammo; pigeons carried important messages; dogs patrolled, helped string wire, sniffed out land mines, provided comfort; canaries were life-saving sentinels; camels, elephants, even glow-worms had parts to play. (An estimated eight million horses perished in the First World War.) Swick was something of a one-man crusade at first, but soon gained the ear of the National Capital Commission and the heft of NDP MP Peter Stoffer. A veterinary association came on board, fundraising grew and a committee began to take shape.

Eventually, the prime minister’s wife, a noted animal lover, lent her name to the effort and the deal was sealed. Today in the downtown park, there are three plaques mounted on large stones, resting before a sitting dog outfitted with an army kit. A replica of the dog, by Wakefield artist David Clendinning, now rests on the Swick lawn, in the Baseline-Clyde area.

Swick was in good health — and humour — until cancer caught up with him. As he wished, he died at home, vowing to leave the house “feet first,” Patti said. “He wanted to keep living, that was the hardest part.”

A service is planned at Beechwood Cemetery at 2 p.m. on Feb. 4.

Thank you to Warrant Officer (ret.) Ed Storey for the copy of the obituary which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen:


The information on this website is intended for a specific audience within a defined geographic area and therefore all content appears in English only.