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Role of Commander

Heroes Remember

I forget the place, Farmington, I think in England and I was an officer and you would go to that school training and they would have the complement of men as you would have in battle and they would put you through a series of exercises to see your ability to assess the situation, make the decision. That’s the one thing about battle, you will always go back later on saying, “Did I make the right decision? Should I have done this, should I have done that?” As a commander you got terrible decisions to make as to as I said, how to attack, when to attack, who to put out on patrol, what patrols should go out, where should they go, it’s a day of constant decision making under stressful conditions. The difficult hours in battle is dawn, if there’s an attack it’s going to be at dawn. If it’s not at dawn, it’s at night or just before sunset and so those are the times you would stand to with bayonets fixed in your trench. And one thing about World War Two I experienced was it was such a tiring thing going through that mud of Europe and advancing one hundred yards and hitting the ground when you’re fired upon up another hundred yards and also receiving the constant shelling. I don’t think I ever had any problems as a matter of leadership. One of the things that first confronts you as a soldier and leader, is will you be able to stand up to the strains of battle, will I have the fortitude and I hope I am not going to be a coward in this situation and it doesn’t take long before you have the confidence of your men.

Mr. Swick speaks about the decisions that have to be made as commander.

Lloyd Swick

Mr. Lloyd Swick was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1922. After attending Catholic school Mr. Swick joined the military and served as a platoon commander with the Calgary Highlanders travelling overseas during WWII. Post war he attended the University of Manitoba earning a BSc. degree. Rejoining the military he became part of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment and served in Korea holding rank of officer. Continuing on with his military service, Mr. Swick undertook United Nations Observer duties in India and Pakistan. After his service, he became the driving force behind having a monument erected to honour “Animals in War” which serves to highlight and acknowledge their wartime contribution. He is the founder and coordinator of this permanent monument in Ottawa, Ontario and continues to promote the uniqueness of this history. Mr. Swick resides in Ottawa with his family and continues his involvement with veterans and seniors as well as speaking to youth about his military service.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
April 30, 2015
Person Interviewed:
Lloyd Swick
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Liberation of Holland
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)
Infantry Officer

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