Lance Corporal Elmer Grenville Swan

| March 10, 2014

We’ve seen a great deal of support pouring in for Canada’s D-Day Tribute Campaign! We’d like to recognize especially Globus Family of Brands, Centre Dufferin District High School, and Ernest Beno, some of our first sponsoring organizations and individuals.

Thanks to them, we’re able to honour and share the stories of Canada’s fallen, including Lance Corporal Elmer Grenville Swan of North Augusta, Ontario, who landed on D-Day.  Here’s his story:

Elmer Swan was born in North Augusta, Ontario on February 21, 1921. At the time of his enlistment, he lived in Prescott, ON with his wife Helen Eileen Swan. He had one year of high school and training as a mechanic. He enjoyed playing baseball in his spare time. Though he worked as a glove cutter with Gold Glove Works at the time of his enlistment, he hoped to serve in the military as a driver and mechanic. Despite his lack of formal schooling, it was noted on Swan’s record that his “intelligence and learning capacity [were] within the top 12% of [the] army population [and that he] should be watched for future promotion.”

He enlisted on 15 March 1942, and was taken on strength with the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in December of that year. A few months after his enlistment, in September, Eileen gave him a son named Gary Clifford Grenville Swan. It doesn’t appear that Elmer ever had leave to visit home during his service; he likely never met his son. On June 6, 1944, Elmer was part of the Canadian contingent that stormed the beaches of Normandy. He was killed in action that day.

– Jen Sguigna, Special Projects Coordinator, Juno Beach Centre Association

Dispatches from Juno shares all the news, events, and stories from the Juno Beach Centre in France and Canada. Interested in contributing a story to the blog? Email the editor at

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