Eugene Swanton


A labourer and an ex-soldier on enlistment , Eugene Swanton, born about 1889, he had emigrated to USA about 1899 acording to his service papers where his mother Margaret was still liivng in 1915

Eugene served first with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (RDF) and then re-enlisted in 1919 with the Machine Gun Corps serving in Salonika, where like many men he caught malaria. Born in about 1889, he had enlisted in the RDF in 1915 at the age of 26. In one of his attestations for the British army he listed his trade as a general labourer, though on re-enlisting in 1919 he put chauffeur - presumably he had learnt to drive during his time in the army 1915 to 1919

It starts getting messy in trying to work out who was abducted when. There appear to be 2 Gleesons abducted within a few weeks of each other

Eugenes family takes a little untankgling but this is them in 1910 census , less their mother, but including their grandparents

Former Volunteer Edmond Desmond later told Ernie O’Malley that some IRA men dressed in British military uniforms, a few of whom were ex-officers of the British army, had approached Swanton for information about the Volunteers, and that he had given it to them; he had then been taken to the old graveyard at Kilquaine and had been executed near there—probably at Knockraha. See Interview with Edmond Desmond, Ernie O’Malley Notebooks, P17b/112 (the Irish Revolution)


1889 Born around Midleton. I cannot get him in Irish GRO (it is possible that he was born Michael,who was born 6 Sep 1887, and changed his name later to Eugene, his late father's name)

1915 Oct 17 Arrived UK on SS Cambria - this was confirmed to the army by Leyland Lines

1915 Oct 21. Enlisted in RDF in London

1919 Jun 18 Discharged from RDF, re-enlists in MGC

1919 Oct 29 Discharged from MGC

He then tried to get repatriated to USA from whence he had come to enlist in 1915, but although the British Army agreed to pay, he could not take it up because of his Malaria, and stayed in Ballinacura. With his maternal grandparents and his brother John

1921 Jun 5 Abducted

1921 Aug 21 On the Official Missing list as Eugene Swanton

A Volunteer later said that Eugene had been taken to the old graveyard at Kilquaine and had been executed near there—probably at Knockraha.


Shot by IRA as British spies