Lance-Corporal Dick Sweetland


Lance-Corporal Richard Gordon "Dick" Sweetland was born in Axminster, joined up in June 1940 and, with the 12th Devons, landed on the Normandy beaches on the 7th June 1944, and on the 24th March 1945 crossed the Rhine by boat to link up with the 6th Airborne Division on Operation Varsity. It was whilst in Normandy that he became largely responsible for the production of the first issue of "Swedebasher"; a newspaper for the troops from the front line, which continued after the war as the magazine of the 12th Devons. Sweetland edited the newspaper for 42 years, and for his efforts was awarded the British Empire Medal on the 1st January 1987. In peacetime, he worked with Axminster Rural District Council, and moved to Sidmouth in 1974 when the reorganisation of local government saw the creation of the East Devon District Council. Dick Sweetland died in 1994.