General News · 20th December 2013
Sedley Bell-Irving Sweeny
November 29 1917 - December 19 2013
Born during the first World War
Attended Kingston Military Academy in his father's old regiment, the Royal Canadian Engineers.
Immediately after graduation, he with other troops joined a convoy to Britain to fight in World War 2.
Coincidentally, the late John Kerr (Myrna) and he figured out that they were in the same convoy.
Married Diana Game in August of 1941 while waiting in Leatherhead to be deployed.
A daughter Nicola was born in June of 1942 while he was away fighting.
Awarded the Military Cross, for an act of valour involving rowing a dinghy across a river in Italy under fire, taking the vital first line over to build a Bailey bridge.
After demobilisation he put his wife, pregnant with their second child, and their 3-year-old daughter on a war-brides' ship to Canada while he followed on a troop ship.
The new baby and 2 years later a third daughter were born in Vancouver while he was based in Chilliwack B.C., Terry in 1946, Robin in '48, before he was re-assigned to the Royal Engineers and returned with his family to Britain in 1949, where the couple fell in love with Wales.
Postings in Coert-y-Gollen, Aldershot, Camberley and in the B.A.O.R. (British Army of the Rhine in post-war Germany).
Took an early retirement in '58 to go sheep farming in Breconshire.
Sold the farm and took a position with the Save the Children Fund in Simla, India, in charge of a camp of Tibetan refugees. Tibetan Buddhism and the cause of a free Tibet has been a lifelong interest ever since.
Returned to Canada in about 1966, sick with dysentery and single. Recuperated at the home of his sister Verity and her husband Rai Purdy in Gibson's. Took a rowing trip up the Coast to Cortes, met Trude, and the rest, as they say, is history.