John Swinton of Kimmerghame

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Sir John Swinton of Kimmerghame
Born (1925-04-21) 21 April 1925 (age 98)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1944 – 1979
Rank Major-General
Commands held London District
Battles/wars Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Awards Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Spouse(s) Judith Balfour Killen (1954–2012)

Major-General Sir John Swinton of Kimmerghame KCVO OBE DL (born 21 April 1925) was Major-General Commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District.

Family and military background

Swinton is the son of Brigadier Alan Henry Campbell Swinton of Kimmerghame, MC (born 15 March 1896)[1][2][3][4][5] and wife, Mariora Beatrice Evelyn Rochfort Alers-Hankey (born 1900). His paternal grandfather was Scottish politician and officer-of-arms George Swinton. The Swinton family is an ancient Anglo-Scots family that can trace its lineage to the High Middle Ages.[5]

Military career

Swinton was commissioned into the Scots Guards in 1944:[6] he was twice wounded at the end of World War II.[7] He also served in Malaya during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation and was mentioned in despatches.[8] He was promoted to Major-General and made Major-General Commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District in 1976.[9] He retired in 1979.[10]

In 1980, he became a Deputy Lieutenant for Berwickshire:[11] he went on to be Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire from 1989 to 2000[12] and escorted the Stone of Scone back to Scotland in 1996.[7]


He married on 26 August 1954 Australian Judith Balfour Killen; they have three sons - James Christopher Swinton, Alexander Harold Swinton and Lieutenant Colonel William Henry Swinton - and one daughter - the actress Tilda Swinton.[1] (see Clan Swinton).

He lives at Kimmerghame House in Duns in Berwickshire.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The
  2. Dewar, Peter Beauclerk, Burke's Landed Gentry of Great Britain – The Kingdom in Scotland, 19th edition, vol.1, Wilmington, Delaware, 2001, p.1317. ISBN 0-9711966-0-5
  3. Tilda Swinton Biography
  4. "SWINTON: Chart 2B, Sheet 2." Swinton Family
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tilda Swinton, one of our most unique actors, talks to Gaby Wood | Magazine | The Observer
  6. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36519. p. 2277. 16 May 1944. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Thieves startled by general's roar The Herald, 9 April 1997
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39214. p. 2384. 24 April 1951. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47036. p. 13763. 12 October 1976. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
  10. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 48025. p. 15601. 10 December 1979. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 48262. p. 10671. 28 July 1980. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
  12. The London Gazette: no. 51895. p. 11545. 9 October 1989. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
Military offices
Preceded by GOC London District
Succeeded by
Sir Desmond Langley