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Memorable Manitobans: Ralph Wesley Beattie Swail (1896-1945)


Born at Montreal, Quebec, he was educated at Winnipeg and received a law degree from the University of Manitoba. In 1916, he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force but was forced by ill health to retire the following year. He was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1922 and articled in law with the firm of Bonner, Trueman, and Hollands. Later he practiced law with W. J. Donovan then formed a partnership with E. H. Coleman, then was a partner in the firm of Swail, Laidlaw, and White. He lectured at the Manitoba Law School. He was made a King’s Counsel in 1942. On 6 October 1926, he married Victoria Maud Snary (1898-1981) at Winnipeg and they had three sons. In 1932 and 1936, he stood for election to the Manitoba Legislature but was defeated each time. He was a member of the Masons, St. Charles Country Club, and St. Andrew’s River Heights Church. He died at his Winnipeg home, 133 Cordova Street, on 31 July 1945 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.


Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“New Year’s honors,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 January 1942, page 4.

“R. W. B. Swail, 49, barrister, succumbs,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 July 1945, page 4.

“Ralph Wesley Swail funeral service held,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 August 1945, page 4.

Obituary [Victoria Maud Swail], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 December 1981, page 47.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 June 2018

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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