Royal Artillery, 92 Lt. A.A. Regt.
I. E. 13.
Son of Thomas and Mary Rowland, husband of Monica Rowland, Runcorn, Cheshire.
John Rowland died rather heroically. He had joined the army in 1940 along with his brothers. One brother, Sam, served with him in 319. Battery. Back home, Gunner Rowland had a young wife and a new baby, named also John, their first child.
An eyewitness told the following story to the family:
“On october 31th, around 10pm, a Captain Chubb was spying out a German machine gun nest or position when he got wounded in the leg and started crying out for help.
Some of the fellows in the unit said, “Leave him there”, but John Rowland said, “We can’t” and volunteered to go out and get him with his brother Sam, using a stretcher.
They put Chubb on the stretcher and proceeded to carry him to safety when Sam, who was younger than John, started to complain that Captain Chubb’s head and upper body were too heavy to carry and asked John to swop positions on the stretcher.
So John agreed and they swopped. When John and Sam were bending down and were just lifting up the stretcher, that’s when John was hit with shrapnel right through his chest. The force of the impact also even blew his boots off.
All the lads in the unit got their first aid kits out and and tried to pack the wound with cotton wool, but there wasn’t enough cotton wool even from all the fellows to stop the bleeding. The shrapnel had left a huge hole straight through his chest and out the other side. He lived for about 30 seconds, in which he said to his
brother, “Look after little John” and then he died.”
John Lockett Rowland was temporarily buried at the Rieterdreef (Huijsmans) In Overloon en was reburied in 1947 at Overloon War Cemetery.
Kvk nummer: 83346422
Banknummer: NL04 RBRB 8835 3869 69
t.n.v. Stichting Overloon War Chronicles