Letters to the Editor

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Memorial - Appeal to trace Walter’s family

Sir, – I would like to appeal to you and your readers for help to find the relatives of a Midlothian Newtongrange war hero named Walter Scott Rowan.

Before the war Walter was a clerk and voluntered for the RAF and became a Flight Sergeant Wireless Operator. He was posted to 432 Sqdn(RCAF) based at East Moor in Yorkshire. He was attached to the crew of Pilot Officer Howard J Menzies, a 21-year-old from Vancouver, Canada.

In the night, May 27/28, 1944 the squadron was called up for a bomber raid on Bourg Leopold (a German tank training camp) in Belgium.

On their way back to base they where badly hit by flak and fighters and so bad that Menzies give the order to his crew to bale out. Sadly P/O Menzies was killed when the Halifax bomber struck the ground. Three of his crew baled out but possibly drowned in a nearby swamp and four crew members baled out safely but later arrested by the German police. Among them F/Sgt Walter Scott Rowan.

Walter was arrested in Antwerp on June 6, 1944 and spend the remaining of the war in a POW camp. Walter Scott Rowan was born March 14 or August 1921. His mother Mrs Rowan lived at 10 Stobhill Road, Gowkshill, Newtongrange, Midlothian in Scotland.

After his return in Scotland he married Margaret Susan Conlan in 1945. Walter Rowan died January 11, 1968 at Newington, Midlothian at the age of 46. His wife Margaret Susan Rowan (Conlan) died 1993 at North Berwick, East Lothian, at the age of 68 years.

I started in 1995 with a research to the loss and fate of the aircraft and her crew and got in touch with two relatives of those who still went missing, and the relatives of two who made to escape but later captured.

Since October last year I belonging to a project group at Budel who would like to erect a memorial in memory of those who died and still missing. We think that these people shall never forget and the least we can do to honour them is to erect a memorial. This will take place May 28, 2017.

As an WW2 aviation researcher I do really hope that I get in touch with the relatives of Walter Scott Rowan as we would like to include his relatives to attend the memorial unveiling. Further I not know much about Walter Scott Rowan so I am eager to gget in touch.

If you are related please contact Adrian van Zantvoort, Waterlinie 427, 5658NM, Eindhoven, The Netherlands or email ad@vzantvoort.nl

I hope you will put this appeal for help to track down Walter Rowan’s relatives in your newspaper. – Yours, etc.,

Adrian van Zantvoort

The Netherlands

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