131st Field Regiment Royal Artillery

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Memorial of John Herbert McDowall

Service Number: 909490
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Rank: Lance Sergeant
Age: 24
Date of Death: Tuesday, 27th June 1944
Memorial Location: Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados - France
Memorial Reference: XII. D. 7.
Next of Kin: Son of John and Grace Muriel McDowall, of Paisley, Renfrewshire.
Additional Information: The War Diary states that Sgt.McDowall was killed in a battle accident, however an article in the Gunner Magazine written by Ted Rayner (a member of C. Troop Observation.Party.) says that Sgt. John McDowall was signals sergeant for the party, his job was to follow Captain Peppiatts armoured Universal Carrier to the chosen observation position (O.P.).

He then returned to the 320 Battery headquarters (B.H.Q.) and acted as a guide to the battery signallers who laid telephone wires from the B.H.Q. to the O.P.. The O.P. used the phone to send instructions to the battery to ensure accurate bombardment of the target.

John McDowall, observing the capture of his Commanding Officer by German Troops attempted to escape but was shot dead. Captain Peppiatt considered the motor cycle that John McDowall had been issued with far too exposed for such a dangerous mission and always insisted that in future his Signals Sergeant would be equipped with an armoured carrier.