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COWAN Ronald Edward

Service: Navy – HMAS Lonsdale
Service number: W1604
Locality on Enlistment: Colac West
Duration of Service: 1 Jul 1940 – 23 Nov 1945
Prisoner of War: No
Honours: None for display
Date and Place of Birth: 5 Jul 1916 Colac
Parents: Thomas Murray Cahill COWAN and Ivy Constance Violet McINTYRE
Spouse: Eleanor (Nell) Pearl WEBB
School/s: Colac West State School, Colac High School
Occupation: Boiler attendant – Colac Abattoirs and Regal Cream Products
Date and Place of Death: 22 Feb 2017 Colac
Place of Burial: Colac Cemetery

NOTES: Ron served on the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide as a stoker, working in the boiler room. This vessel was used for troop transport around Africa and India. Ron claimed his time in the Coral Sea was “most harrowing”, it was then that they visited different ships picking up the unfortunate ones that had been killed. “The boats were shot up pretty bad, lots of dead people on board”. The crew collected the bodies and put them in body bags that were then sewn up. The Captain would say a few words, then slide them off and release them for burial into the sea. Ron served four years as a stoker before becoming a Petty Officer on Corvette HMAS, Cairns. Ron Cowan passed away at 100 years of age achieving the milestone of centenarian.