William John Rowe

Private William John Rowe of Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh died on D-Day, 6th June 1944 as 5/7th Battlion Gordon Highlanders landed at Juno Beach, Normandy.


William John Rowe


William John Rowe from Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh was the first casualty of 5/7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders on D-Day, 6th June 1944 as the battalion arrived at Juno Beach, Normandy.

Private William John Rowe (7011445) served in 5/7th Battalion Gordon Highlanders during World War Two. He was the son of Thomas Rowe and Isabella Rowe of Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh.

He died on D-Day, 6th June 1944 aged 29 years old. As the battalion approached Juno Beach in Normandy, they realised they were off course. Arriving at the beachhead between 1400hrs and 1700hrs, the Highlanders faced little opposition. Their landing craft, however, were in 5 or 6 feet of water as the men disembarked. The current swept Private Rowe beneath a nearby landing craft and the Co. Fermanagh man drowned before having a chance to make it ashore.

William John Rowe’s grave is in Section XIV, Row C, Grave 3 of Bayeux War Cemetery, Bayeux, Normandy, France. His headstone bears the inscription:

God has you in his keeping. We have you in our thoughts.

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