Arthur Gascoyne Rowlands - HMS Highflyer - 1941

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Ceri Stennett, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Ceri Stennett

    Ceri Stennett Member

    Could someone help me with a query regarding a man who I am researching from my local war memorial in Whitchurch, Cardiff, South Wales please?

    He is P/JX252698, Leading Seaman, Arthur Gascoyne Rowlands, RN, who died on 23rd November 1941, aged 40. He died at the 54th Indian General Hospital, Trincomalee, Ceylon.

    I am trying to find the actual cause of death, but also, the CWGC lists him serving at HMS Highflyer, a Royal Navy shore establishment in Trincomalee. However, I understand that the base was not commissioned until July 1943. Would anyone have any thoughts on why the name Highflyer was used for a death in 1941? Could it be that the sailor was working at the shore establishment when it was known under another name and the CWGC has retrospectively used it on Arthur's entry?

    Many thanks in advance,

  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    There is a previous thread on HMS Highflyer: HMS Highflyer - Shore base?
    Might be worth searching for other threads?
    Ceylon was not always a healthy place to be: Scotter Parish Council
    I note the shore station appears as a naval facility in Trimcomalee and as a shore radio station (which have many purposes, but initial hits suggests the name moved to them).
    Trimcomalee had been a naval base, minus a HMS name, for a very long time: Trincomalee Dockyard - Naval History Archive
    Sometimes it was called Royal navy Bockyard Trimcomalee
    There may be clues in this article, which is free for independent researchers currently:
    A blogsite has this entry:
    From: RN in Ceylon & India WW2 - My Dad served there.
    I think your last sentence is correct!
  3. Ceri Stennett

    Ceri Stennett Member

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.


  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    CWGC has mis-recorded the date of death. Actual date of death for L/S A G Rowlands is 23 Nov 1944. Cause of Death shown as "Died on War Service". Since he was in hospital I would interpret this as "Died of Wounds".
    Reference is Register of Deaths - Naval Ratings (ADM 104).
    This is also the date given on the CWGC Grave Registration Form.
    I'll report the error to CWGC.

    Edit: Thinking about it "Died on War Service" might include disease such as Malaria. The causes of death in the Register are somewhat limited (Died on War Service, Missing presumed dead, Natural causes, Suicide and Other causes).
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  5. Ceri Stennett

    Ceri Stennett Member

    Hi Tim,

    That is such a good spot! I really should have seen that myself. Old age catching up.


    timuk likes this.
  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    CWGC are amending the date of death to 1944 and age to 44.

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Seems he died of burns - see attached


    Attached Files:

    timuk likes this.
  8. Ceri Stennett

    Ceri Stennett Member

    Hi, thank you so much for this new piece of information. That is really helpful. I suppose we will never know the cause of it, but it certainly helps to fill a piece more of the story in. My thanks again. Ceri.

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