Walter Roy Dowden

Walter Roy Dowden

From the time L/Sgt. Walter Roy Dowden, fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter J, Dowden, was in his early teens, he was interested in some phase of the Army. First it was in a junior role as a cadet while attending the Collegiate Institute. Later it was as a member of the 10th Brant Dragoons and the 54th Battery, and finally, it was as an enlisted gunner in the 69th Battery, R.C.A., which he joined on June 12, 1940. The Second Great War was on and Walter was a soldier in earnest now. Yet, with all his enthusiasm for the Army and what it represented, the young man had planned for himself a far different life, namely following the peaceful pursuit of tailoring. But L/Sgt. Dowden was to leave his father's shop and follow the long road with the 11th Field Battery, 12th Canadian Field Regiment, over the training fields of Hamilton and Petawawa to England, on July 17, 1941, and then to Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Three days later he was to give his life on the ground the Canadians had liberated at so great a cost. He was buried where he fell in the garden of a home at Bronay, and there the kindly French family heaped his grave with flowers and now carefully tend it until the time comes for transference to a permanent military cemetery. L/Sgt. Dowden's service to the Army had been outstanding for one of his age. If he had lived a little more than a month longer he would have received a long-service medal. Born July 17, 1919, in Plymouth, Devon, Walter came to Brantford when he was a baby, and in his youth became closely identified with the Eagle Place community. He attended Bellview School and Trinity Anglican Church, where he played a leading part in all phases of youth activities, being Assistant Scoutmaster, an officer of the A.Y.P.A., a leader in the Dramatic Society.

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