Tag Archives: Alfred Sowden

Remembering A C B Sowden of Devoran 7 September 1945

Remembering Alfred (A. C.B.) Sowden of Devoran who died on active service 70 years ago in the Far East on 7 September 1945.

We wrote more about him recently on VJ day at: https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/remembering-vj-day-70-years-on/ 

Of the Devoran War memorial casualties from WW2, one of them Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden was lost on special operations with SOE Force 136  in the closing stages of the war in the Far East.

Sergeant Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden, 841889, Royal Corps of Signals, awarded B.E.M. (Military), for his SOE service in France July 1944, died on 7 September 1945, aged 27.

Rangoon Memorial to the Missing, Burma. Image Source: CWGC

Rangoon Memorial to the Missing, Burma. Image Source: CWGC

He is remembered on the Rangoon Memorial in Burma to those with no known grave. It is possible he died from wounds or tropical disease. The Rangoon Memorial  bears the names of almost 27,000 men of the Commonwealth land forces who died during the campaigns in Burma (now Myanmar) and who have no known grave.

rangoon cwgc 3

Son of the farm manager at Killiganoon Farm, Alfred Sowden died on 7 September 1945, a few weeks after the war ended on VJ Day.

Plaque in St Eval church his birth parish mentioning A C B Sowden

Plaque in St Eval church Alfred’s birth parish, mentioning ‘A C B Sowden’ (image source: St Issey Folk genealogy website) Alfred’s uncle Samuel Sowden is also listed, a casualty of WW1. 

There is more about his family and St. Eval / St. Issey connections: http://www.st-issey-folk.co.uk/opc/getperson.php?personID=I19545&tree=St_Issey_Folk

killiganoon rightmove

KIlliganoon Farm (rightmove.co.uk website 2015)

The ‘Kohima prayer’ adopted by the Burma Star association http://www.burmastar.org.uk/epitaph.htm is a fitting end to this blog post:

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,

For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

Alfred  also appears on our WW2 section of the Devoran War Memorial life stories.

https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/devoran-second-world-war-casualties-s-to-z/ 

World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial Photo: Mark Norris

World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial
Photo: Mark Norris

Alfred Sowden , Remembered with thanks 70 years after their death 7 September 1945  in their home village of Devoran,

Remembering VJ Day 70 years on …

Remembering VJ Day 70 years on 15 August 2015 ..

World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial Photo: Mark Norris

World War 2 section, Devoran War Memorial
Photo: Mark Norris

Of the Devoran War memorial casualties from WW2, one of them Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden was lost on special operations with SOE Force 136  in the closing stages of the war in the Far East. Sergeant Alfred Claude Brenton Sowden, 841889, Royal Corps of Signals, awarded B.E.M. (Military), for his SOE service in France July 1944, died on 7 September 1945, aged 27. He is remembered on the Rangoon Memorial in Burma to those with no known grave. It is possible he died from wounds or tropical disease. An interesting section on a Canadian Veteran’s Affairs website (see http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=history/secondwar/courage/asia) mentions what Force 136 SOE men like Alfred  Sowden did in August 1945:

The surrender of the Japanese after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, changed the role of undercover agents in the Asian countries. Their role shifted to one of accepting the surrender of Japanese units and keeping public order until civil government could be restored. Force 136 also played a key role in assisting prisoners of war in these countries.”

Son of the farm manager at Killiganoon Farm, Alfred Sowden died on 7 September 1945, a few weeks after the war ended on VJ Day 70 years ago today. https://devoranwarmemorial.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/devoran-second-world-war-casualties-s-to-z/ Hopefully  when the VJ Day news came through, many people in Devoran could give thanks and celebrate the end of another terrible world war. The Sowden family would receive their sad news several weeks after VJ Day. The ‘Kohima prayer’ adopted by the Burma Star association is a fitting end to this blog post:

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today” http://www.burmastar.org.uk/epitaph.htm

Alfred Sowden and many others, Remembered with thanks on VJ Day 70 in their home village of Devoran

Postscript

I have found few records of VE or VJ Day celebrations in Devoran 1945 or how  the national Victory Parade was celebrated in June 1946, so I would love to hear more (through the comments page or devoranwarmemorialproject@gmail.com)  of how these events were marked in Devoran.

In Ralph and Marie Bird’s Devoran and its River book there is a reproduction of Devoran County Primary School’s Victory Day card 8th June 1946.

Mark Norris, Devoran War Memorial Project.