William James McDowell Jamaica

Biography of William James McDowell

William McDowell
William McDowell

Lieutenant-Colonel William James McDowell, DSO, of the Royal Engineers, was born in Jamaica. He attended the High School of Glasgow and in 1930 graduated BSc from the University. He worked with a Glasgow firm and then served in the RAF and Royal Engineers prior to the war.

McDowell served with the Royal Engineers in France and Flanders in 1939 and 1940, and then in the Middle East where he was awarded a DSO and mentioned three times in despatches. He took part in the Normandy offensive in the summer of 1944. He was killed near Bayeux in France while attempting to fix a tow rope to a burning ammunition lorry that was endangering traffic on a main road, when the lorry exploded.


William James McDowell
Born 1 July 1908, Jamaica.
Died 31 July 1944.
GU Degree: BSc, 1930;
University Link: Graduate
Honours: DSO
Father's Details: Samuel McDowell; Minster
War Service: Lieutenant-Colonel, Royal Engineers
Grave / Memorial: Bayeux War Cemetery, France
View Commonwealth War Graves Commission record
Record last updated: 4th Jun 2008

Country Associations

Jamaica Jamaica
Place of Birth

University Connections

University Roles

  • Graduate

WWII Roll of Honour