Stock History
Robert McGowan

Robert McGowan was in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and prior to the Second World War had been the Assistant Scout Master in the village. His parents lived in Great Hallingbury which lies between Bishops Stortford and Harlow. As this is a long way to commute to Margaretting it is safe to assume that as he had close ties to the village that he was indeed living there. In the 1930s being assistant scout master involved working with the boys in all sorts of activities, including tracking, survival skills and adherence to discipline. In the Second World War Robert, who was a Flying Officer, was attached to 70 Squadron. This was an early RAF squadron, having been formed in April 1916 and saw action across the Western Front as a fighter squadron. In between the wars its prime function as a unit developed into bombers and transport. By 1940 the squadron was using Wellingtons and was in the Mediterranean/North Africa theatre of the war. When Sicily was invaded the squadron began flying into Italy and working their way northwards. They were part of some of the bloodiest battles that occurred, Salerno, Anzio
and Nettuno, Gustav Line, and the Gothic Line, completing bombing and transport sorties. They were following the line of the German retreat as they went northwards. It was on one of these sorties that Robert was killed, he was 29 years old. He was buried in Ancona war cemetery, a place where after the war many bodies were brought in from other places.
Stock Index History