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Soldiers of the Regiment

Sergeant John Lacy Rowlandson

John Lacy Rowlandson was born in Barrow in Furness in 1911.  He attempted to enlist at the age of 15 but was at first declined as too young, however as he was very tall for his age, he was permitted to enlist but his date of birth was given altered to 1909.   He enlisted in November 1927 and completed his basic training at the Regimental Depot at Bowerham Barracks in Lancaster.  It would appear he served overseas with both the 2nd and 1st Battalions of the King's Own in the Sudan, Egypt and Palestine.  He transferred to the Army Reserve in November 1935. 

On the outbreak of the Second World War he was mobilised for service in September 1939  It is know he was at the Regimental Depot at Bowerham Barracks in around November 1939, but he was in the south of France in December 1939 on his way to  Palestine to join the 2nd Battalion of the King's Own.  It is not clear where he served 1940-41 but in January 1942 he was transferred from the King's Own to the Royal Armoured Corps he then served in France, Belgium and Germany with the 107th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps, The King's Own, until his discharge on 13th December 1946. 

After the war he was out of work for a while, but did obtain various employment, always with a uniform, at first with the Post Office, then Midland Bank Security, then Vickers/Armstrong Factory Security until his retirement at the age of 65 years. He was also a member of the Red Cross. He died in December 1981.


Medals to Sergeant John Lacy Rowlandson:

General Service Medal with Bar ‘Palestine’.
Accession Number:
1939-45 Star.
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France and Germany Star
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Defence Medal
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War Medal with Oak Leaf for Mention in Despatches
Accession Number:
Croix de Guerre with Palm to Sergeant John Lacy Rowlandson, number 3708694, 107th Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps (The King’s Own)
Sergeant J Rowlandson - Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm (Class 5).
During operations from 20th to 29th October 1944, in the advance of an Armoured Column from Wuestwezel 8216 to Wouw 6630, Sergeant Rowlandson, on so many occasions showed the utmost daring and determination in dealing with many self-propelled guns which were endeavouring to hinder the advance. On one particular occasion a self-propelled gun had knocked out the Troop Leaders tank of the Troop to which Sergeant Rowlandson was Troop Sergeant. He immediately took Command of the remaining two tanks and by skillful manoeuvre knocked out the enemy Armoured Fighting Vehicle with his own gun. This meant completely exposing his own Tank to the enemy in order that he may get a shot at it. On another occasion during the same operation, his Troop Leaders Tank was hit by another self propelled gun and in engaging this, Sergeant Rowlandson’s Tank was itself hit in the turret. Sergeant Rowlandson, however continued to engage the enemy from his damaged tank and forced it to withdraw, thus allowing the advance to continue. The operations concerned were designed to free the great Port of Antwerp and resulted in the final liberation of Belgium except for Ostend.
During the whole of the operation, Sergeant Rowlandson showed the keenest desire to engage the enemy at all times and was an inspiration to those who served with him, his example was largely responsible for the fine spirit in his troop.
Accession Number: KO2951/006


Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

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