Rowland Bourke, VC
Person Male Born 28/11/1885 Died 29/8/1958
Soldier. Born Rowland Richard Louis in Chelsea. He moved to Canada in 1902 where he worked as a miner and fruit grower before returning to Britain. In 1916 he enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve serving on motor launches. In May 1918 at Ostend, Belgium, after the crew of HMS Vindictive had been taken off, he went into the harbour to check that everybody had got away. After searching and finding no one, he withdrew, but hearing cries from the water he turned back, found an officer and two seamen clinging to an up-turned boat, and rescued them. During this time his motor launch was under very heavy fire and was hit 55 times. He however managed to take the boat into the open sea, and was taken in tow. For his actions he was awarded the Victoria Cross.