Thomas Cowley

    • Thomas Cowley
    • RCE GVIR Badge

    We regret to advise of the death of Thomas Crowley on 2 September 2006.

    Tom was born in North Vancouver in 1921 and joined the Canadian Army in 1940. He served in Canada and Alaska until 1942 when he joined the Royal Canadian Artillery and was sent to England. In England he was transferred to No 1 Railroad Operating Company, RCE and became a locomotive Fireman/Engineer.

    No 1 Railway Operating Group included both diesel and steam crews and trained and operated on both military and civil railway lines in England until it moved to the Continent to support the Allied advance after D-Day. They landed in France on 2 September and its trains were ready to roll within a week. The trains carried troops, guns, Bailey Bridge equipment, ammunition and supplies as close to the Front as possible throughout France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Some of the railroad equipment that they used was locally seized, salvaged and repaired and Tom claims to have helped commandeer what was then the largest locomotive in the world.

    After the war Tom returned to Canada and settled in British Columbia. He was a 26-year member of the Legion in Williams Lake, Revelstoke, Sicamous, Creston, and Vernon.