They made the Ultimate Sacrifice


Oliver Cowling


Ordinary Seaman, V5657, RCNVR


Born: 23 Apr 1918, St. Lambert Annex, Quebec


Died: 01 Dec 1940 at sea


Book of Remembrance


COWLING, Oliver, OS, V5657, RCNVR, killed - 01 Dec 1940, HMCS SAGUENAY - Son of Harry and Alice Cowling, and stepson of Annie Cowling, of St. Lambert Annex, Chambly County, QC. Brother of Harry and John. Half-brother of Elizabeth, Winnifred and Stella. 


OS Cowling was killed when HMCS SAGUENAY, while escorting convoy HG.47, was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Argo 300 miles west of Ireland. With her bows wrecked and 21 dead, SAGUENAY made Barrow-in-Furness largely under her own power, and was under repairs until 22 May 1941. His body was recovered and he was buried in Barrow, Lancashire, England on 14 Dec 1940.


Ships served in:

MONTREAL DIVISION RCNVR - Enlisted 05 Sep 1939.  Commenced Active Service 22 Sep 1939.  Note: The preceding dates are from his Certificate of Service. His attestation form has 22 Nov 1939 as date for Commencement of Service. His Canadian Active Service Force form has a report for duty date of 17 May 1940. Lastly his Report of Death has him commencing service on 30 Apr 1940.

HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 30 May 1940 as an OS, RCNVR

SPECIAL SERVICE DIVISION RCNVR - Recorded on the books of the Special Service Division RCNVR 31 May 1940

HMCS SAGUENAY - Drafted to SAGUENAY 02 Aug 1940 as an OS, RCNVR







(OC01) Portrait of OS Cowling

(OC02-OC03) Certificate of Service

(CO04) Report of Death

(OC05) Letter to OS Cowling's mother


(OC06) Write-up on Olive Cowing from the CVWM (VAC website)



Second World War Casualty Index