M.660 * First Officer   Willard Edwin Cowan
flag canada

 b. 8 Jan 1898, Wentworth, Ontario,

but travelled to UK in Jun 1919 as a 21 yr old student, and again in 1922.

 25 Nov 1941 to 30 Nov 1945




m. 1919 Patricia Jessie [Hamilton]; 5 children (inc. Patricia b. 1919, Mary b. 1923, Lenora b. 1924)

RAF May 1923 - 29 Nov 1927

Portsmouth Evening News, 6 May 1925:


Expensive Outfit.


How a young Canadian, and Flying Oflicer, aged 27, found himself in difficulties, and eventually had recourse to money lenders, was told to the Winchester Bankruptcy Court yesterday, when Willard Edwin Cowan appeared for his public examination in bankruptcy.

His liabilities were stated to be £420, and his assets nil, and he alleged that his difficuties were caused by illness in his family and injuries to himself by a flying accident in Irak, having caused his expenditure to exceed his pay.

Flying Officer Cowan stated that he was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and joined the Canadian Army in December. 1910, came to England, and in June 1917 obtained a commission, and was transferred to the Royal Naval Air Force. He served in the war until December, 1919, when he received a gratuity of £150 and returned to Canada.

For a time he was out of employment, but subsequently obtained clerical work. In September 1922 he returned to England, was for a time without employment, living on money he had saved whilst in Canada and proceeds from the sale of furniture.

In July 1923 he joined the Royal Air Force in which he holds a commission as Flying Officer, receiving pay at the present time amounting to £450 a year. When in Irak his total pay was £55 a month, and had he continued to receive this he could have met his liabilities.

Married in 1917, his wife had five children. He had been living beyond his means, mainly due to the illness of his wife and family, and in order to meet pressing claims has been borrowing from moneylenders and others. He had known he was insolvent since July 1924.

Replying to the Assistant Official Receiver, debtor said that in one instance when he negotiated a loan for £30 with a moneylender he actually received £27 in cash, paying £3 commission for the introduction.

Examining debtor on his bills, the Assistant Receiver commented the items that "four shirts. £2 12s.; hat, £3 13s. 6d.; flannel trousers, 2 guineas” seemed rather extravagant, and debtor agreed, but said that he ordered a complete outfit from the firm, who had only one price. and he was not in a position to pay cash. 'This bill was increased subsequently to £200 and he had paid £56 15s. off it. 

Debtor intimated his willingness to set aside £5 a month from his pay, and the examination was closed, subject to the signing of the notes."

m. 1982 Ellen E [Harris]

d. 4 Aug 1990, Luton

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