DOWLING ONE NAME STUDY

Person Page 626

Shadrac Dowling1

M, #15626, b. March 1841, d. between October and December 1849

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Shadrac Dowling was born in March 1841 in Somerset, England.1
  • Death: He died between October and December 1849 in Clutton, Somerset, England, Index: Clutton - 1849 Oct-Dec Volume 11 Page 49.2

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Shadrac Dowling had reference number 15626.
  • Residence: He resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 June 1841 Wetton.1
  • Census: He was enumerated on the census of 1841 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1

Citations

  1. [S2607] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1841 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www.findmypast.co.uk : 2019.

    Archive reference: HO107; Piece number: 942; Book number: 12; Folio number: 39: Page number: 1; Record set: 1841 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England,
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHEC,
    Citation Text: 2010; Class: HO107; Piece: 939; Book: 17; Civil Parish: Midsomer Norton; County: Somerset; Enumeration District: 6; Folio: 19; Page: 13; Line: 22; GSU roll: 474596
    Census-1841-ENG-Dowling-Mesach
  2. [S2557] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1851 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www-findmypast.co.uk : see citation.

    Record set: 1851 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England,
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHAC household of Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England; Class: HO107; Piece: 1939; Folio: 345; Page: 3; GSU roll: 221098,
    Citation Text: 2012:-
    Census-1851-ENG-Dowling-Meshach-01.jpg

Susana Dowling1

F, #15627, b. about 1846, d. DECEASED

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Susana Dowling was born about 1846 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Susana Dowling had reference number 15627.
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 30 March 1851.1
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1851 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1

Citations

  1. [S2557] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1851 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www-findmypast.co.uk : see citation.

    Record set: 1851 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England,
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHAC household of Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England; Class: HO107; Piece: 1939; Folio: 345; Page: 3; GSU roll: 221098,
    Citation Text: 2012:-
    Census-1851-ENG-Dowling-Meshach-01.jpg

Sophia Dowling1,2

F, #15628, b. December 1850, d. DECEASED

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Sophia Dowling was born in December 1850 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1,2
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Sophia Dowling had reference number 15628.
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 30 March 1851 District 4b.1
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1851 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Occupation: She was a Scholar in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 April 1861.2
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 April 1861 6 Clay Batch.2
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1861 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.2

Citations

  1. [S2557] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1851 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www-findmypast.co.uk : see citation.

    Record set: 1851 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England,
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHAC household of Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England; Class: HO107; Piece: 1939; Folio: 345; Page: 3; GSU roll: 221098,
    Citation Text: 2012:-
    Census-1851-ENG-Dowling-Meshach-01.jpg
  2. [S3203] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1861 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www.findmypast.co.uk : see citation.

    Record set: 1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England;
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHAC household of 6 Clay Batch, Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England; Class: RG 9; Piece: 1680; Folio: 27; Page: 2; GSU roll: 542850,
    Citation Text: Collated by Brian Thomas Dowling (1955-) 2005:-
    Census-1861-ENG-Dowling-Meshack-01.jpg

Sarah Dowling1

F, #15629, b. 1853, d. DECEASED

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Sarah Dowling was born in 1853 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Sarah Dowling had reference number 15629.
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 April 1861 6 Clay Batch.1
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1861 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Occupation: She was a Scholar in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 April 1861.1

Citations

  1. [S3203] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1861 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www.findmypast.co.uk : see citation.

    Record set: 1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England;
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHAC household of 6 Clay Batch, Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England; Class: RG 9; Piece: 1680; Folio: 27; Page: 2; GSU roll: 542850,
    Citation Text: Collated by Brian Thomas Dowling (1955-) 2005:-
    Census-1861-ENG-Dowling-Meshack-01.jpg

Elizabeth Dowling1

F, #15630, b. 1855, d. DECEASED

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Elizabeth Dowling was born in 1855 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Elizabeth Dowling had reference number 15630.
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 April 1861 6 Clay Batch.1
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1861 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Occupation: She was a Scholar in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 April 1861.1

Citations

  1. [S3203] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1861 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www.findmypast.co.uk : see citation.

    Record set: 1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England;
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHAC household of 6 Clay Batch, Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England; Class: RG 9; Piece: 1680; Folio: 27; Page: 2; GSU roll: 542850,
    Citation Text: Collated by Brian Thomas Dowling (1955-) 2005:-
    Census-1861-ENG-Dowling-Meshack-01.jpg

Harriet Dowling1,2

F, #15631, b. 1857, d. DECEASED

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Harriet Dowling was born in 1857 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.2
  • Birth: She was born in 1858 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Harriet Dowling had reference number 15631.
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 April 1861 6 Clay Batch.2
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1861 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.2
  • Occupation: She was a Scholar in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 2 April 1871.1
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 2 April 1871 190 Smith's Cottages.1
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1871 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1

Citations

  1. [S955] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: <i>Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871</i>. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1871. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England. The National Archives gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Detail: Class: RG10; Piece: 2472; Folio: 23; Page: 38; GSU roll: 835192,
    Citation Text: Record for Beshah Dowling
    Census-1871-ENG-Dowling-Meshach-01.jpg
  2. [S3203] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1861 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www.findmypast.co.uk : see citation.

    Record set: 1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England;
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHAC household of 6 Clay Batch, Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England; Class: RG 9; Piece: 1680; Folio: 27; Page: 2; GSU roll: 542850,
    Citation Text: Collated by Brian Thomas Dowling (1955-) 2005:-
    Census-1861-ENG-Dowling-Meshack-01.jpg

Louisa Dowling1

F, #15632, b. 1860, d. DECEASED

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Louisa Dowling was born in 1860 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Louisa Dowling had reference number 15632.
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 7 April 1861 6 Clay Batch.1
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1861 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1

Citations

  1. [S3203] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1861 census of England. SOMERSET. Digital images. Find My Past. www.findmypast.co.uk : see citation.

    Record set: 1861 England, Wales & Scotland Census; Category: Census, land & surveys; Subcategory: Census; Collections from: Great Britain, England;
    Citation Detail: Census for DOWLING, MESHAC household of 6 Clay Batch, Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England; Class: RG 9; Piece: 1680; Folio: 27; Page: 2; GSU roll: 542850,
    Citation Text: Collated by Brian Thomas Dowling (1955-) 2005:-
    Census-1861-ENG-Dowling-Meshack-01.jpg

Simon Dowling1,2

M, #15633, b. 1787, d. DECEASED
Pedigree Link

Family

Family: Meriel Symes (b. 1787, d. 1821)

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Simon Dowling was born in 1787.
  • Marriage: He and Meriel Symes were married on 5 November 1809 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.2
  • Marriage: He and Meriel Symes were married on 12 November 1809 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Death: He died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Simon Dowling had reference number 15633.

Citations

  1. [S1098] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: The original paper slip index, from which this database was created, is owned by <b>The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies</b>, Canterbury, England.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Meriel Symes
    Pallot's Marriage Index for England 1780 - 1837 - Simon Dowling
  2. [S866] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: <i>England, Marriages, 1538–1973</i>. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Simon Dowling

Meriel Symes1

F, #15634, b. 1787, d. 1821
Pedigree Link

Family

Family: Simon Dowling (b. 1787, d. DECEASED)

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Meriel Symes was born in 1787.
  • Marriage: She and Simon Dowling were married on 5 November 1809 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.2
  • Marriage: She and Simon Dowling were married on 12 November 1809 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.1
  • Death: She died in 1821, at age ~34.

Other Facts

  • Name: Meriel Symes was also known as Merial Symon.
  • Name: She was also known as Meriel Symis.2
  • Reference Number: She had reference number 15634.

Citations

  1. [S1098] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: The original paper slip index, from which this database was created, is owned by <b>The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies</b>, Canterbury, England.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Meriel Symes
    Pallot's Marriage Index for England 1780 - 1837 - Simon Dowling
  2. [S866] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: <i>England, Marriages, 1538–1973</i>. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Simon Dowling

Elizabeth Dowling

F, #15635, b. 1810, d. DECEASED
  • This person appears in the following lists:- : Coopers

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Elizabeth Dowling was born in 1810.
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Elizabeth Dowling had reference number 15635.

Emma Dowling

F, #15636, b. 1811, d. 1820
  • This person appears in the following lists:- : Coopers

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Emma Dowling was born in 1811.
  • Death: She died in 1820, at age ~9.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Emma Dowling had reference number 15636.

Sarah Dowling

F, #15637, b. 1814, d. DECEASED
  • This person appears in the following lists:- : Coopers

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Sarah Dowling was born in 1814.
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Sarah Dowling had reference number 15637.

Henry Dowling

M, #15638, b. 1815, d. DECEASED
  • This person appears in the following lists:- : Coopers

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Henry Dowling was born in 1815.
  • Death: He died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Henry Dowling had reference number 15638.

Matilda Dowling

F, #15639, b. 1817, d. DECEASED
  • This person appears in the following lists:- : Coopers

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Matilda Dowling was born in 1817.
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Matilda Dowling had reference number 15639.

Harriett Whittaker

F, #15641, b. about 1850, d. DECEASED
Pedigree Link

Family

Family: James Dowling (b. between January and March 1848, d. DECEASED)

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Harriett Whittaker was born about 1850 in Taunton, Somerset, England.1
  • Birth: She was born about 1850 in Ston Easton, Somerset, England.2,3,4
  • Marriage: She and James Dowling were married between January and March 1877 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, Volume 6a Page: 13.5
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Name: Harriett Whittaker was also known as Harriet Dowling.1,2,3,4
  • Reference Number: She had reference number 15641.
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1881 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.3
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 3 April 1881.3
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1891 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.4
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 5 April 1891 Three Horsehoes.4
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1901 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.2
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 31 March 1901 36 High Street.2
  • Occupation: She was a Household Duties in Taunton, Somerset, England, on 2 April 1911.1
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1911 in Kingswood, Somerset, England, United Kingdom.1
  • Residence: She resided in Kingswood, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, on 2 April 1911 Tennis Court Road.1

Citations

  1. [S742] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: 1911 census of England. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. Digital images. Find My Past. https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBC/1911/RG14/08889/0439&parentid=GBC/1911/RG14/08889/0439/1 : 2019.,
    Repository: www.ancestry.co.uk,
    Citation Detail: Class: RG14; Piece: 14765; Schedule Number: 264,
    Citation Text: Record for Harriet Dowling
    Census-1911-ENG-Dowling-Harriet-01.jpg
  2. [S961] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: <i>Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901</i>. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives, 1901. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England. The National Archives gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Detail: Class: RG13; Piece: 2332; Folio: 33; Page: 16,
    Citation Text: Record for Harriet Dowling
    Census-1901-ENG-Dowling-Harriet-01.jpg
  3. [S958] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
    Source Combined Fields: <i>Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881</i>. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1881. <p>Images © Crown copyright. Images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, England.

    ; <p>The National Archives give no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.

    ; <p>Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to <a href="http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/imagelibrary/"; target="_blank">The National Archives Image Library</a>, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, Tel: 020 8392 5225 Fax: 020 8392 5266.

    ;
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Detail: Class: RG11; Piece: 2428; Folio: 18; Page: 4; GSU roll: 1341584,
    Citation Text: Record for James Dowling
    Census-1881-ENG-Dowling-James-01.jpg
  4. [S959] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Detail: Class: RG12; Piece: 1927; Folio: 33; Page: 21; GSU roll: 6097037,
    Citation Text: Record for Harriet Dowling
    Census-1891-ENG-Dowling-Harriet-01.jpg
  5. [S971] SOURCE: (Full): FreeBMD,
    Source Combined Fields: General Register Office. ;England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes ;. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Database Copyright © 1998-2003 Graham Hart, Ben Laurie, Camilla von Massenbach and David Mayall.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for James Dowling
    Thomas John Dowling - England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index: 1837-1915

Edith Sarah L Battle1

F, #15642, b. about 1885, d. DECEASED
Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Edith Sarah L Battle was born about 1885 in Chewton Mendip, Clutton, Somerset, England.2
  • Marriage: She and Ivan Henry Dowling were married between July and September 1906 in Wells, Somerset, EnglandG, Volume 5c Page: 857.2,1
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Name: Edith Sarah L Battle was also known as Edith S L Dowling.2
  • Reference Number: She had reference number 15642.
  • Residence: She resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 2 April 1911 36 High Street.2
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1911 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.2

Citations

  1. [S971] SOURCE: (Full): FreeBMD,
    Source Combined Fields: General Register Office. ;England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes ;. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Database Copyright © 1998-2003 Graham Hart, Ben Laurie, Camilla von Massenbach and David Mayall.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Ivan Henry Dowling
    England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 - Ivan Henry Dowling
  2. [S742] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: 1911 census of England. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. Digital images. Find My Past. https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBC/1911/RG14/08889/0439&parentid=GBC/1911/RG14/08889/0439/1 : 2019.,
    Repository: www.ancestry.co.uk,
    Citation Detail: Class: RG14; Piece: 14652; Schedule Number: 142,
    Citation Text: Record for Ivan Henry Dowling
    Census-1911-ENG-Dowling-Ivan-H-01.jpg

Alfred Stanley Dowling1,2,3

M, #15644, b. 10 September 1891, d. 27 May 1958

Parents

Pedigree Link

Family

Family: Agnes Ethel Perry (b. 26 September 1906, d. DECEASED)

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Alfred Stanley Dowling was born on 10 September 1891 in Clutton, Somerset, England.1,4,5,6
  • Marriage: He and Agnes Ethel Perry were married between October and December 1912 in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England, Index: Shepton M - 1912 Oct-Dec Volume 5c Page 1071.7
  • Death: He died on 27 May 1958, at age 66, in Taunton, Somerset, England, at Mountbatten Nursing Home. Age: 66.4,2

Other Facts

  • Name: Alfred Stanley Dowling was also known as A S Dowling.8
  • Name: He was also known as Alfred S Dowling.9,4,7,5,6
  • Reference Number: He had reference number 15644.
  • Residence: He resided in Clutton, Somerset, England, between January and March 1918.10
  • Residence: He resided in Wells, Somerset, EnglandG, between October and December 1913.11
  • Census: He was enumerated on the census of 1901 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.5
  • Residence: He resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 31 March 1901 36 High Street.5
  • Occupation: He was an Auctioneers Clerk in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 2 April 1911.3
  • Census: He was enumerated on the census of 1911 in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England.3
  • Residence: He resided in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, England, on 2 April 1911 36 High Street.3
  • Military: Sapper in British Army Royal Engineers.9
  • Military: Serjeant British Army Royal Engineers.8
  • Military:9,8
  • Residence: He resided in Glastonbury, Somerset, EnglandG, on 22 July 1915.12
  • Residence: He resided in Taunton, Somerset, England, on 15 January 1921.13
  • Military: Retired (992 K.R. 1923) 8426.9
  • Residence: He resided in Taunton, Somerset, England, on 5 November 1924 22 Addison Grove.9
  • Residence: He resided in Taunton, Somerset, England, on 29 September 1939 Oldbury Lodge, parish of Bishops Hull.6
  • Census: He was enumerated on the census of 1939 in Taunton, Somerset, England.6
  • Occupation: He was a Company Director of Provender Miller & Cattle Food Manufacturers in Taunton, Somerset, England, on 29 September 1939.6
  • Residence: He resided in Taunton, Somerset, England, before 27 May 1958 Oldbury, 42 South Road.2
  • Probate: The estate of Alfred Stanley Dowling was probated on 12 August 1958 in Bodmin, Cornwall, England, to Agnes Ethel Dowling widow, Eric Perry Dowling milling executive and Charles Macadam Bagehot Kite solicitor . Effects £21,503. 7s 7d.2

Citations

  1. [S970] SOURCE: (Full): FreeBMD,
    Source Combined Fields: General Register Office. ;England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes ;. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Database Copyright © 1998-2003 Graham Hart, Ben Laurie, Camilla von Massenbach and David Mayall.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Alfred Stanley Dowling
    England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Alfred S Dowling
  2. [S986] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: Principal Probate Registry. ;Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England</i>. London, England © Crown copyright.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Alfred Stanley Dowling
    England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 - Alfred Stanley Dowling
  3. [S742] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: 1911 census of England. Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. Digital images. Find My Past. https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBC/1911/RG14/08889/0439&parentid=GBC/1911/RG14/08889/0439/1 : 2019.,
    Repository: www.ancestry.co.uk,
    Citation Detail: Class: RG14; Piece: 14652; Schedule Number: 142,
    Citation Text: Record for Ivan Henry Dowling
    Census-1911-ENG-Dowling-Ivan-H-01.jpg
  4. [S954] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: General Register Office. ;England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes ;. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Indexes created by the General Register Office, in London, England.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Alfred S Dowling
    England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007 - Alfred S Dowling
  5. [S961] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: <i>Census Returns of England and Wales, 1901</i>. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives, 1901. Data imaged from the National Archives, London, England. The National Archives gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to the National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Detail: Class: RG13; Piece: 2332; Folio: 33; Page: 16,
    Citation Text: Record for Harriet Dowling
    Census-1901-ENG-Dowling-Harriet-01.jpg
  6. [S1791] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1939 census of England. Somerset. Digital images. Find My Past. https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=tna%2fr39%2f7087%2f7087h%2f019&parentid=tna%2fr39%2f7087%2f7087h%2f019%2f39 : 2019.,
    Citation Detail: Dowling Household (5 People) - Oldbury Lodge , Taunton R.D., Somerset, England,
    Citation Text: First name(s); Last name(s); DOB; Sex; Occupation; Marital Status; Schedule; Schedule Sub Number;
    Alfred S; Dowling; 10 Sep 1891; Male; Company Director Provender Mills & Cattle Food Manufacturers; Married; 199; 1;
    Agnes E; Dowling; 25 Sep 1906; Female; Unpaid Domestic Duties (Late Matron Of Hospital); Married; 199; 3;
    Eric P; Dowling; 22 Jul 1915; Male; Traveller For Miller & Cattle Food Manufacturers; Single; 199; 5;
    Joan H; Dowling; 15 Jan 1921; Female; Shorthand - Typist Assisting Father; Single; 199; 4;
    Nora Anne; Freeman (Radcliffe); 23 Nov 1910; Female; Domestic Servant; Single; 199; 5;
    Census-1939-ENG-Dowling-Alfred-S-1891-Somerset-Taunton
    Census-1939-ENG-Dowling-Alfred-S-1891-Somerset-Taunton-2
  7. [S971] SOURCE: (Full): FreeBMD,
    Source Combined Fields: General Register Office. ;England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes ;. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Database Copyright © 1998-2003 Graham Hart, Ben Laurie, Camilla von Massenbach and David Mayall.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Alfred S Dowling
    England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915 - Alfred Stanley Dowling
  8. [S827] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: Dowling, Brian Thomas. Pair of Medals: Victory Medal and British War Medal in name of Sjt A S Dowling 187645. 1914-1918. Privately held by Brian Thomas Dowling, St Albans, Hertfordshire, England AL2 3LD. United Kingdom. 2013.

    Bought from e-Bay in November 2013
    AwardMedal-Dowling-A-S-War-Victory-Pair-WW1.jpg
  9. [S967] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Alfred S Dowling
    Doc-Medal-Card-Dowling-A-S-ENG-British-Army-WWI-372.jpg
  10. [S1795] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: England. Somerset. Clutton. "BIRTH Index".,
    Repository: FreeBMD - www.freebmd.org.uk,
    Citation Detail: Record for JOYCE C M DOWLING
  11. [S1794] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: England. Somerset. Wells. "BIRTH Index".,
    Repository: FreeBMD - www.freebmd.org.uk,
    Citation Detail: Record for GEOFFREY S DOWLING
  12. [S970] SOURCE (Short): FreeBMD, Title: England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
    England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Eric Dowling
  13. [S1792] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: England. Somerset. Taunton. "BIRTHS Index".,
    Repository: FreeBMD - www.freebmd.org.uk,
    Citation Detail: Record for JOAN H DOWLING

Eric Perry Dowling

M, #15646, b. 22 July 1915, d. 21 July 2008

Parents

Pedigree Link

Family

Family: Agnes Marie (d. DECEASED)

  • Living Dowling
  • Child Dowling





Person Exhibits

Portrait-Dowling-Eric-Perry-Digger-RAF
Photo-Dowling-Eric-Perry-Digger-RAF

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Eric Perry Dowling was born on 22 July 1915 in Glastonbury, Somerset, EnglandG, Index: Wells - 1915 Jul-Sep Volume 5c Page 644.1,2,3,4
  • Marriage: He and Agnes Marie were married before 1948.
  • Death: He died on 21 July 2008, at age 92, in Stoke Bishop, Bristol, England, Age: 92; 'One day before his 93rd birthday'.1,2
  • Burial: He was buried after 21 July 2008 in Westbury-on-Trym, Gloucestershire, England.2

Other Facts

  • Name: Eric Perry Dowling was also known as Eric P Dowling.4,3
  • Name: He was also known as Lieut Eric Perry "digger" Dowling.2
  • Reference Number: He had reference number 15646.
  • Census: He was enumerated on the census of 1939 in Taunton, Somerset, England.3
  • Residence: He resided in Taunton, Somerset, England, on 29 September 1939 Oldbury Lodge, parish of Bishops Hull.3
  • Occupation: He was a Traveller for Miller & Cattle Food Manufacturers in Taunton, Somerset, England, on 29 September 1939.3
  • Occupation: He was a Navigator Flight Lieutenant RAF Bomber Command; 29 Missions between 1942 and 1944.
  • Military: Prisoner of War.
  • Occupation: He was an Aircraft Crash Investigator in Norway after 1945.
  • Occupation: He was a Parts procurement for British Aerospace Concorde in Filton, Bristol, England, before 2003.
  • Residence: He resided in Nailsea, Bristol, England, between 2003 and 2008 Retirement home.

Narrative

RAF Navigator Eric "Digger" Dowling, one of the leaders of "The Great Escape" from a German POW camp in 1944. Mr. Dowling passed away last month, at the age of 92. His death was confirmed this week (AP photo).

One of the leaders of World War II's "Great Escape" has died. Former Flight Lieutenant Eric Dowling passed away on July 21st, one day before his 93rd birthday. His death was confirmed earlier this week. Jill Lawless of the AP recounts Dowling's role in organizing one of the largest mass escapes of Allied airmen from a German POW camp:

Seventy-six Allied prisoners escaped from the Stalag Luft III prison camp on March 24, 1944, in a daring breakout. All but three were recaptured, and 50 were shot on the orders of Adolf Hitler to deter future attempts.
The escape attempt was one of the most celebrated incidents of the war, recounted in a 1963 film starring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough. Dowling played a key role in planning the escape. He forged documents, made maps and was nicknamed "Digger" for his work helping to excavate the three escape tunnels, code-named Tom, Dick and Harry. Over almost a year, prisoners surreptitiously dug the tunnels 30 feet (9 meters) underground, shored up with bedboards and wired with stolen electrical wire. Tom was discovered by guards and Dick was abandoned, but the 300-foot (90-meter) long tunnel Harry was eventually completed.

Dowling was not among the more than 200 prisoners chosen by lottery to make the escape attempt on the cold and moonless night. By the time German guards discovered the breakout, 76 men had crawled free.
While Dowling's leadership made him a prime candidate for the escape attempt, poor luck in the escape lottery likely saved his life. The Gestapo moved ruthlessly against the escapees, executing two out of every three airmen who fled the camp.

According to Dowling's son, the former RAF navigator was less-than-enthused over Hollywood's version of the escape effort. The 1963 film "The Great Escape" gave too much credit to American fliers (from Dowling's perspective), and he believed the final sequence, with Steve McQueen trying to jump a motorcycle over a border fence, was "simply over the top."

Dowling was on his 29th mission as a Bomber Command crew member when he was shot down in April of 1942. The escape attempt occurred almost two years later, after months of effort by Dowling and his fellow POWs.
Labels: Eric "Digger" Dowling; The Great Escape; RAF - POSTED BY GEORGE SMILEY AT 5:25 PM
-------------------
From The Times August 7, 2008 Great Escape tunneller Eric Dowling dies aged 92

Simon de Bruxelles
Eric “Digger”Dowling, who forged passports, made maps and helped to dig the one tunnel that the Germans did not discover before the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III, has died, aged 92.
On March 24, 1944, 250 prisoners lined up to await their turn to crawl through the tunnel to freedom. Many of them were equipped with documents that had been forged by Mr Dowling, who learnt to speak five languages fluently during his three years in the prison. The prisoners were due to get out via a tunnel nicknamed Harry - the other two, Tom and Dick, having been discovered by the guards. But the tunnel fell short and the escaping men were forced to make a dash across open land. The 77th was spotted by a sentry, who sounded the alarm. All but three of the 76 were swiftly rounded up and 50 of them were executed on the personal orders of Hitler. Mr Dowling, an RAF flight lieutenant who was navigator of a Wellington bomber, was imprisoned in Stalag Luft III in occupied Poland after his aircraft was shot down in April 1942.
Top of Form 1
Times Archive, 1945: Stalag Luft III escape: first uncensored account
There were three tunnels called Tom, Dick and Harry and a secret society called the 'X organisation'
The tragedy of Stalag Luft III
Shot air force officers
Bottom of Form 1
Related Links - Top of Form 2
Bottom of Form 2
High drama behind the German great escape
Top of Form 3
Bottom of Form 3
Top of Form 4
Bottom of Form 4
Although he was not among the 250 prisoners chosen by lot to take part in the Second World War’s biggest break-out - which was made into a film starring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough - he played a vital role in the preparations. His son, Peter Dowling, said: “His main job was forging documents and copying maps. He was known for his neat, meticulous handwriting. He was also involved in digging the tunnels, which is why he was called Digger.”
The tunnellers worked in cramped conditions 30ft (9m) below the surface to escape detection by listening devices. The tunnel that Mr Dowling helped to excavate was barely 2ft square and, because of the sandy soil, was in constant danger of collapsing.
Mr Dowling, a father of two, died in his sleep in a nursing home near Stoke Bishop, Bristol, on the eve of his 93rd birthday.
His son, now aged 60, who lives in Easton-in-Gordano, Bristol, said: “Many of the men who were in the camp with him, and all the ones he kept in touch with, are now dead. But he never forgot the seven friends who were among the 50 escapers who were shot by the Germans. He later created a commemorative booklet showing where each of them had been shot around Germany.”
Mr Dowling was not impressed by the 1963 film The Great Escape, based on the book by another former prisoner, Paul Brickhill. In particular, he thought that the famous scene in which McQueen leaps the wire fence on a stolen German motorcycle was “well over the top”. He also resented the fact that the movie made light of the hardships that were endured by the diggers.
His son said: “He was a fountain of knowledge about the war but he didn’t think much of the Steve McQueen film. The film left out a lot of the reality of digging the tunnels. He wasn’t one of America’s greatest fans and said it wasn’t like it was in the film at all and that the scene with the motorbike was rubbish. Parts of it he acknowledged were quite realistic, but then he felt it turned into something that was completely untrue. For someone who was actually there, that was upsetting.”
RAF Wing Commander Ken Rees, 87, who was the last escaper in the tunnel when it was discovered, knew Eric Dowling during his time in the camp. He said yesterday: “I knew him quite well because he was one of the digging team. On the night of the escape I was just nearing the exit in the tunnel when I heard the shot and I knew it had been discovered.
“It’s quite surprising that I can tell you about him because it was such a big camp and there were about 15 huts in North Compound and he wasn’t in mine.”
Mr Dowling said that his father often told him about good times in the prison camp as well as the hardships that had to be endured as supplies of food dwindled and then ran out while the Soviet forces advanced. His father spent the remainder of the war in the prison until its evacuation in January 1945, when prisoners were forced to march through the freezing Polish winter to other camps inside Germany. After the war, he stayed with the RAF and was sent to Norway to investigate aircraft crash sites. It was while he was in Norway that he met his wife, Marie, with whom he had two children. Later he went to work for British Aerospace in Filton, Bristol, where he put his skills to work procuring parts for the Concorde project. His son now regrets that he did not spend more time talking to his father about his wartime experiences. He said yesterday: “It was something I don’t suppose I ever really told him myself, but I certainly was proud of him.”
A great man amongst many. These days they would all be quivering at the back, claiming allowances for PTSD, which is fine, in these enlightened times. But one cannot help but think that his generation were made of better stuff. Goodbye " Digger" and rest well. - Estevan, Meltford, Suffolk
Mr Dowling was Brilliant. He used is excellant skills in helping to create the needed Documents to escape the POW camp and blend in the general population. We need to learn more on the history of the past wars from the people who was involved. History is very important. Thank You Mr. Dowling ! - William May, Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A
Many people gave everything so we could live in freedom, We repay them how? By letting crimanals and terrorist rule Come on Great Britian get sorted and become Great again. I am one of the Baby Boomers and want my grandchildren to grow up in a safe and happy world - Name Withheld, Maidstone,
----------
The Guardian:
'Digger' Dowling, hero of the Great Escape, makes his final exit at (almost) 93. Son says veteran of Stalag Luft III found plot of Steve McQueen film inaccurate
Maev Kennedy
The Guardian, Thursday 7 August 2008
Article history
Eric 'Digger' Dowling in his heyday. Photograph: PA/family handout
Eric "Digger" Dowling, the English airman who helped excavate the tunnel but was left behind when the Great Escapers crawled out of Stalag Luft III and into history, has died peacefully a day short of his 93rd birthday.
The escape from the German camp on March 24 1944, through tunnels dug with tools and equipment scavenged from scrap materials, has become one of the most famous in the annals of the second world war, and inspired an equally famous film, The Great Escape - which Dowling very much disliked.
Peter Dowling: 'He was proud the film roughly depicted what happened' Link to this audio
"He couldn't understand why they hadn't made it more true to life," his son Peter said yesterday. "He said some of the details were very accurate, the materials, how they did the tunnelling, the confined spaces - but they made up a lot of the plot and he didn't like that at all." One of the most celebrated scenes in the 1963 film, when Steve McQueen charges a barbed wire perimeter fence on his motor bike, was invented.
Unlike some survivors, Eric Dowling spoke readily about his war and, though a modest man, became a local celebrity - but he kept a few secrets to his grave. It was only after his death last month in a nursing home near Bristol that Peter Dowling sorted through a lifetime's letters, diaries, photographs and memorabilia, and was horrified to find a German army revolver and several rounds of live ammunition.
"I phoned the police in Bristol, and they came round pretty promptly. They took the gun away to be decommissioned - but when they heard who it belonged to, they refused to charge the usual fee before they returned it to me."
"One of my great regrets now is that we didn't persuade my father to write a book: he had a fantastic memory until quite recently, and I found meticulous records he kept in the camp, including many photographs - I think they must have got hold of a German camera by barter - details of everyday life and lists of every wine he knew about that he planned to taste when he got out. He remembered life in the camp and relations with the Germans as pretty good. He was an excellent cricketer, which they organised by county, so he led for the Stalag III Somerset. He was devastated when Hitler had 50 of the recaptured prisoners murdered, including seven very good friends."
Stalag Luft III, south-east of Berlin in what is now Poland, was intended for downed American and British airmen, but by 1943 usefully included former Polish mining engineers. The March 1944 escape was only one of many - the Germans kept a small museum of captured escape materials for training purposes. The prisoners, many trained as designers or engineers, forged passports, passes and identity papers, and made German uniform and insignia, civilian clothes, compasses and maps, and digging tools and ventilation shafts from powdered milk tins.
The plan devised by Squadron Leader Roger Bushell was for the most elaborate escape of all, 250 prisoners through three long tunnels called Tom, Dick and Harry - with the entrance to Harry hidden under a hut stove. The first shallow tunnels collapsed in the sandy soil burying the diggers. They then dug deeper, shoring with the boards from bunks - survivors remembered sleeping on nets of ropes made of rags, because all the planks had gone. The telltale bright yellow soil dug out had to be hidden under the huts, or smuggled in trouser legs and shaken out into the garden plots.
Dowling, born in Glastonbury, became an RAF navigator and flew 29 missions before his plane was shot down and he was captured: his son said his most traumatic memory was not the camp, but a training flight he missed which crashed with the loss of the entire crew. He survived the war with no worse than ear damage from the appalling noise in the cockpits, and returned happily to county cricket. He became a county bridge champion with his Norwegian wife Agnes Marie and spent 20 years working for British Aerospace in Bristol on the Concorde project. He moved into a retirement home in Nailsea five years ago: the owner renamed it Dowling House in his honour. His son hopes that his papers and memorabilia may find a place in a national museum.
-------------
The Daily Mail: 'Digger' Dowling, the modest war hero who inspired - but hated - The Great Escape
By Tony Rennell
Last updated at 12:39 AM on 07th August 2008
Comments (4)
Add to My Stories
To have any chance of succeeding, an escape tunnel had to be deep. Experience taught British World War II prisoners- of-war that anything shallow would quickly be discovered.
The German guards would have only to drive a heavy truck over the sandy compound, there would be a cave-in and the game would be up.
So dig deep - 25ft down - was what the Royal Air Force inmates of the Stalag Luft III camp at Sagan in Poland did in 1944. And dig long - 340ft to the other side of the barbed wire.

Tunnel king: 'Great Escape' war hero Eric Dowling
For those toiling beneath the ground, conditions were hellish. Just enough room for two men at the bottom of the entrance shaft. Oxygen so sparse that the primitive candle made from animal fat would flicker and die, leaving nothing but the blackness of the tomb. And then you struggled with nothing more than a spoon to hack away at the sub-soil, pushing it back behind you as you went, worrying constantly that a foot or a shoulder out of line might bring the roof down on your head. Flight Lieutenant Eric Dowling was one of those fearless tunnellers, playing an important part in the incident, both inspiring and tragic, that would come to be known as The Great Escape and which became the subject of a classic war film.
Eric 'Digger' Dowling (left), pictured with an inmate at the Stalag Luft camp, from which he helped organise the breakout which inspired The Great Escape. His death, announced this week, just short of his 93rd birthday, is a reminder of an age of quiet heroes and a generation who never knew when to give up and so they didn't. They were survivors through the darkest of days.
He never liked the film The Great Escape. People were always trying to liken him to the characters in that fictionalised depiction - 'The Tunnel King', played by Charles Bronson, and Donald Pleasence's master-forger in particular. But he always said the film bore little resemblance to reality. Dowling was a navigator in a Wellington bomber on a raid over Hamburg in April 1942. It was his 30th mission. If he made it home from this one, his tour would be over and he would be assigned away from front-line duties. But his plane was shot down, one of eight RAF aircraft lost that night. He never forgot the searchlights that seemed to freeze the attacking aircraft in their glare and make them perfect prey for the waiting German fighter planes. His Wellington limped away, but was fatally hit. He recalled in his diary that 'the ensuing 15 minutes until the crash seemed like an eternity'. He expected to die, and to emerge from the wreck of the Wellington alive was 'an unbelievable remission'. His fate was to be caught on the ground by young thugs of the Hitler Youth, but it could have been worse. Digger Dowling with his aircrew, before they were shot down and captured He was fortunate not to be strung up on a lamppost as a terrorflieger - or 'terror pilot' - as happened to numerous British aircrew shot down after bombing German cities.
Following interrogation, the handsome, pipe-smoking 27-yearold was shipped - like tens of thousands of other RAF men unlucky enough to drop into hostile territory - to the easterly reaches of the Third Reich, as far from England as possible. The distance was meant to deter them from trying to escape. It did not. Captivity took men differently. Some moped, their morale shattered. Others found ways to thrive. Dowling was one of these, finding much to pass the time at Sagan. He played cricket, keeping meticulous records of all the scores of the batsmen and bowlers. He began writing a book on wines and cocktails - a considerable feat given that, apart from the illicit (and highly toxic) hooch distilled at Christmas, the camp was dry and he can have been drawing only on memory and imagination.
He also taught himself a number of languages with the help of foreign-speaking prisoners. But in addition, he found time for that other great passion of the POW camps: escaping. In later life Eric Dowling would speak freely about his time in war, although he was never a fan of the Steve McQueen film The Great Escape The escapers - the Tally-ho boys as they were often called for both their bravery and their foolhardiness - were an elite group who, like magnets, pulled many fellow prisoners into their activities. When Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, Stalag Luft III's chief escape officer (and known as 'Big X'), planned a mass break-out from the camp - as opposed to the individual, opportunistic evasions that were the norm - everyone willing was hauled in to help. Shift after shift of moles were needed to go down into that black hole, and 'Digger' Dowling - as he was henceforth called - was one of them.
Three tunnels, code-named Tom, Dick and Harry, were started in an attempt to thwart the German 'ferrets', specially trained security guards who patrolled the camp trying to detect escape attempts. They found 'Tom' and dynamited it. 'Dick' was abandoned and used to store dirt from 'Harry', into which all efforts were then concentrated. Digger' Dowling then moved jobs - from tunnelling to other equally vital duties. On his orders, 50 of the recaptured POWs were shot without trial in defiance of the Geneva Convention. Seven of those murdered were Dowling's friends. Only three of the escapers made it home.
Mr Dowling 'wasn't a fan' of the Great Escape film, in which his role was played by Charles Bronson. Big X's plan was to get 200 men out in one go, to flood the area with escapers and to throw the German military and police forces into chaos. But to have any chance of getting any distance from the camp, those men would need maps and false papers. Dowling became a forger, perhaps the most important role of all as well as the most tricky, given the scale of the planned exodus. They had little enough to go on. Raw materials - pens, inks, paper and so on - were smuggled in by MI9, a secret intelligence operation in London, in food parcels to prisoners, or stolen or bought from corruptible guards inside the camp. Anything and everything was cannibalised. Toilet tissue was used as tracing paper, rubber from boot soles was carved into official-looking stamps. Nor was it a question of just concocting a simple identity card. To travel around any part of Hitler's Reich, a shoal of permits, chits and passes was needed.
Providing each man who got away with even the remotest possibility of fooling a Gestapo agent at a railway station was a formidable task. Dowling played his part in that vital production line. But for all his efforts he was not to be one of the favoured 200 picked to make the freedom dash. Lots were drawn among the British contingent in the camp and he was not on the final list. It must have been galling for him at the time, but that throw of the dice saved his life.
Legendary: Eric 'Digger' Dowling pictured in a slightly less adventurous time, pushing his son in a pram. On the night of March 24, 1944, the escapers gathered in Hut 104, before crawling along Harry on all fours and out past the goon towers and the trip wires towards the woods beyond. There was a snag. The tunnel had fallen short by 10ft, which meant a risky sprint over open ground to cover. This slowed the whole process and only 76 men had got away by 4.45am. The following morning, when a patrolling sentry stumbled on the exit from the tunnel, Stalag Luft III went into lockdown. Outside, a massive manhunt began for the escapers, and over the next days and weeks one by one they were caught. Hitler was furious. His security forces had been made fools of. Nine months later, Dowling and the remainder of the Stalag Luft III prisoners finally made it past the barbed wire themselves - but on a trek that was as hazardous as any other aspect of their war. In the bitter winter of January 1945, the camp was evacuated ahead of the advancing forces of the Soviet Union. At gunpoint, through blizzards and snow drifts, the inmates tramped westwards on a forced march in which many died of illness and starvation.
For men who had endured so much, this final 'death march', as it has been called, was unbearable. Fictional heroics: Dowling called the big-screen version of events, starring Steve McQueen, 'rubbish' as there were no Americans at the camp It is a tribute to their incredible resilience that so many survived to reach German camps near the Allied front line from which they were eventually liberated. Dowling returned to the West Country, where he had grown up, and worked in the aircraft industry in Bristol. As for the film, which came out in 1963, he was contemptuous of the baseball-bashing Steve McQueen character and described the whole business of his attempted escape from capture on a motorbike, one of the most memorable incidents in the film, as 'rubbish'.
In fact, no Americans were involved in the Stalag Luft III escape. And he couldn't identify himself with the Bronson and Pleasence characters because in the film they both escaped, whereas he never did. But his main complaint was, according to his son, Peter, that 'the film left out a lot of the reality of digging the tunnels'. The heat, the shortness of breath, the suffocation, the awful claustrophobia, the fear - no film could capture that. Only a man called 'Digger' could really know what it was like.
•TONY RENNELL is the author of Home Run: Escape From Nazi Europe (Penguin, £8.99).

Citations

  1. [S406] SOURCE: (Full): George Smiley,
    Repository: On-line,
    Citation Detail: http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2008/08/digger-dowling-rip.html,
    Citation Text: Eric Digger Dowling Dies
    RAF Navigator Eric "Digger" Dowling, one of the leaders of "The Great Escape" from a German POW camp in 1944. Mr. Dowling passed away last month, at the age of 92. His death was confirmed this week (AP photo).

    One of the leaders of World War II's "Great Escape" has died. Former Flight Lieutenant Eric Dowling passed away on July 21st, one day before his 93rd birthday. His death was confirmed earlier this week.

    Jill Lawless of the AP recounts Dowling's role in organizing one of the largest mass escapes of Allied airmen from a German POW camp:

    Seventy-six Allied prisoners escaped from the Stalag Luft III prison camp on March 24, 1944, in a daring breakout. All but three were recaptured, and 50 were shot on the orders of Adolf Hitler to deter future attempts.

    The escape attempt was one of the most celebrated incidents of the war, recounted in a 1963 film starring Steve McQueen and Richard Attenborough.

    Dowling played a key role in planning the escape. He forged documents, made maps and was nicknamed "Digger" for his work helping to excavate the three escape tunnels, code-named Tom, Dick and Harry.

    Over almost a year, prisoners surreptitiously dug the tunnels 30 feet (9 meters) underground, shored up with bedboards and wired with stolen electrical wire. Tom was discovered by guards and Dick was abandoned, but the 300-foot (90-meter) long tunnel Harry was eventually completed.

    Dowling was not among the more than 200 prisoners chosen by lottery to make the escape attempt on the cold and moonless night. By the time German guards discovered the breakout, 76 men had crawled free.

    While Dowling's leadership made him a prime candidate for the escape attempt, poor luck in the escape lottery likely saved his life. The Gestapo moved ruthlessly against the escapees, executing two out of every three airmen who fled the camp.

    According to Dowling's son, the former RAF navigator was less-than-enthused over Hollywood's version of the escape effort. The 1963 film "The Great Escape" gave too much credit to American fliers (from Dowling's perspective), and he believed the final sequence, with Steve McQueen trying to jump a motorcycle over a border fence, was "simply over the top."

    Dowling was on his 29th mission as a Bomber Command crew member when he was shot down in April of 1942. The escape attempt occurred almost two years later, after months of effort by Dowling and his fellow POWs.
    Labels: Eric "Digger" Dowling; The Great Escape; RAF
    POSTED BY GEORGE SMILEY AT 5:25 PM
  2. [S1095] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: <i>Find A Grave</i>. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi: accessed 15 February 2013.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Lieut Eric Perry "digger" Dowling
  3. [S1791] SOURCE: (Full):
    Source Combined Fields: 1939 census of England. Somerset. Digital images. Find My Past. https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=tna%2fr39%2f7087%2f7087h%2f019&parentid=tna%2fr39%2f7087%2f7087h%2f019%2f39 : 2019.,
    Citation Detail: Dowling Household (5 People) - Oldbury Lodge , Taunton R.D., Somerset, England,
    Citation Text: First name(s); Last name(s); DOB; Sex; Occupation; Marital Status; Schedule; Schedule Sub Number;
    Alfred S; Dowling; 10 Sep 1891; Male; Company Director Provender Mills & Cattle Food Manufacturers; Married; 199; 1;
    Agnes E; Dowling; 25 Sep 1906; Female; Unpaid Domestic Duties (Late Matron Of Hospital); Married; 199; 3;
    Eric P; Dowling; 22 Jul 1915; Male; Traveller For Miller & Cattle Food Manufacturers; Single; 199; 5;
    Joan H; Dowling; 15 Jan 1921; Female; Shorthand - Typist Assisting Father; Single; 199; 4;
    Nora Anne; Freeman (Radcliffe); 23 Nov 1910; Female; Domestic Servant; Single; 199; 5;
    Census-1939-ENG-Dowling-Alfred-S-1891-Somerset-Taunton
    Census-1939-ENG-Dowling-Alfred-S-1891-Somerset-Taunton-2
  4. [S970] SOURCE: (Full): FreeBMD,
    Source Combined Fields: General Register Office. ;England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes ;. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Database Copyright © 1998-2003 Graham Hart, Ben Laurie, Camilla von Massenbach and David Mayall.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Eric P Dowling
    England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Eric Dowling

Patrick Doolan1

M, #15647, b. about 1888, d. DECEASED

Parents

Pedigree Link

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Patrick Doolan was born about 1888 in Galway, Ireland.1
  • Death: He died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Patrick Doolan had reference number 15647.
  • Residence: He resided in Portumna, Galway, Ireland, on 31 March 1901 35 Old Street.2
  • Occupation: He was a Scholar in Portumna, Galway, Ireland, on 31 March 1901.
  • Census: He was enumerated on the census of 1901 in Portumna, Galway, Ireland.

Citations

  1. [S830] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: Census of Ireland 1901/1911. The National Archives of Ireland. http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/: accessed 31 May 2013.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Patrick Doolan
  2. [S830] SOURCE (Short): Ancestry.com, Title: Web: Ireland, Census, 1901

Kate Doolan1

F, #15648, b. about 1865, d. DECEASED
Pedigree Link

Family

Family: Thomas Doolan (b. about 1856, d. DECEASED)

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Kate Doolan was born about 1865 in Galway, Ireland.1
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Kate Doolan had reference number 15648.
  • Residence: She resided in Portumna, Galway, Ireland, on 31 March 1901 35 Old Street.2
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1901 in Portumna, Galway, Ireland.
  • Occupation: She was a House Keeping in Portumna, Galway, Ireland, on 31 March 1901.

Citations

  1. [S830] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: Census of Ireland 1901/1911. The National Archives of Ireland. http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/: accessed 31 May 2013.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Patrick Doolan
  2. [S830] SOURCE (Short): Ancestry.com, Title: Web: Ireland, Census, 1901

Thomas Doolan1

M, #15649, b. about 1856, d. DECEASED

Parents

Pedigree Link

Family

Family: Kate Doolan (b. about 1865, d. DECEASED)

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Thomas Doolan was born about 1856 in Galway, Ireland.1
  • Death: He died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Thomas Doolan had reference number 15649.
  • Residence: He resided in Portumna, Galway, Ireland, on 31 March 1901 35 Old Street.2
  • Census: He was enumerated on the census of 1901 in Portumna, Galway, Ireland.
  • Occupation: He was a Bank Porter in Portumna, Galway, Ireland, on 31 March 1901.

Citations

  1. [S830] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: Census of Ireland 1901/1911. The National Archives of Ireland. http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/: accessed 31 May 2013.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Patrick Doolan
  2. [S830] SOURCE (Short): Ancestry.com, Title: Web: Ireland, Census, 1901

Anne Doolan1

F, #15650, b. about 1836, d. DECEASED
Pedigree Link

Family

Family:

BIOGRAPHY

Vital Facts

  • Birth: Anne Doolan was born about 1836 in Galway, Ireland.1
  • Death: She died DECEASED.

Other Facts

  • Reference Number: Anne Doolan had reference number 15650.
  • Residence: She resided in Portumna, Galway, Ireland, on 31 March 1901 35 Old Street.1
  • Census: She was enumerated on the census of 1901 in Portumna, Galway, Ireland.
  • Occupation: She was a House Keeping in Portumna, Galway, Ireland, on 31 March 1901.

Citations

  1. [S830] SOURCE: (Full): Ancestry.com,
    Source Combined Fields: Census of Ireland 1901/1911. The National Archives of Ireland. http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/: accessed 31 May 2013.,
    Repository: Ancestry.com,
    Citation Text: Record for Thomas Doolan