Lieutenant Roland DOWLEN

Roland Dowlen was born 12 October 1907 in Sicily, Italy, the son of an Italian father, whose nationality he took, but who later died, and an American mother.  His name at birth is not recorded, but after his father’s death, his mother brought him to Britain where he was adopted, at the age of 5, by Mr. W. E. Dowlen of London W2, taking his step-father’s surname.  His early life and education are not known, nor how he came to master French, but by adult life he had a sister living in France and he worked for the Royal Bank of Canada (Banque Royale du Canada) in both Paris (from October 1923) and London (from 1933).  At some point he had been a scoutmaster, otherwise personal details are scant other than in 1936 he took British, in place of Italian, nationality.


Dowlen joined the British Army Service Corps in September 1941, with the service number T/290291.  He served in No 1 Training Battalion as a Driver (Private) before joining French Section  SOE at the beginning of April 1942. Commissioned in the General List with a new service number of 241045, he underwent Preliminary School assessment and training at STS 5  Wanborough Manor, near Guildford, Surrey, where he was a member of Party 27P which commenced on 27 April 1942......... [Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].

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