Colin was born on the 9th of October 1944 in a village called Higham-on-the-Hill in Leicestershire. Both his parents Ted and Eve are deceased and are buried at the local Higham churchyard.

WO2 CE Rowley
WO2 CE Rowley

Colin attended the local C of E Junior School in Higham and then transferred to the Westfield Boys Senior School in the nearby town of Hinckley where he represented the school in Rugby, Soccer and Athletics. Remarkably, he still holds records there for throwing the Discus and Javelin.

Colin joined the army as a Junior Leader at the age of 15yrs sometime around Christmas 1959 doing his training with The RAC Junior Leaders Regt. at Bovington Camp in Dorset.

From there Colin went on to become an Irish Hussar and joined the Regiment in IPOH Malaya in Feb 1963.

Because of the 3yrs, Colin spent at Junior Leaders, (until his 18th birthday in Oct 1962 which was counted as Boys’ service) his total Army service was 24 & 2/3 years.

In a career covering some 22 years with the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, Colin was posted to such diverse places as Malaya, Sarawak, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Germany, UK & Canada.

Colin worked his way through the Ranks doing a variety of jobs, such as Tank Crewman, Tank Commander, Troop Sgt; D & M Instr, Schools D & M Instructor, QTO, Training WO, Int. WO, All Arms Drill Course, finishing as MTWO and of course all the diverse things you get to do or are told to.

During his time in Singapore, he met his future wife Ai-Lin (Eileen as we knew her). Soon after he returned from his 3 years tour of the Far East, they were later married in the church at Higham-on-the-Hill. Colin and Eileen were blessed with two boys Mark and Paul who were born in ‘67 & ‘71.

On his demob from the Army, the Family went to live in Perth, Australia where Colin became a successful sales director of an office fit-out company.

He was able to have his own motor launch which enabled him to continue his love of deep sea fishing, which started some years before when stationed at Lulworth Cove. Sadly Colin & Eileen divorced some 13 yrs ago, at which time Colin decided to go to live on the Island of Bali.

There he met and married his second wife Ida. They had a son David, who is now 11 years old and Colin adopted Ida’s daughter from a previous marriage Lufi, who is now 14 years old.

Colin remained good friends with Eileen and kept in touch with Mark & Paul and many of his old friends, relations and other acquaintances by e-mail as by now the world had shrunk with the arrival of the internet.

Colin had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was due to fly to Perth for treatment on the 29th of August but sadly Colin passed away suddenly due to an unrelated illness on the 26th of August 2012 whilst still on the South Pacific Island of the Gods – Bali.

His funeral service was held at a Christian Church in Bali and he was cremated afterwards at the local crematorium nearby to where he lived in Nusa Dua.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  2. Malaya and Borneo 1962-64