R D Garware grave monument in St Catherine Church burial ground, The Leigh, Gloucestershire, England
R D Garware grave monument: legible names and details
Warrant Officer R D Garware
|1945||25||1920||first name on monument||WO Ramo Digamber Garware 1190419 RAFVR was an Indian Hindu who had connections with Mrs Wilson, an elderly lady who lived at Old Well Cottage in The Leigh through the Second World War. Our only memories of him are of him walking down in uniform to visit her. The Palfrey family tell how he would stunt and wave to her over her house and Wellcroft farm buildings, so giving her concern. Little is known of Mrs Wilson but she organised knitting groups there with school children making items for servicemen and left around the end of the war. WO Garware’s grave is marked with a headstone placed in The Leigh churchyard in the 1950s and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Church records show that Mrs Wilson died some three months afterwards but has an unmarked grave which is probably alongside his. However, more information has been found from the internet which confirms that he was forced to crash land in Spitfire P8547 after engine failure in Scotland and died in hospital the following day – 23 December 1943 aged 25. He was at the time attached to RAF 58 Operational Training Unit at RAF Kinross, Sheerdale, Clackmannon and is named on the memorial panel amongst those lost there. Other postings show that he was in the UK for studying and joined the RAF on the outbreak of the war. Also that he had UK nationality and that he was the son of Digamber Chantanan Garware and Mathubia Garware and husband of Margaret Garware of Coombe Hill. His marriage was not known of in the village but we find that he married a Margaret Mary McLaren in the Calderhead District of Lanarkshire, Scotland, sometime in 1943. This means that he was only married for a few months before his death and, as nothing can be traced for a link at Coombe Hill, it seems possible that it comes from Mrs Wilson’s address that would have been “The Leigh, Coombe Hill” in those days. It would be expected that they lived in married quarters in Scotland. Another interesting postingappears to come from the USA and refers to someone’s father’s wartime diary which reads :- Sunday 9th November 1941 Ternhill. Poor old Garware told us his woes. His father is Indian, made a lot of money and owns a car factory. G’s father has given two Spitfires to the British Government, sent G to England to join the RAF (which cost £1000) and yet G cannot get a commission although he has a degree from Bombay University. Research of the Garware name shows that Bhalchandra Diginbar G was the pioneering industrialist not Diginbar Chatanam buit Ramo may have been closely related to the famous Bhalchandra who became Sheriff of Bombay in 1959 and founded many charitable trusts, schools and colleges. The Garware group of companies can be found thriving today around the Mumbai area. Another interesting link comes from the fact that Spitfire P8547 was a presentation aircraft known as “Indian Posts”. Ternhill is still an airfield in Shropshire.|
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