A COMMANDER from the Royal Australian Navy returned to Old Kilpatrick on last year’s Remembrance Day to honour his Bankie war hero great-grandfather.

Commander Dave Crane laid a wreath in memory of the Australians commemorated on the memorial, but also had more personal reasons for being there - to pay tribute to Francis Howie, his great-grandfather, who, after being gassed during World War 1, emigrated to Australia from Clydebank after doctors told him it would be better for his health.

And now Commander Crane is looking for the help of local residents in finding out more about his family roots in the area.

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Francis Howie served in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and was married to his wife Elizabeth Gilmour on Hogmanay 1913 in Radnor Park Church. They lived in Bannerman Street, Clydebank and worked at Singer’s.

They left along with Dave’s grandfather, Hugh, for Australia in 1929 where sadly Francis passed away in Sydney in 1935, aged 46, from his war injuries. The total number of military and civilian casualties from the first world war is estimated to be about 40 million.

If anyone has any information regarding Francis or Elizabeth and would like to help Commander Crane then please email secretary@oldkilpatrickcc.org.uk.