b. 1931 Stepney, London.
DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 17/10/1948 Portland, Dorset.
He was 17 years old and serving in the Royal Navy when a liberty boat returning from Weymouth Pier to HMS Illustrious with 51 men on board overturned and sank 50 to 100yds from the ship's stern. Lowe was trapped under the canopy but struggled free and surfaced. He saw a lifebelt a short distance from him, which had been thrown from the Illustrious, and swam to it. He then removed his overcoat and shoes and swam towards the ship. When he was under the stern a line was thrown to him. At this moment he heard a faint cry of help and looking around saw that Midshipman Richard Clough, who was about 10yds away, was in great difficulty. Lowe grabbed the line and swam to him; Clough was unconscious by the time he reached him. He tried to turn him over to keep his head above water but could not, so he pulled him to the ship's side. A fog buoy was lowered and he managed to drag Clough onto it and hold on to him until a petty officer came down the rope to assist him. Together they secured him until he was hoisted on board. Sadly Clough died half an hour later from severe shock. Lowe also served in the Korean War, and is currently one of 20 living recipients of the GC.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: WITH RECIPIENT.
Medals courtesy of Aubrey Bairstow