Rowland Bourke

Commander Rowland Bourke, V.C., D.S.O.

Esquimalt Resident from 1932 to 1985

Commander Bourke was awarded the Victoria Cross and the Distinguished Service Order for his rescue efforts during two separate battles off the coast of Belgium during World War 1, while serving as a Lieutenant in command of Motor Launch 276. 

He later served as Commander at HMCS Givenchy, Esquimalt, and Burrard, Vancouver.

Commander Bourke is one of only four Canadian naval Victoria Cross winners. He died in 1958 and is now buried at Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria. His medals are held at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. A display to honour Rowland Bourke was created for the Township's September 4, 2014 First World War Commemoration event. It is now on display in the Esquimalt library, and is also posted here.