Largs and Millport Weekly News: A history buff from the Netherlands is appealing to the public to help him trace the families of World War Two fallen heroes from Ayrshire.

Theo Vervoort, 65, from Venray, claims he wants to help commemorate the brave soldiers who gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom.

Theo has previously been successful in getting soldiers commemorated in his home country, and is hoping for the same again in 2024. 

This time he is seeking information about two servicemen - Thomas McQuade and John Dodds Milligan.

McQuade was killed in action during the liberation of the little town of Horst, nearby Venray. 

He was a member of the 151 Ayrshire Yeoman  Field Regiment, Royal Artillry, and died at the age of 23, on November 26, 1944.

He married Mary McCann (1921-1970) on April 12, 1944 in Kilwinning.

His parents were Thomas McQuade (1897 Kilwinning-1988 Kilwinning) and Rose Loughran (1901 Kilwinning-1966 Kilwinning)

McQuade's parents and his wife all worked in the munitions factory in Stevenston, as did McQuade before his enlistment.

He also had a sister Catherine McQuade who lived until 2016, and she married Alexander Watters McCourt in Kilwinning, and had three children, John, Thomas and Rose Lynn.

Milligan was killed in action during a Germand Counter attack nearby the village of Meijel, also nearby Venray.

He was a hairdresser's assistant before his enlistment. Born in 1910 in Green Street in Ayr, he died on November 20, aged 34.


Milligan was married to Sarah Carlyle Quinn (Kilbirnie 1920- Troon 1978) at a ceremony which took place in Ayr in 1942.

They have a son John Milligan born in 1945 in Dalziel. Sarah remarried in 1947 to Robert Douneghey.

A daughter born of her second marriage, Irene Douneghey, born 1948 in Kilwinning, married James Campbell Espie in Troon in 1972, and are believed to have had twins in 1976.

Theo said: "As usual we are looking for relatives and a photo.

"We have now 415 of the 663 identified graves. There are 30 unidentified war graves at the Commonwealth Venray War Cemetery.

"And we hope that readers from the Ayr Advertiser, Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, Irvine Times and Largs and Millport Weekly News can help us once more in our quest to get these war heroes commemorated."

If you can help Theo locate the families of Milligan and McQuade, please email