He was the elder son of James Cuthbert Gow and his wife Katherine Wood and was born in Sheffield. His mother was the daughter of Benjamin George Wood of Sheffield, a steel manufacturer. James Gow was the son of Professor The Reverend James Gow, Headmaster of Westminster School 1901-1919.

James C Gow with his parents and two brothers had been present in Westminster Abbey at the Crowning of Edward V11. His brother Roderick Charles Alastair was killed in 1916 and one may surmise that the baby was named for his uncle.

R.G.A was educated at Winchester where he played cricket for the school in the 1938 season and Matriculated in the same year. He spent one year at Christ Church.

He enlisted and was granted an emergency commission in the Royal Regiment of Artillery on 24 February 1940. He became a full Lieutenant on 24 August 1941 and was raised to Captain on 12 April 1943.

He was attached to the 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment taking part in Operation Market Garden. He was dropped at Arnhem and killed on 19 September 1944.

He is buried in the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery Plot 15. C. 7.

His parents were living in Regent's Park, London.