Arthur was born in Shifnal, Shropshire, in 1880, the son of George and Ann Bowker. By 1901, he was boarding in Tettenhall in the home of Richard Mason and was working as a groom. In 1903, he married Mary Jane Bentley in Wolverhampton, and by 1911 they were living at 77 Church Road, Bradmore with two sons, Horace G. V. and Hector G. A. Bowker. Arthur was a stableman for a brewery. The couple had a further two children – Dennis J. (1913) and Edna M. E. (1915).
On 2 October 1914, Arthur enlisted in the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 240619), by which date his trade was given as potato dealer. He was appointed Lance Corporal and later promoted to Sergeant. He was demobilised on 22 January 1919. He was awarded the Military Medal, as announced in the London Gazette on 17 June 1919.
Arthur died in Wolverhampton in 1958.