This blog posting has been prepared by one of our volunteers, Ann Eales.
A W. Bowen appears in the Midland Counties Express on 25 Nov 1916. He was a member of the King’s Royal Rifles, and was killed on 9 June 1916, at the age of 28. He was married with three children, and his widow and children lived at 86 Green Lane. He was educated at St Paul’s Schools.
The Wolverhampton Roll of Honour has “Bowen William Thomas Private R/13330 10th Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps born and resident in Wolverhampton killed in action 9 June 1916.” Information from the CWGC includes Grave Reference: R. 2. and Cemetery: POTIJZE BURIAL GROUND CEMETERY. 563 Identified Casualties are buried at this cemetery at West-Vlaanderen in Belgium. Potijze was within the Allied lines during practically the whole of the First Word War and although subject to incessant shell fire, Potijze Chateau contained an Advanced Dressing Station. Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery was used from April 1915 to October 1918.
His Medal Index Card has Theatre of War first served in as France, date 11-12-15, and that he was “K.in A.” but with no date. From his military records we learn that he had been in the RAMC Militia, having enlisted at Lichfield in July 1906 at the age of 17, when his Trade was Finisher Cycle Trade. He weighed 104 lbs, had “Tattoo both forearms” and a note says that “a very respectable lad.” He was discharged on 5th July 1909 at the end of his 6 years service. The Short Service Attestation Form completed when he enlisted in 1915 shows him living at 7 Johnson Street, age 26, Trade Bobber, married, height 5ft 4 5/8th inches, Next of Kin Nellie Bowen, married 27.5.1909, née Harding, with 3 children, Frederick born 1909, Elsie born 1912 and Nellie born 1914.
William Thomas Bowen was baptised at St Marks Church on November 25th 1888. His parents are recorded as William, Quality Trade or Profession Locksmith and Sarah Ann Bowen, Abode 8 Ct. Salop Street.
The 1891 Census shows the Bowen family living at 8 Court, Bell Street, Wolverhampton, and Household Members are William E Head age 26 a Mortice Locksmith, Sarah A age 22 , William age 2, and Henry age 5 months. In the 1901 Census records the family, all born at Wolverhampton, were living at Court 3, St John Square. Household Members are William H age 37, Locksmith, his wife Sarah A age 32, and their children Lily age 2, William age 12, Harry age 10, Frederick age 8, and Philip age 6.
The marriage of William Thomas Bowen to Nellie Harding was registered at Wolverhampton in the 2nd quarter of 1909.
The 1911 census records William Bowen age 22 a Brass Bobber by Trade living at No 1 Stevens Gate Wolverhampton with his wife Nellie age 21 and their son Freddy age 1.