Alfred William BOWLEY

BOWLEY, Alfred William

Service Numbers: 2334, 2334A
Enlisted: 1 May 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Clare, South Australia, 12 August 1877
Home Town: Unley, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Clare Public School
Occupation: Compositor
Died: Died of Wounds, Pozieres, France, 10 August 1916, aged 38 years
Cemetery: Abbeville Communal Cemetery
VI C 5, Abbeville Communal Cemetery, Abbeville, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Clare Original Clare School WW1 Memorial, Clare Schools Old Scholars who Fell WW1 Memorial, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

1 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2334, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

5th Reinforcements

embarkation_roll: roll_number: 15 embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Themistocles embarkation_ship_number: A32 public_note:

1 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
30 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2334, 27th Infantry Battalion
13 Oct 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT Themistocles (A32)
10 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, 2334, 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières ,

Wounded in Action 4th Ugust 1916

Died of wounds 12th August 1916

10 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2334A, 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 2334A awm_unit: 27 Battalion awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1916-08-10


The Advertiser Friday 25 August 1916 page 7

Mr. and Mrs. R. Bowley, of Fairfield street, New Parkside, have been notified that their second son, Private A.W. Bowley, aged 39 years, was killed in action in France on August 16. He left South Australia on September 14. 1915, and had been in the fighting line since early in March. He was in hospital for six weeks, and had only just returned to the trenches, when he met his death. Private Bowley was well known in Adelaide, and it was said of him that when any strenuous fighting was to be done, "Bowley would be there". He was a widower, and he left a little daughter and twin sons.

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Son of Richard BOWLEY and Rosanna nee McKAY

Surname: BOWLEY; Given Names: Alfred William; Date of Birth: 12 August 1877; Date of Enlistment: 1 May 1915; Trade or Calling: Compositor; Birth Location: Clare SA; Address prior to enlistment: 43 Fairford St Unley; Photograph sent by: Mrs R Bowley
Source: State Records SA


Alfred William Bowley was born in Clare on 12 August 1877.  He trained as a compositor (Type setter) in the printing industry having trained as an apprentice with MH Tillbrook in Clare and later with another company in Adelaide.

He is listed as being a widower with 3 children on enlistment in June 1915, aged almost 37 years.  The eldest, Ellie, is listed along with the children's grandmother (his mother) , Mrs Rosanna Bowley of 43 Fairford St Unley, as his Next of Kin.

He was assigned to the 5th Reinforcements of the 27th Battalion.  After training at Mitcham Camp he embarked along with his comrades on the 13th October at Outer Harbour aboard the HMAT Thermistocles A32.

This draft of reinforcements arrived in Egypt where they were then engaged in training prior to be ing posted to the Battalion which was by his time serving on Gallipoli.   Alfred however was not assigned to ANZAC at Gallipoli; by the time the 5th Reinforcements’ training was complete, ANZAC was being evacuated.  Instead, he joined the Battalion on its return from ANZAC in early January 1916, and sailed with the Battalion from Alexandria for Europe in March.  He was awarded 4 days Field Punishment for being  ‘Absent Without Leave’ in Alexandria prior  to embarkation.

On arrival in France he then endured a succession of minor hospitalisations mainly to do with his eyesight (a condition called myalgia) and rheumatism.  Soldiering was and is  'a young man's game' and Alfred would no doubt be feeling the effects of just a few extra years on many of his young comrades.

He finally rejoined the Battalion in mid June, as the Battalion was re-deploying to the Somme.

Alfred was recorded as being wounded in action on the 4th August with a 'GSW" (which can variously mean 'Gun Shot Wound' or 'General Shrapnel Wound') to the abdomen.  His wounding would appear to have occurred during the Second Division attack on the Windmill feature at Pozieres.  The windmill itself was captured by the 27th Battalion.

Alfred was evacuated through the casualty chain; first to the 4th Field Ambulance, then the Motor Ambulance Company to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station and then by Ambulance Train to the 2nd Stationary Hospital where he died on the 10th August 1916.

He was buried at the nearby Abbeville Communal Cemetery on the 14th August 1916.  He had turned 37 years old during his hospitalisation.

His records indicate that his pension was paid to his three children, daughter Elsie Clare and twin sons Garnet Morton and Keith Goldsmith via their Trustee, his sister Mary Ellen Bowley.

1914/15 Star  27446 British War Medal  18917 Victory Medal 18848  10th December 1920 to his sister M.E. Bowley 43 Fairford St Unley

Commemorative Medallion and Scroll - 313703 12 Sep 1921