John Edward (Eddie) BOWDEN

BOWDEN, John Edward

Service Number: 4661
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 25th Infantry Battalion
Born: Gladstone Queensland Australia, 11 January 1886
Home Town: Rockhampton, Rockhampton, Queensland
Schooling: Gladstone State School, Gladstone, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Mechanic
Died: Morinish , Queensland, Australia, 3 April 1920, aged 34 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: South Rockhampton Cemetery
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World War 1 Service

12 Apr 1916: Involvement Private, 4661, 25th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: RMS Mooltan embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''
12 Apr 1916: Embarked Private, 4661, 25th Infantry Battalion, RMS Mooltan, Sydney

Letter to Sister

Nov 26th 1918

My Dear Ruth,

I really forgot whether I have written to you since this Great War has finished, if not it is only because I have been too overjoyed. We have been having a celebration ever since, and now that London is not afraid of air raids she is now fully lit at night and I know my way about London nearly as well as I do Bowen.
Well dear sister I am one of the lucky ones to come out of this alive, but I think my life must have been in God’s hands as Fritz hit me enough times. I have all my limbs and feel fairly well except for a weak chest from the dose of gas I had and half a dozen pieces of shell in my back but Lord that is nothing, we only laugh at such things and never look for trouble until trouble comes to us. I am well and happy and that is the main thing. I don’t know when I will be home but it will be after a few months have elapsed in the New Year. I have got to go across to France and join my unit and then we have to do garrison work in Germany on the left bank of the Rhine for a while and then home sweet home.
I am sure that the sight of Aussie shores will bring a lump into many a lad’s throat
After the dangers & hardships we have been through, no one knew what hardship was like until they got into the muddy trenches in France & Flanders and then had to stop there for some considerable time under an endless bombardment of shot & shell. My god I will never forget it if I live to be a hundred, it just seems like a dream now that it is all over and any lad that has come through it should never be looked down upon. I suppose we will get many an interested listener when we start telling our experiences when I come up to Bowen on my return.
I will make your hair stand on end with my narrow escapes of death but we got that used to it, seeing dead & dying every day & all day that we used to laugh at it.
Well my dear sister I hope you have received my photo which I posted from here about the end of October. Tell Ruthie & Bobbie that I will write to them shortly.
With fondest love to all the family and yourselves,
Your loving brother,

This address will always find me.
4661 L-Cpl J. E Bowden
c/- Mr W G Woods
43 Canterbury Road
London S.W.9


John Edward Bowden

John received many injuries, gassed, bayoneted and gunshot wounds throughout the time he served with the AIF and as like many other soldiers was hospitalised on many occasions during the time that he served overseas. John was promoted to a Lance Corporal whilst serving overseas and arrived back in Australia on the 23 April 1919. John served throughout France and was transferred back to the No 4 Command Deport at Hurdcott in Salisbury before embarking on his journey back to Australia.
John died alone in a paddock near Rockhampton Qld on 3rd April 1920.

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