Harry BOWDEN MM+Bar

BOWDEN, Harry

Service Number: 68
Enlisted: 21 May 1915, Mackay, Queensland
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 14th Field Ambulance
Born: Walcha, New South Wales, 5 September 1895
Home Town: Rose Bay, Woollahra, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Grocer
Died: Natural causes, Woy Woy, New South Wales, 31 March 1962, aged 66 years
Cemetery: Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, NSW
Memorials:
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

21 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 68, Mackay, Queensland
9 Nov 1915: Embarked Private, SN 68, 31st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Wandilla, Melbourne
9 Nov 1915: Involvement Private, SN 68, 31st Infantry Battalion
18 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 14th Field Ambulance
13 May 1917: Honoured Military Medal, Near the Regimental Aid Post, this stretcher bearer was taking shelter in a dug out by the railway embankment, from extremely heavy enemy barrage of fire, when a shell directly hit another dug out 20 yards away and buried a soldier of the 2/2 London Regiment. Notwithstanding the extremely heavy shrapnel and high explosive shell fire, and a machine gun which was playing fire over this area, this soldier in company with another of his squad, left his shelter and immediately went to the buried man's assistance. Though completely exposing themselves, they dug the man out with their bare hands and carried him a distance of about 50 yards to the Regimental Aid Post.
21 Oct 1917: Honoured Military Medal and bar, At Bellewaarde east of Ypres on 21st Oct. 1917, during very heavy shell fire, these 2 men (Bowden and W. Acworth) saw 2 soldiers who were moving along about 100 yards away on the road apparently hit. They took a stretcher and ran down to the men while shells were bursting around them the whole time. When they arrived at the spot where the men were lying they found that they were both dead. Their prompt and spontaneous act showing great courage and set a most excellent example to their fellow bearers at the post.
28 Nov 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 14th Field Ambulance
1 Sep 1918: Honoured Military Medal and bar, For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the capture of Peronne on 1st Sept. 1918. Although twice buried by shell fire before the attack commenced, he gallantly remained on duty. For more than 24 hours he carried on with his squad and during the time assisted scores of wounded to safety. The excellent conduct of this man, his untiring energy, his cheerfulness and unfailing courage set a most inspiring example and put great heart into his tired comrades.
25 Jun 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 68, 14th Field Ambulance, Cessation of hostilities

Help us honour Harry Bowden's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

The two enlisted sons of Frank and Letitia Bowden of Walcha, New South Wales:-

67 Pte. Frederick James Bowden (/explore/people/75663) - returned to Australia;

68 L/Cpl. Harry Bowden - returned to Australia.

Even though both of the Bowden boy's were born and raised in New South Wales, they enlisted in Queensland where they were both working at this time during the First World War.

Awarded the Military Medal (www.awm.gov.au)

"At about 8.30pm on evening of 13/5/1917, near the Regimental Aid Post at C.4.b., this stretcher bearer was taking shelter in a dugout by the railway embankment from an extremely heavy enemy barrage of fire when a shell directly hit another small dugout about 20 yards away and buried a soldier of the 2/2 London Regiment. Notwithstanding the extremely heavy shrapnel and high explosive shell fire, and a machine gun which was playing over this area, this soldier, in company with another of his squad, left his shelter and immediately went to the buried man's assistance. Together, though completely exposed themselves, they dug the man out with their bare hands and then carried him a distance of about 50 yards to the Regimental Aid Post." Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189 Date: 8 November 1917

For the bravery displayed in this above incident, 68 Pte. Harry Bowden was initially to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) (www.awm.gov.au), but this was later down-graded to the Military Medal by the Commanding Officer of the 8th Field Ambulance.

Awarded Bar to the Military Medal (www.awm.gov.au)

"At a Collecting Port (BELLEWAARDE) east of YPRES about 12 noon on 21st October, 1917, during very heavy shell fire, these two men [BOWDEN and 13584 W.C. ACWORTH (/explore/people/260287)] saw two soldiers who were moving along about 100 yards away on the road apparently hit. They immediately took a stretcher and ran down to the men while shells were bursting around them the whole time. When they arrived at the spot where the men were lying they found that they were both dead. Their prompt and spontaneous act showed great courage and set a most excellent example to their fellow bearers at the Post. I recommend "immediate reward"." Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23 Date: 12 February 1919 

Read more...