John William DOWLING


DOWLING, John William

Service Number: 2585
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 52nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Dorking, Surrey, England, 9 December 1889
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: 1. Pixham School. 2. 16th October 1898 St Martin´s Church of England School -Dorking
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in action-3rd Battle of Ypres , Belgium, 18 October 1917, aged 27 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Panel 7 - 17 - 23 - 25 - 27 - 29 - 31.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient)
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World War 1 Service

21 Oct 1915: Involvement Private, SN 2585, 26th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
21 Oct 1915: Embarked Private, SN 2585, 26th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Seang Bee, Brisbane
18 Oct 1917: Involvement Private, SN 2585, 52nd Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres

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

Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

John was born on 9th  December 1889 in Dorking, Surrey to labourer John Lewis Dowling and Harriet Dowling nee Lynch.

Births Mar 1890  Dowling John William Dorking 2a 159
 At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Moleside in Dorking, Surrey.

Dorking is a market town in Surrey, England between Ranmore Common in the North Downs range of hills and Leith Hill in the Greensand Ridge, centred 21 miles (34 km) from London

John Snr. was working as a labourer and Harriet was looking after their children Lucy, Florence and John.

John William Dowling had five known siblings: Lucy Dowling born about 1882 in Dorking, Surrey; Florence Dowling born about 1888 in Dorking, Surrey; Alice Dowling born about 1893 in Dorking, Surrey; Harriet Dowling born about 1895 in Dorking, Surrey and Edith Dowling born about 1897 also in Dorking.

On 16th October 1898 John was admitted into St Martin´s Church of England School in Dorking. Previously he had attended Pixham School. At the time of his admission the family lived at Riverside in Dorking. He left St Martin´s school on 27th September 1901.

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family were still living at Moleside in Dorking. John Snr. was working as a labourer in a coal yard and Harriet was looking after their children: Florence, John , Alice, Harriet and Edith.

At the time of the 1911 Census, John´s family lived at 3 Mint Gardens in Dorking. John Snr. was working as a labourer on an estate and Harriet was at home. The household comprised of their daughter Edith. Harriet stated that she had given birth to seven children. John was working as an ‘odd man’ for licensed victualler Anne Greaves, at the Punch Bowl pub, Reigate Road in Dorking. After this date, John had emigrated to Australia.

John enlisted on 30th  July 1915 in Brisbane, Queensland in the 6th Reinforcement, of the 26th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force.

At the time of his enlistment he was working as a labourer.

On 21st of October 1915 he embarked on HMAT Seang Bee from Brisbane, Australia to Egypt.

In Egypt, he became part of the 7th Training Battalion at Zeitoun. On 1st of March 1916 he joined the 12th Battalion at Serapeum Railhead Camp.

On 5th of March 1916 he became sick with a disease and was admitted into the 1st Australian Field Ambulance and transferred into the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. The next day he was transferred by hospital train into the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital in Abbassia, Cairo. He was discharged on 13th of March and moved to the Overseas Base at Ghezireh, near Cairo.

On 2nd of April 1916 he was transferred from the 12th Battalion and taken on strength of the 52nd Battalion at Serapeum, Egypt. On the 5th of June 1916 John embarked with the 52nd Battalion on the troopship Ivernia from Alexandria to join the BEF in France. On 12th  June 1916 he disembarked to Marseilles in France.

John was wounded in an action on the 3rd or 4th of September 1916 in France.

On  3rd  September 1916 John was admitted to the 1st Canadian Field Ambulance with a head injury. On  4th of September he was transferred and admitted into the 8thGeneral Hospital in Rouen, France.

On 6th September 1916 he was transferred to the 2nd Convalescents Depot.

Cured, on 11th of September 1916 John marched in to the 4th Australian Divisional Depot in Etaples, France.

On 30th September 1916 he re-joined the 52nd Battalion in France.

On 18th October 1917 he was killed in an action during the 3rd Battle of Ypres in Belgium. He was 25.

John ‘desired’ not to make a Will and was alleged to have had no personal effects in his kit. However, His father signed for package 29409 on 7th March 1918. John´s father received the British War and Victory medals and the 1914/15 Star. He also received the Memorial Scroll, Memorial Plaque and the booklet ´Where the Australians Rest.´

He is one of 8 Australian casualties of the Great War who are honoured on the Dorking War Memorial. All 8 are further commemorated in Dorking’s St. Martin’s Church.

Dowling Family History

John´s father, John Lewis Dowling was born on 6th of November of 1853 in Leatherhead, Surrey to boot maker William Dowling, born about 1822 in Dorking, Surrey and Harriet Dowling born about 1823 in the St Giles District of London. John Lewis was baptised on 10th of October 1858 at St Martin´s church in Dorking. At the time of the baptism the family lived at Cotmandene, Dorking and William was working as a shoemaker.

John´s mother Harriet Lynch was born on 6th of August 1857 in Dorking, Surrey to labourer Henry Lynch and Jane Lynch. Harriet Lynch was baptised on 17th of January of 1858 at St Paul´s church in Dorking. At the time of the baptism the family lived at Butter Hill in Dorking.

John Lewis Dowling and Harriet Lynch married in the 1st quarter of 1884 in the Registration District of Dorking, Surrey.