William Erl Bridson (E B ) LOWE MC and Bar, MID

LOWE, William Erl Bridson

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: Unspecified British Units
Born: Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, June 1894
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: St. Peter's College, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Soldier
Died: Killed In Action, Soissons, Aisne, Picardie, France , 27 May 1918
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Soissons Memorial, Soissons, Picardie, France.
Memorials: Adelaide Elder Smith & Co Limited WW1 Honour Board, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

27 May 1918: Involvement Captain, Officer, Unspecified British Units
Date unknown: Honoured Military Cross and bar
Date unknown: Honoured Mention in Dispatches

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

Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

William Erl Bridson LOWE was born in Broken Hill, New South Wales in 1894

His parents were William LOWE & Emma Rebecca Jane CREER who married in St Peters College Chapel (Hackney) South Australia on 11th March, 1891

William was killed in action on 27th May, 1918 - no known grave

His final rank was Captain with the 2nd Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment (British Army) attached to the 25th Infantry Brigade Head Quarters

                                           IN MEMORY



From the book Fallen Saints  -  William Erl Bridson Lowe of Adelaide South Australia was born at Broken Hill, New South Wales in Jun 1894. During the years he was at St Peter's College William ‘Bonny’ Lowe proved to be a diligent student and developed into a prominent athlete.

 In 1913 he went to live in London and there enlisted with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment; when war broke out he discovered the 3rd Battalion was not destined to leave England so he transferred to the 2nd Battalion.

N.C. Swift and E.B. Lowe, who have received commissions in the East Lancashires, are undergoing training at Camberly [i]

The 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment was formed on 4 August 1914 at Wynberg, South Africa and sailed from Cape Town on 1 October. After arriving at Southampton, England on 30 October the battalion moved to Hursley Park where it was attached to the 24th Brigade, 8th Division. The division landed at Havre on 6 November 1914 and on 18 October 1915 moved with the remainder of the 24th Brigade across to the 23rd Division. The 24th Brigade returned to the 8th Division on 15 July 1916 and then on 3 February 1918 the 2nd Battalion was transferred to the 25th Brigade, 8th Division; Pommeroeul, west of Mons. [ii]

This extract from a letter written by William and published in the St Peters School Magazine on 12 November 1916 gives some indication of how much action he had seen in his first year in the trenches.

 I have been out here just a year now and am glad to say I am still going strong, during which time we have seen plenty of fighting especially in the last month. When we come out of the trenches next we expect to go right back for about a month, and so we are looking forward to a good rest. There are crowds of Australians down here, but so far, C.G. Stewart is the only Old Saint I have met; he has filled out wonderfully and looks very fit. [iii]

Citation – Military Cross – 2nd Lt. William Lowe.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. It was greatly due to his untiring energy that this battalion was able to carry out a successful operation. During this action he displayed the utmost fearlessness, and set a splendid example to those about him. [iv]

Citation – Bar to Military Cross – Lt. (A. / Capt.) William Lowe, M.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty throughout lengthy operations. When all officers senior to him were wounded he took command of his unit, displaying the greatest courage and coolness, and taking part in several successful counter-attacks. His fearlessness and personal example were of the highest value to all ranks with him. (M.C. gazetted 26th September, 1917.) [v]

After the German offensive at Aisne on 27 May 1918 Captain William Erl Bridson Lowe, 2nd Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, attached 25th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, was reported missing but this was later changed to killed in action; he was 23 years of age. [vi]

[i] ibid, August 1915, P. 73
[ii] James, E A, Historical Records of British Infantry Regiments In the Great War 1914-1918, Rank Xerox Copy Bureau, Birmingham Revised Edition, 1976, p. 86
[iii] St Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide, May 1917, p. 60
[iv] London Gazette, William Erl Bridson Lowe - Issue 30466 - 8 January 1918, p. 69 of 106
[v] ibid, Issue 30813 - 23 July 1918, p. 29 of 138
[vi] Commonwealth War Graves Commission - "Debt of Honour Register" website, Lowe, W E, viewed 7 April 2006