Lance Corporal Ernest John Bowden


Service Army Service No. 8687 Cap badge Devonshire Regiment
Rank Lance Corporal
Regiment:Devonshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Date of Birth: 1892
Born Kenton
Date of Death: 01/07/1916
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription BOWDEN E.J. L/CORPL. DEVON REGT.

Service History

Ernest John Bowden was not with his family in 1911. He was already enlisted in the 2nd Battalion, Devonshire Regiment and was in barracks in Malta.
The record shows him as a Private aged 21. That may indicate that he enlisted with a false age but as his service record has not survived there is no way to tell.
There is little to show of his service beyond knowing that he disembarked in France on 24 March 1915 and served there until his death on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Association with Dawlish

Ernest John Bowden was the fourth of five children of James (1846- ) and Elizabeth (1856- ) Bowden.
James was born in Dawlish, the son of James(1813- ) and Mary(1814- ) Bowden who had lived at Orchard, Nr Shutterton, Dawlish (1851) with five children. The older James was an agricultural labourer and this became the occupation of his son in turn.
By 1861 they were living in Park Row, Dawlish with three more children, all born in Dawlish.

James the younger was born in Dawlish and he married Elizabeth Packer, born in Thorverton, in the second quarter of 1884 (Newton Abbot district, vol 5b, p279).
In 1891 they were living at 27 High Street, Kenton with three children, Mary J (1879- ), Frederick (1885- ) and Henry J (1887- ).
Ernest John was probably born there in 1892, but by 1901 they had moved to 42 High Street, Dawlish and had one more child, Sidney Charles** (1897-1919).
** See separate casualty record for Sidney Charles Bowden.

Devon Roll of Honour Bowden, Ernest John, L/Cpl Devon Regt 1st July 1916 France
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site


Next of Kin: James Bowden, father, 75 High Street, Dawlish (1911 census) The Register of Soldiers' Effects show that Ernest J Bowden was presumed dead on 1 July 1916 and that a Death Grant of £8.13s.7d was paid to Phoebe Harris “sole legatee”. The War Gratuity of £10.10s.0d was similarly paid. Phoebe Harris does not appear among relations and there is no sign of a marriage having taken place.
Last Known Address: 42 High Street, Dawlish

Cap badge Devonshire Regiment
Cap badge -The Devonshire Regiment

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