|SECOND LIEUTENANT THOMAS GEORGE BOWLER
Died 30th June 1917
Thomas's parents, Thomas and Catherine, lived at “Rushmere”, Theydon Avenue. Thomas Snr. was a builder and contractor. They had at least nine children, and seven had been baptised at Woburn Sands, amongst them were Lillian, Louisa and Reginald Charles.
Thomas had been apprenticed to James Tansley, a grocer of the High Street, Woburn Sands, and also to Mr Woodings at Bedford, (Probably another grocer, although there was also a Woodings who was a tailor) before going to work at Watford. He was a devout Methodist, and was in training to enter the ministry. He was known locally as a preacher of considerable ability.
According to his army papers, he enlisted as a private at Woolwich on 10th July 1915, giving his occupation as “Builders Clerk”. He was 5' 5", weighed 117lbs, and wore glasses. By September, he was a Lance Corporal in the Army Pay Corp., and seems to have been stationed in Ireland until he transferred to the Officer Cadet Artillery Brigade. He elected for Horse Transport, and was originally assigned to “3b” Reserve Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. After training as an officer in September 1916 at Winchester and Exeter, he went to France at Easter 1917. The section he was with, the 6th Siege Battery, ended the war as a section of six 6" howitzers.
A memorial stone in St Michaels churchyard also lists his brother-in-law, C. Herbert Richardson (See separate entry).