Lance Corporal 21668 Thomas Bowen

 Bowen Thomas 96 421x600

Died of Wounds on Friday, 19th May 1916, age 18.
Buried in Grave VI. P. 49. at Merville Communal Cemetery, Nord, France.

16th Bn., Cheshire Regiment. 105th Brigade of 35th Division.

Son of John and Mary Bowen, of 1 Court, Dale Street, Toll End, Tipton.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/538606/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
8 Court 3 House, New Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Mary A. Bowen (35, born Tipton), and her 4 children: Frank (12, born Tipton), Joseph (10, born Tipton), Florrie (7, born Tipton), and Thomas (3, born Tipton).

1911 Census
10 Dale Street, Tipton, Staffs.
John Bowen (49, Ironworks Puddler, born Staffordshire), his wife Mary (45, born Staffordshire), and 4 of their 7 children: Florence (17, born Tipton), Thomas (13, born Tipton), Mercy (10, born Staffordshire), and Emma (6, born Staffordshire).

Personal Data

The 16th Battalion, Cheshires (2nd Birkenhead) was initially a Bantam Battalion for men less than the 5' 3'' required for other infantry Battalions. By the end of 1916 the quality of Bantam replacements became sub-standard; in common with the other Bantam Battalions, replacements from then on were average conscripts. As Thomas Bowen died in 1916, it can be assumed that he was a Bantam by height.

Action resulting in his death

In May 1916, the 16th Cheshires were in the Neuve Chapelle area, alternating between the Front Line, Support and Reserve positions, with five men being killed during the month. Thomas Bowen was wounded and evacuated back to the Casualty Clearing Station at Merville, where he died of his wounds on the 19th May 1916. He is buried in Merville Communal Cemetery, about 10 miles north west of Neuve Chapelle.

Newspaper Cuttings