Born: 1875, St. Mary Elms, Ipswich.
Died: 22nd October 1921, age: 46; died of Aortic Aneurysm, at the East Suffolk Hospital, Ipswich.
Post Mortem. Widow – Sarah A. Bowman, of 2, Little Gipping Street, was present at the death.
Residence: 2, Little Gipping Street, Ipswich.
Occupation: a Corporation Labourer.
Enlistment Details: Location: Ipswich; Date: 15th October 1891; Age: 16 years & 4 months; Occupation: a Shoemaker – employment with his father; Religion: CofE. Height: 5ft 4 1/2ins, sallow complexion, blue eyes & light brown hair. Scar on right check. Tattooed D.C.B. on back of left hand.
Eastern Division – Boy – 15th October 1891 – transferred – Boy – 2nd September 1892 – appointed Trumpeter 20th March 1893 – transferred – Field Battery – Trumpeter – 20th March 1893 – Gunner – 23rd June 1893 – Granted – Bomber – 30th April 1895 – Granted Corporal – 3rd December 1895.
Absent – 7th July 1897 from 11am till 11.20pm – 8th July 1897 – Awaiting Trial – 9th July 1897 – Tried & reduced to ranks – 15th July 1897 – returned to duty – Gunner 16th July 1897.
Transferred to 1st Class Army Reserve – G.O.C. Cork 22nd August 1897.
Recalled to Army Service under special A. Order of 7th October 1899 – 9th October 1899 – Ammunition Column – posted – 8th February 1900. Royal Field Artillery – 1st Depot – posted – 14th September 1900 – R.F.A. – 1st Depot Battery ‘C’ Sect. – 24th October 1901.
Army Reserve – 1st Class – transferred Gunner – 1st April 1902.
Discharged – Termination of Employment – 14th December 1907.
Will have employment with his father as a Shoemaker; also rides & understands care of horses; Address: 12, St. Matthew’s Church Lane, Ipswich – Character Very Good – a smart, clean soldier.
Enlistment Details: 25th February 1915; Age: 39 years & 9 months. Signed up for the Duration of the War.
Royal Field Artillery – 704145 – Gunner.
Appointed Acting Bombardier – 6th May 1915- 1st Reserve Brigade.
Appointed Acting Sergeant – 6th May 1915.
Promoted Bombardier – 12th August 1915.
Promoted Sergeant – 28th October 1915.
Shoeburyness – 12th April 1916.
Middlesex Borough – 20th July 1916.
Royal Garrison Artillery Sergeant – 26th January 1918.
Demobilised 2nd March 1919.
Enlistment Details in to the Labour Corps: Location: Ipswich; Date: 8th August 1919; Age: 44 years & 84 days; Occupation: Shoemaker. Signed up for 1 year. Height: 5ft & 9ins.
Home: 15th October 1891 – 14th November 1899 – served 8 years & 31 days.
South Africa: 15th November 1899 – 5th October 1900.
Home: 6th October 1900 – 14th October 1907 – served 14 years & 334 days.
Home: 8th August 1919 – 30th August 1919
France: 31st August 1919 – 21st February 1920
Home: 22nd February 1920 – 22nd March 1920
Discharged – 22nd March 1920 – 2, Little Gipping Street, Ipswich – Character – Good – served 227 days.
Service Number: 704145; Regiment: Labour Corps.
Medals Awarded: South Africa 1899 + Clasp, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Johannesberg & Diamond Hill.
1881 3, Wright’s Court, Black Horse Lane, Ipswich.
Christopher was 5 years old and living with his parents & sisters.
Harry Bowman, 35, a Boot Riveter, born Ipswich.
Esther Bowman (nee Riches), 30, born Ipswich.
Elizabeth Amelia Bowman, 8, born Ipswich.
Emma Amelia Bowman, 3, born Ipswich.
1891 12, Beaumont’s Court, Ipswich.
Christopher was 15 years old, a Shoemaker. He was living with his parents & sisters.
Harry, 42, a Shoemaker.
Elizabeth, 18, a Trouser’s Finisher.
Emma, 13, a Boot Hand.
1901 34, Elliott Street, Ipswich.
Christopher was 26 years old, a Gunner – Royal Field Artillery. He was married and Head of the Household.
sister Elizabeth Gilmer, 28.
nephew David William Gilmer, 5, born Ipswich.
niece Ethel May Gilmer, 3, born Newcastle.
niece Elsie Isabel Gilmer, 1, born Warwickshire.
1911 2, Little Gipping Street, Ipswich.
Duncan was 36 years old, a Boot Repairer – own account. He was Head of the Household.
Sarah, 43, a Corset Machinist.
Sarah, 1 month.
Christopher’s father, Harry Bowman died early 1921, Ipswich.
On the 6th April 1899, at Burlington Chapel, Ipswich, Christopher married, Sarah Ann Wood, born February 1867, Ipswich.
They had 5 children:
Christopher Duncan Bowman, born 1899, Ipswich.
Angus Frank Bowman, born June 1903, born Ipswich.
Stanley Henry Bowman, born July 1904, born Ipswich.
Emma Amelia Bowman, born March 1906, Ipswich.
Sarah A. Bowman, born 1911, Ipswich – died 1911, Ipswich.
Christopher is also remembered on the war memorial at The Mission Free Church, Ipswich.
Evening Star – 24th May 1906 – NOT DRUNK, BUT DISAGREEABLE – At the Ipswich Police Court, Christopher Bowman, a shoemaker, of Lawrence Court, Currier’s Lane, was summond before the Mayor (Alderman B.H. Burton), S.R. Anness, W.O. White, and G.W. Horsfield, Esqrs., charged with refusing to quit the St. Edmund’s Head public house. Mr. Arthur S. Leighton (Messrs. Leighton and Aldous) appeared to support the summons, instructed by the Unicorn Brewery Tenants’ Protection Society. The landlord of the house said that Christopher Bowman came there about 12 o’clock on the 19th May; he took up something to drink which belonged to another man, and the landlord told him to leave. Christopher refused to go, and remained for 1 ¼ hours before Police-constable Gaskin arrived. Then Christopher went away quietly. Christopher when told to ask questions, did as most men in the same position do – started upon making a speech. The Mayor, after giving one or two cautions, said he would have him arrested if he did not comply with the rules. Christopher then discovered a surprising capacity for cross-examination, and therein suggested a curious story about the landlord having shoved his wife out of the doors one morning, and about a day when the landlord kept the bar of the house from ten o’clock until four. All this and much more, the complainant steadfastly denied. Christopher made another long statement with the object of showing that the dispute between him and the landlord originated in something that occurred on the previous night. The Bench imposed a fine of 10s., including costs, the Mayor remarking that the Bench were satisfied defendant was not drunk, but that Christopher had been quarrelsome. Christopher said he would take care not to go into the St. Edmund’s Head again. He appealed for time to pay, saying he had a little child in the Hospital, who had undergone an operation, and was not out of danger yet. Work was very bad, and he hadn’y a ha’penny. The Bench gave him credit for half the amount.
THE LABOUR CORPS:
Formed in January 1917, 389,900 men 10% of the total size of the British Army. Many of the men had already served in other units and were taken on following being wounded then being made fit for duty “A1” condition. The companies were employed in general labouring, fetching and carrying in work within range of the enemy guns. Sometimes used as emergency infantry during major offensives by the enemy.
Labour Corps units were sometimes classed as second class soldiers but were an important part of the British army.