The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

 
 
Trooper Percival Bowen

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Percival Burnet Garfield Bowen

Ancestor's date of birth: 13/10/1882

Ancestor's date of death: 25/08/1957

Cause of Death: unknown

Service and Life Before the Boer War: Born at Kensington South Australia

Service Number: 498

Colony or State of enlistment: SA, Place of Enlistment: Adelaide

Unit: 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen

Rank attained in Boer War: TPR, Date Effective: 01/01/19

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No evidence of post Boer War Service

Murray Page: 363

Contingent: Fifth South Australian

Ship: Ormazon, Date of Sailing: 09/02/1901

Memorial details: Buried at West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide South Australia.

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Orange Free State, SA 1901 and SA 1902 clasps (at least).

Personal Characteristics: Detail not provided.

Reasons to go and fight: Detail not provided.

Details of service in war: March 1901 - March 1902 in Free State including defence of Graspan where five dead (6 June 1901) and charge at Grootvlei (2 August 1901).

The following appeared in "The Register", Adelaide, on Wednesday 14 August 1901 under "SOLDIERS' LETTERS".
"The following are extracts from a letter from Trooper Percy Bowen, of the fifth contingent, to his father, Mr. Hopkin Bowen, of Kensington, dated Kroonstad, June 18:-
'I have returned safely to our base after 11 weeks on the veldt Boer chasing, and have had adventures enough to fill a small volume, especially during the last few weeks. Of course you have read of the great battle of Graspan. This was a big engagement, and eight of our lads were killed and seven severely wounded, while the Gordons and Welsh Fusiliers lost fifteen killed. It was a sad sight after the fighting was over. We had to lay our comrades out along with sixteen Boers. I cannot describe our feel ings. You may know poor George Main; he was shot before he could get into the redoubt, and a scoundrel of a Boer dashed after him and jumped on has chest, smash ing his ribs right in. The poor fellow died that night in terrible agony. Do you re member Frank Hamp? He used to live on the parade, Norwood, and was a schoolmate of mine. The night before the battle we were talking of old times and about those at home, and the next day he was shot through the head. It is of no use trying to tell you of my little escapes. Lord Kitchener inspected our troops yesterday, when we marched past him. He moved up a pace or two and smiled at us, and said that we were a fine body of men, and he was highly pleased with our condition, and thanked us for the good work we had done. What do you think of that? I've heard some say that he never smiles, and always says exactly what he means. He in a tall man, with a full face and sandy moustache. Today we each received a fiver, the first pay since leaving Adelaide, so you can reckon we had a good time. We are also going to have a new rig out. You ask how we get on with the 'Tommies.' They are very good fellows. I shall never forget one cold night, when we could not find our own column, and we struck Gen. Low's column, and they could give us neither rations nor blankets, the gunners of 0 Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, were on less than half rations, but they shared them with us, and their blankets also. The life out here suits me splendidly. I've not seen a doctor or tasted a drop of medicine since I left Adelaide, and I'm two stone heavier.'"

Service and life after the Boer War: Returned on 27 April 1902. Percy met his future wife Marion Maud Loxton at Ettrick a small community not far from Murray Bridge. They lived there for some years, as they had their first child at Ettrick in 1916, some five years after their marriage. Their three daughters were all nurses throughout the war, and one also served on the searchlight batteries in and around Adelaide. Percy ,set up a blacksmith shop at 36 High Street, Kensington, South Australia on the corner of High Street and Lockwood Road (formerly Elizabeth Street) which operated until about 1920. The cottage was built in 1878 for his father Hopkin, a well known coachbuilder and his wife Hannah.

From "The Advertiser", Adelaide, SA Saturday 23 September 1911 - Marriages:
"BOWEN-LOXTON On the 12th July, at Mannum, by the Rev. E Littlebit, Percy Garfield, youngest son of Hopkin Bowen, of Kensington, to Maud Marion, daughter of William C Loxton, of Ettrick."
He was married at The Baptist Manse, Mannum SA. on 12 July 1911. His wife was a daughter of William Charles Loxton a boundary rider after the town of Loxton was named and Mary Ellen Goodes.

The following article appeared in "The Advertiser", Adelaide, SA Monday 27 August 1934 pg.15:
"Frontiersmen's Riding Club
The Frontiersmen's Riding Club met at the Parkside Hotel on Saturday for a paper chase. The trail led through Linden Park, Burnside, Clifton, and Upper Kensington. Miss Stubbs and a new woman member were the path finders. The trail was laid by Captain Mait land and Mr. Hanson. Among the 30 riders were:-Misses Luce Miller, Alice Butterfield, Anthony, Nell Gallus, Messrs. Percy Bowen, A. von Sanden, Darby, Cooper, Jones. New- land, and Brummett, The club will meet next Sunday afternoon at the corner of King William Road and Park Terrace for a ride through Springfield."
Percy died on 25/8/1957, and was buried at West Tce Cemetery. Percival is buried in Barker, Path 6, on the east side, grave 52. He was 74 years of age and was living at 33 Hart Avenue, Unley at the time of his death. He was buried on 27th August, 1957.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Glen Fryar, Craigburn Farm SA
Relationship to Ancestor: husband of granddaughter

 


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