Earlestown War Memorial
The Great War Roll of Honour
Although born in Salford and resident in Newton-le-Willows, Private
James B. Bowes enlisted at the outbreak of war with the 3rd
Monmouthshire Regiment in Abergavenny. Prior to this, he had seen three
years' service with the Lancashire Hussars.
He was the son of the Surveyor to the Newton Urban District Council. James's parents, Arthur and Jennie B. Bowes, lived in Wargrave in Newton-le-Willows.
James was killed during the Second Battle of Ypres which began in April 1915. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ieper, a memorial to the missing. He may have gone missing during an action, or his grave may have been destroyed in subsequent fighting. The "Newton and Earlestown Guardian", in a report on a Highways Committee of the Council, stated that "Mr Bowes thanked the Chairman and members sincerely for their expressions of sympathy. His son had only a short career, but he had given his life for his country, and he was proud of him."
The same newspaper on August 17th 1917 reported that James's brother, Lance Corporal Ernest Bowes had been wounded in both legs at Pilkem Ridge a fortnight earlier. Ernest's left leg had been amputated below the knee, after he had laid for fourteen hours in a wet pool at the bottom of a shell hole before being discovered and taken to the base hospital. Ernest, who was with the South Wales Borderers had been in the Gallipoli campaign, including the charge at Chocolate Hill.
By chance, and without Lance Corporal Bowes being aware of the fact, his cousin Second Lieutenant Arthur Bowes was also lying in hospital at Boulogne at the same time suffering from thirty wounds.
Private James Bowes often had letters published in the "Newton and Earlestown Guardian" which told of life at the front.