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Person Details
Eastwood, Nottinghamshire
William was born in 1892 (registered J/A/S, Basford) the son of Enoch and Martha Bower (nee Shelton). Enoch (b. 1857, Eastwood) and Martha (b. abt 1858, Brinsley) were married in 1884 (registered O/N/D, Basford). According to information on the 1911 Census they had nine children of whom eight were still living at the time of the census. Eight children were named on the census between 1891 and 1911; Annie B. b. 1886, Martha Constance (Constance) b. 2 November 1887, Emma Edith (Edith) b. 1889, Alice Ethel b. 13 December 1890, William (Willie) b. 1892, Alwyn/e b. 29 December 1893, Enoch b. 1897, and John b. 1898 (baptised 25 September 1898 at Elmton with Cresswell, Derbyshire). With the exception of John who was born in Cresswell, Derbyshire, all the children were born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. In 1891 Enoch, a coal miner, and Martha were living at 25 Princes(?) Street, Eastwood, with their four daughters; Annie (5), Martha Constance (3), Emma (2) and Alice (3 months). An entry on the 1901 census described Alice as 'lame from birth'. Also in the household was widower George Shelton (74), Enoch's father-in-law, and Harry Shelton (17, b. Brinsley) a coalminer who was described as a boarder but was probably Martha's brother. By 1901 the family was living in New Village, Creswell, in the parish of Elmton, Derbyshire. Enoch and Martha now had eight children; Annie (15, dressmaker's apprentice), Martha Constance (13), Edith (12), Alice (10), William (8), Alwyne (7), Enoch (4) and John (2). Enoch Bower died in 1906 aged 49 (death registered Mansfield) and in 1911 his widow, Martha, was living in Leyton Villas, Mansfield, with five of her children, Alice (dressmaker), Willie (18, clerk), Alwyne (17) apprentice fitter), Enoch (14, apprentice printer at Hempshire's printing works) and John (12) The same year (1911) Martha Constance Bower (23 b. abt 1888, Eastwood) was a housekeeper in the household of a district nurse, Jane Elizabeth Shelton (57, b. Old Brinsley, Notts), at 41 Dill Hall Lane, Church, Lancashire. According to the 1912 Kelly’s Directory, Alice Ethel Bower, a dressmaker, was at 47 Rosemary Street, Mansfield. His brother Alwyne joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry in 1912 (Ch./17305, Private). He married Nellie nee Rhodes (b. 6 September 1892) in 1916 and they lived at 66 Yorke Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire. Alwyne died when he as serving in HMS Laurentic which struck a mine and sank off Lough Swilly, Ireland, on 25 January 1917 (Chatham Naval Memorial). Nellie married Lewis Platts in 1920 (registered J/A/S, Mansfield) and died aged 85 in 1977. His youngest brother, John, joined the Tank Corps on 11 August 1918 (310029 Private) at the age of 20, and was demobilized and transferred to Class Z Army Reserve in December 1919. He was a grocer before joining the army in 1918. At the time John joined the army he and his mother, Martha, were living at 27 Mansfield Road, Mansfield Woodhouse. (See 'Extra information') Of William's family: Emma Edith Bower married Arthur E Barrell in 1914 (A/M/J, Mansfield); she died on 4 September 1936 (address 31 Skegby Lane, Sutton in Ashfield). Enoch Bower died in 1923 aged 26 (death registered June, Mansfield). His mother, Martha Bower, died in 1939 aged 81 (death registered March, Mansfield). John Bower, born 1898, died in 1945 aged 47 (death registered December, Mansfield). Alice Ethel Bower, born 1890, died in 1969 aged 79 (death registered December, Mansfield). Martha Constance Bower, born 1887, died in 1977 aged 89 (death registered September, Shepway, Kent). Annie has not been traced after the entry in the 1901 Census when she was still living at home.
In 1911 William was a clerk and he was still following this occupation when he joined the army in 1914.
14 Jul 1916
766967 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in Mansfield.
7th Bn Leicestershire Regiment
William enlisted on 29 August 1914. He joined at the Regiment's Depot on 30 August 1914 and was posted to the 7th Bn on 5 September 1914. He was appointed lance-corporal (unpaid) from 3 March 1915 but was deprived of this rank on 18 June 1915 for misconduct. He forfeited 10 days pay for absence on 16 June 1915. He was posted to the 10th Bn on 5 August 1915 but posted back to the 7th Bn on 27 August 1915. He served in France from 27 August 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 2C and 3A). He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Mansfield Reporter & Sutton Times, 15 June 1917: ‘Mansfield Woodhouse Tribunal … The mother of John Bower, aged 18, grocer’s assistant, of 27, Mansfield-road, employed by the Mansfield Co-operative Society, asked for his exemption. The mother, who is a widow, stated in her application that her other four sons enlisted at the outbreak of the war. The eldest [William] was killed some time ago and she had now learned that another had been drowned [Alwyne]. The only other child at home besides this youngest son was a daughter [Alice] who was a cripple. Mr Cook described this as a hard case, and said he did not think this son should be sent. Bower was granted exemption until Sept. 1st.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Note: John joined the Tank Corps on 11 August 1918 (310029 Private) at the age of 20. He was demobilized and transferred to Class Z Army Reserve in December 1919. Probate: Barrell Emma Edith of 31 Skegby-lane Sutton in Ashfield Nottinghamshire (wife of Arthur Ernest Barrell) died 4 September 1936 Administration (with Will) Nottingham 20 November to the said Arthur Ernest Barrell clerk in the civil service. Effects £139 16s. 5d.
Remembered on