Charles Edward appears on the 1901 census aged 5 living with his family at 31 Gorse Road Swansea. The family comprised of the father John a 51 year old docks labourer originally from London. His wife Elizabeth was 35 and a native of Merthyr. The children were Amelia 16, Florence 13, Albert 11, Frederick 10, Charles 5 and Maud 1. (All the children were born in Swansea).
In the next census of 1911 we learn that the family has moved to Connah’s Quay. They are living at 19 Dock Road . J B Bowley the father is still a labourer now aged 62. The census says his wife of 28 years E A Bowley was 50 (?) . The children still at home were A E aged 20 and Fred W 19 were both general labourers. C E Bowley was 15 and was not working. M E Bowley was 12 and at school.
There is a card for Charles Edward Bowley in the Roll of Honour at the County Archive Off ice in Hawarden. It gives regimental details as above and confirms that he died of dysentry in Egypt. It tells us that he served for 4 years 159 days. The card was signed by A W Bowley.
His service records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. Not everything is legible but we can discern that he attested and was embodied on 28th December 1914 at Holywell. His medical form at that time confirmed he was fit and well.
Charles Bowley in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 gives no Legatee, but states “Transferred to 19/20 account and (in Red ink) War Gratuity £23. 10s. 0d.”
His army medical records exist and show a catalogue of events including receiving a gunshot wound in the leg in Gaza and a reference to influenza. There is a copy of the telegram that the family must have dreaded getting. It says
19 Dock Road
— Deeply regret to inform you that your son 240835 Pte C Bowley Royal Welsh Fusiliers died 10/1/19 in Egypt from dysentry. I am to express the sympathy of the Army Council in your sad bereavement.