Our People - Arthur Bowling
3 October 1916
#18152 Lance Corporal Arthur Bowling
12th (Service) Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment)
61st Brigade, 20th (Light) Division
Killed in action 3 October 1916 aged 31
Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Ref: Pier and Face 1 D 8 B and 8 C
Arthur Bowling was born in 1885 to Richard and Mary Bowling (nee Gore) and was baptised 2 August 1885 at St. James, Leyland. Richard was a grocer at the time of Arthur's birth and was a carter in 1891 living at 85 Leyland Lane. The family also lived at 85 Leyland Lane in 1901 and Richard had changed occupation to minding the engines at a cotton mill and Arthur had started work at the bleachworks in Leyland.
In all, Richard and Mary had seven children, John born 1875, James born 1877, Catherine born 1879, Mary born 1881, Arthur born 1885, Richard born 1888 and Emily born 1891. Mary died just a few months after Emily was born on 8 November 1893.
Arthur married Ellen Jane Wiggans on 14 November 1908 at St.James, Leyland. Their first child, John Thomas, was born 14 March 1909 and John followed 18 July 1912. Arthur continued to work at the bleachworks until attesting at Preston on the 5 September 1914. He was passed fit and is described on his medical examination paper as being 5 feet 3 and half inches tall and weighing 105 pounds. His chest was 35 inches with a 2 inch rate of expansion. His was a fresh complexion with blue eyes and black hair. His visual acuity was 6/6 (normal) in both eyes and pulse good. He gave his religion as Church of England.
The 12 Battalion of the King's (Liverpool Regiment) were formed at Seaforth September 1914 and went to Aldershot to join the 20th Division. In February 1915 they were at Witley and then in April 1915 they were in training on Salisbury plain.
On 30 April 1915 Ellen Jane was delivered of the couples third child, Mary.
On 24 July 1915 the 20th Division landed at Boulogne. Their first battle action was at Mount Sorrel on the Ypres Salient from 2 February 1916. From there the 20th went to the Somme where they took part in the Battle of Delville Wood at Guillemont from 21 August, next they were in action at the Battle of Guillemont from 3 September. Arthur was appointed Lance Corporal on 8 September. He was next in action at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette from 16 September, the Battle of Morval from 27 September 1916 and then the Battle of the Transloy Ridges from 1 October, where Arthur was to be killed in action in a shell barrage near Gueudecourt on 3 October. The War Diary for that day has only a short entry, "Wet. Some heavy shelling. Casualties 15 wounded, 2 killed. Draft of 93 O.R. arrived."
On 1 November 1916 Ellen Jane sent off an application for Arthur's pension and on 18 April 1917 she was granted 20s 3d for herself and the three children. On 12 January 1917, Ellen Jane received Arthur's remaining money of £4 11d., and on 9 October 1919 she received a war gratuity of £8 10s. Arthur also appears on the Leyland Church Road Civic War Memorial, the Leyland St.James's C.E. WW1 Cross and a family gravestone memorial within St.James churchyard. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal
(1) The date of death given in the newspaper was incorrect by a day
Gravestone memorial to Arthur Bowling at the family plot, St.James's churchyard, Leyland
Letter from Jane Ellen Bowling claiming Arthur's pension