George Shirley BOWDEN
Rank: Private
Number: 2274
Unit: C Company, 1/7th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 5 November 1915
Age: 22
Cemetery: Pieta Military Cemetey, Malta

In the late summer of 1892, Joe Bowden and Elizabeth Shirley married at All Saint's Church, Marple. Months later, George was born. When the 1901 Census was taken, the family was living at 1 Bramhall Terrace in Davenport. George's younger brother, Eric, was only three months old. The family worshipped at St Saviour's Church and George was confirmed there in 1908. He helped to raise the church's first scout troop and was also Colour Sergeant with the Stockport Lads' Drill Company. When he left school, George went to work for a Manchester textile firm - Sir Jacob Behrens & Sons (and is included in the Company's entry in the City Battalions Book of Honour).

In his spare time, George was a member of Stockport Lacrosse Club and, when War was declared in August 1914, was one of several players who started to drill at the ground and then enlisted into the army. Most of the young men joined the 6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment but others, like George, joined the 7th. By the middle of September, they were on board a ship bound for Egypt and the Sudan where they spent the next seven months undergoing their army training. Some details of this time can be found here.

On 3 May, George and his comrades left the safety of North Africa to go into action at Gallipoli, landing on the 7th. Less than a month later, George took part in his first and last attack described here. During the attack, George was wounded and was evacuated away from the peninsula to a military hospital at Malta. His injuries do not appear to have been life-threatening and it would seem he was recovering well. However, he contracted dysentery and this was his cause of death.

A Memorial service was held for him at St Saviour's Church on 17 November. When the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information in the early 1920s, Mr & Mrs Bowden had moved to 26 Elmfield Street, Davenport.

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