John BOWDEN
Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 3494
Unit: 2nd Battalion SOUTH LANCASHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 27 July 1916
Age: 26
Cemetery: St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France

Abraham Bowden married Elizabeth Horrocks at St Paul's Church, Portwood in the first quarter of 1889. Elizabeth had been married before, to a Mr Marsland, and had three children from that marriage - Samuel, Joseph and William. By the time of the 1901 census, she and Abraham had had two children together - John (then 10) and Alice (8).

Abraham worked as a cab driver and, when the census was taken, he and Elizabeth were not living together. He was at his mother's house at 61 Lancashire Hill. Elizabeth and the five children were at what is presumed to be the family home at 181 Didsbury Road. This must have been a temporary separation as, by the 1920s, Abraham and Elizabeth were living at 492 Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey.

John worked at Stockport Town Hall until he joined the army, but it is not known in what capacity. In his spare time he was a Territorial soldier and, when war was declared he was mobilised with the Lancashire Fusiliers (service number 2991). It is probable that he was quickly transferred to the South Lancashires. His later service number (3494) suggests this was a transfer to one of the Regiment's Territorial Battalions - possibly the 1/4th which was in the same Brigade as the 2nd. The fact that his service number had not been changed again when he joined the 2nd Battalion suggests that he had not been with them for long, before he died.

John died at the Army's 1st Stationery Hospital based at Rouen. He had been wounded in action, but it is not possible to know when or under what circumstances. The Battalion was in action, between 3 July and 17 July, at the Battle of the Somme and it may have been during this time.

   
           
   
     
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