Anthony Bowmer (1890–1956)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 32419 11th & 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions

Photo courtesy Rose Martin

Anthony Bowmer

Anthony in later life

Born and raised at Crich, Anthony had worked as a quarryman, though was a collier at Mansfield prior to enlistment in Nov 1915. He was called up in Feb 1916 and was posted to France. He received gunshot wounds to both legs, which, tragically, had to be amputated. He was discharged in Oct 1917. A fête was held in his honour at Whatstandwell in Nov 1917, when he was presented with a wheelchair. He later relocated to Nottingham.

Army Record [Steve Morse]
Anthony was in 11th Battalion during his overseas service. The 4th (Extra Reserve) was a unit in the UK – stationed on the North Eastern coast defences around Sunderland. He was probably nominally put into 4th Extra Reserve prior to his discharge. Going by the date of entry to hospital it looks likely he was wounded on 7 October during the Capture of Le Sars.

Medal Roll Index
Anthony Bowmer enlisted 17 November 1915 and was discharged 19 October 1917, the result of being wounded, under para 392 . He was awarded the Victory and British Medals.

Silver War Badge Records
32419 Bowmer Anthony; badge 252,353; enlisted 17.11.15 discharged 19.10.17 (attested 23.2.16) Age 27-2; Wounds; served overseas

Field Ambulance Record
A Bowmer, aged 29
South African General Hospital 19804
Private 32419
Years Service: 1 year
Months with Field Force: 3 months
Ailment: Gunshot wounds; knee right IX1 and leg left IX4 (amputated)
Date of Admissionfor original ailment: 08/10/1916
Date transferred to sick convoy: 13/11/16
Number of days under treatment: 51
Notes written in the Observations column: Hospital Ship Asturias
Religion: C of E
Regiment: Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)
Battalion: 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion

[Note: Army Wound Classification – XI1 gunshot wound of the lower extremities, XI4 gunshot ]

Newspaper Report

Belper News, 17 November 1916
Mr and Mrs Joseph Bowmer of Crich Carr, have received a note from their son Private Anthony Bowmer, of the Notts and Derbys, who was seriously wounded last month and who is in hospital in France. A few weeks ago he had one of his legs amputated and now unfortunately the other leg, which was so badly injured by shrapnel at the time, has had to be removed also, otherwise his recovery would have been hopeless. He was a strong powerful man about 6 foot in height, age 26. He left school at 14 and went to Messrs Sims, Whatstandwell, to learn stone dressing. Afterwards he went to Mansfield and became a miner, from which place he enlisted about 18 months ago.
His brother Private Harry Bowmer who is also in the Notts and Derbys, got wounded last month, but recovered quickly and is again in the trenches. He is 22 years of age, worked at the Cliff Quarry, Crich, and join the Colours directly the War commenced.

Derbyshire Courier, 4 August 1917
A chum of Private Harry Bowmer, Sherwood Foresters, of Crich Carr, has written to Mr and Mrs Bowmer informing them that their son has again been wounded. He writes: "Your son, Harry, landed at Southampton the other day and is going on a hospital train to the Midlands. Although wounded in the left arm he seemed to be getting on fine." Confirmation of the news was received from the Infantry Record Office, Lichfield, the official notification stating that Pte. Bowmer was wounded by gunshot in the left arm and had been admitted to the 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, on 20 July. Later Pte, Bowmer wrote himself, informing his parents that he was an inmate of the Stourbridge Section General Hospital. He says that although wounded he came off very lucky, as they had a warm time of it when "going over the top" in the Lens district. Pte. Bowmer was wounded last September, when he was hit by a piece of shell. His brother Pte. Anthony Bowmer, was also seriously wounded at the same time, being hit in both legs by gunshot.

Derbyshire Times, 10 November 1977
The village of Whatstandwell was en fête on Saturday to do honour to Private Anthony Bowmer, recently discharged from the Army, after losing both legs during events on the Somme in October 1916. The proceedings began with music by the Whatstandwell Band outside the Coffee Rooms. Later the interior was filled to overflowing by a representative gathering among whom were Mr Maurice Deacon, JP, and Mrs Deacon, Miss Violet Deacon, the Rev W Bunting, the Rev C E B Deacon, Mr AJ Towlson, JP (chairman of the Belper Rural District Council), and Mrs A Bowmer. The Rev W Bunting presided. Mr Murice Deacon gave a description of his visit to the front, with special reference to the trials there by such men as Pte Bowmer, and the splendid work of the British Red Cross Society. The chief feature of the meeting was the presentation to Pte A Bowmer of valuable wheelchair on behalf of the “Lord Kitchener Memorial Fund.” This was done by Mr A J Towson, JP, in a brief speech. The other speakers were the Rev C E B Deacon, Mr N I Hawkes, and F Cowlishaw, who thanked the deputation, and Mr L H Griffiths, who briefly traced Pte Bowmer’s career. The meeting concluded with the National Anthem and three cheers for the hero and his bride. Mr Ivens, Belgian refugee, presided at the piano.

Anthony Bowmer's brother Harry Bowmer is also on the Roll of Honour.


1901: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Joseph Bowmer Head 38 Limestone quarryman Crich
Harriet Bowmer wife 38   Bonsall
Anthony Bowmer son 10   Crich
Hannah Bowmer daughter 9   Crich
Magie Bowmer daughter 6   Crich
Harry Bowmer son 4   Crich
Mary Bowmer daughter 2   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 42 page 4

1911: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Joseph Bowmer Head 48 Midland Railway plate layer Crich
Harriet Bowmer wife 46   Youlgrave
Anthony Bowmer son 20 Delver in stone quarry Crich
Mary Hannah Bowmer daughter 19 Factory girl trimming Crich
Margaret Bowmer daughter 17 Factory girl frame worker Crich
Harry Bowmer son 16 Delver in stone quarry Crich
Mary Bowmer daughter 12 School Crich

RG14PN20985 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED14 SN101

1939 Register: Nottingham ( hospital)
Anthony Bowmer b.12 August 1890; general labourer building trade