Service: Royal Air Force
Service no: 188409
Date and place of birth: 10 April 1900 in Midhurst, Sussex
Date and place of death: 19 January 1919 in Cambridge
Reginald Arthur Jack was the youngest son of Charles Henry Bowyer and Annie Rose Bowyer, nee Groombridge, who had married in Plymouth in 1893.
In 1911 Charles Henry Bowyer (52), a chemist employer, was living in Holmdale, North Street, Midhurst with his wife Annie (42) and three children: Charles Henry Edward (15), Kathleen Muriel (14), and Reginald (10).
Midhurst Grammar School Admissions 1903 – 1916 records Reginald Bowyer, son of Charles Bowyer, of Holmdale, North Street, Midhurst being admitted 10 November 1905 and leaving 29 January 1915 to become a motor engineer. Prior to this, it is stated, he was ‘educated at home’.
Reginald Arthur Jack Bowyer joined the RAF aged 18 and signed up for the ‘Duration of the War’. His civilian occupation was given as Fitter (engine) and he was serving in the Royal Air Force as a third air mechanic in 1919. No records have been found of the circumstances of his service or death.
Death and commemoration
Reginald Bowyer died on 19 January, aged 18, in the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, following an accident.
(Anecdotal information given by Tony Beck (nephew) suggests he ‘walked into the propeller of a Sopwith Camel’)
He is buried in Midhurst Cemetery. He is commemorated on Midhurst War Memorial, Memorial Panels in Midhurst Parish Church and on the Board in Midhurst Rother College.
Probate was granted to his father, Charles Henry Bowyer in the Chichester district.
Subsequent family history
Charles Henry Edward Bowyer is listed on the Panels in Midhurst Parish Church as having served in the war. He enlisted with the Sussex Yeomanry when he was 18 and signed up for four years. He was declared fit on 21 February 1914. A medical report in December 1914 stated he was anaemic, breathless on exertion with evidence of cardiac dilation. It was concluded that his disability was not caused by military service, supported by Charles saying he had been afflicted by ‘winter cough’ and breathlessness most of his life. He was discharged as permanently unfit in Brighton on 4 December 1914 and approved in Dover on 15 January 1915, after less than a year’s service. He returned to Midhurst and worked as a chemist with his father and later on his own account. He died in 1989 aged 94.
Kathleen Muriel Bowyer married Lawrence W Beck in 1928 in Midhurst.
Charles Henry Bowyer died in 1920, aged 61, in Midhurst.
Annie Rose Bowyer died in 1949, aged 80, also in Midhurst
Kathleen Muriel Beck died in 1985, aged 88.