BOWDEN, Herbert James
(Service number 23/999)

First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 28 October 1894 Place of Birth Auckland

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Puketapu
Occupation Station hand
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin J. BOWDEN (father), 1 Kennedy Road, Napier; 23 Elizabeth Street, Timaru
Religion Congregationalist
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation (1) Main Body; (2) New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship (1) D Company; (2) 1st Battalion
Date (1) 16 October 1914; (2) 9 October 1915
Transport (1) Arawa or Limerick; (2) Maunganui or Tahiti or Navua or Warrimoo
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Wounded. Trench fever. October 1918 admitted to hospital in England - debility.

Post-war Occupations

Process worker


Date 26 January 1975 Age 80 years
Place of Death Christchurch
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch Block 45, Plot 263
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Herbert James Bowden was born 28 October 1894 at Auckland, the third son of John and Agnes Sophia (née Anderson) Bowden. John and Agnes, both born in Victoria, Australia, married in 1882 at Dunedin. He was educated privately before attending Caversham School, Dunedin, Terrace School, Wellington, and Union Street School, Dunedin.

Herbert Bowden enlisted at the outbreak of war and embarked with the Main Body on 16 October 1914. He named his father as next-of-kin – J. Bowden, Napier. On his second embarkation, on 9 October 1915, his father was at Elizabeth Street, Timaru. Mr John Bowden took up a position in Timaru in 1915 as insurance manager for the Canterbury Farmers’ Co-operative Association and remained for 12½ years. In October 1918 H. J. Bowden was admitted to hospital in England, suffering from debility. He had been wounded some time prior and had had an attack of trench fever.

After lengthy service in Egypt and France, H. J. Bowden (Herbert James Bowden, 23/999) returned home in Draft 211, with over a thousand men aboard, per the “Briton” which was due at Lyttelton in late January 1919. Herbert intended to go to Hunt Street, Timaru, on his return, and there he was in 1919. His mother died in March 1923 at her Hunt Street residence and was buried at Timaru. The following year his father remarried, leaving Timaru in January 1928 for Palmerston North. Both Mr and Mrs Bowden were highly respected residents of Timaru. The second Mrs Bowden died in 1929 and John married for a third time in 1930. Mr Bowden died in 1940, survived by his third wife, his four sons and two daughters, one daughter having died in childhood. Herbert married Ester Elizabeth Hulston in 1924. Herbert and Ester lived in Christchurch until their deaths in the 1970s.

His brother, Leonard, enlisted for service; and another brother, Charles, a married man with two children, who had a notable career in business and politics, was called up and enlisted but went no further. Herbert died on 26 January 1975, aged 80 years, and was buried at Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch, with his wife who had died nine months earlier.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [13 September 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [13 September 2020]; School Admission records [13 September 2020]; Ruru Lawn Cemetery headstone transcription [13 September 2020], Ruru Lawn Cemetery burial record (Christchurch City Council) [13 September 2020];; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [13 September 2020]; Timaru Herald, 24 October 1918, 25 January 1919, 1, 5 & 15 March 1923, 8 July 1924, Otago Daily Times, 3 March 1923, 27 April 1940, Evening Post, 24 April 1940 (Papers Past) [08 & 13 September 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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