BOWDEN, Leonard Arthur
(Service number 85647)

First Rank Last Rank


Date 25 April 1898 Place of Birth Auckland

Enlistment Information

Date 18 May 1918 Age 20 years
Address at Enlistment 23 Elizabeth Street, Timaru
Occupation Clerk
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mr John BOWDEN (father) and Mrs A. S. BOWDEN (mother0, 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
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

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

Post-war Occupations

Civil servant


Date 5 February 1956 Age 57 years
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference General Section, Row 136, Plot 388
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Leonard Arthur Bowden, known as Len, was born on 25 April 1898 at Auckland, the yoingest son of John and Agnes Sophia (née Anderson) Bowden. John and Agnes, both born in Victoria, Australia, married in 1882 at Dunedin. He received his education in Auckland, Wellington (Mt Cook Infants and Terrace), and Dunedin (Union Street and Normal). Mr and Mrs Bowden and family were very active members of the Congregational Church. Mr John Bowden took a position in Timaru in 1915 as insurance manager for the Canterbury Farmers’ Co-operative Association and remained for 12½ years. In 1916 Leonard gained shorthand qualifications at the Timaru Technical School

His name having been drawn in the ballot, Leonard Arthur Bowden enlisted on 18 May 1918, left home on 7 July and arrived at camp on 8 July 1918. He was still serving in the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment, was single, a clerk living at home at Timaru. At a concert held in November 1919 to raise funds for the for the Timaru Congregational Church, Mr Len Bowden gave recitations, while his father rendered several glees and the Misses Bowden played a piano duet. In February 1920 when Len was leaving for Wanganui, a presentation was made to him by the church and he was thanked for his services. In 1921/22, L. A. Bowden, of Timaru, gained a partial pass in the Accountants’ Preliminary examination. Len was a hockey player and secretary of the club.

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. Leonard married Roseina (Rose) Jane Nelson on 4 April 1923, at the timaru Congregational Church. The bridesmaid was Len’s youngest sister, Agnes Bowden.

Mr and Mrs L. A. Bowden were farewelled at the Congregational Church in December 1923 on their departure for a new position in Invercargill. By 1925 they were back at Timaru, where they remained until their deaths. His brother, Herbert, served in World War I; 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. Leonard died on 5 February 1956, aged 58 years, and was buried at Timaru Cemetery with his wife who had died in 1948.


NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [13 September 2020]; School Admission records [13 September 2020]; Timaru Cemetery headstone image [13 September 2020]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [13 September 2020]; Timaru Herald, 30 October 1916, 22 May 1918, 15 November 1919, 6 February 1920, 18 January 1922, 1, 5 & 15 March 1923, 7 April 1923, 22 June 1923, 24 December 1923, 8 July 1924, Otago Daily Times, 3 March 1923, 27 April 1940, Evening Post, 24 April 1940 (Papers Past) [13 September 2020]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Logo. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.

Tell us more

Do you have information that could be added to this story? Or related images that you are happy to share? Submit them here!

Your Details
Veteran Details
- you may attach an image or document up to 10MB