BOWLES, Clarence
(Service number 34015)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 27 May 1898 Place of Birth Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 18 September 1916 Age 18 years
Address at Enlistment Morven, Canterbury
Occupation Farm labourer
Previous Military Experience 7th Wellington Regiment Infantry (Territorials) - serving
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mr W. G. BOWLES, Waimate
Religion Methodist
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 21st Reinforcements, F Company
Date 19 January 1917
Transport Waitemata
Embarked From Destination Plymouth, Devon, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Western European
Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
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 30 May 1918 Reason No longer physically fit for War Service on account of wounds received in action.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 23 April 1968 Age 70 years
Place of Death Wellington
Memorial or Cemetery Karori Crematorium, Wellington
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Clarence Bowles was born on 27 May 1898 at Waimate, the younger son Willie Goldsmith Bowles and his first wife, Mary Jane Paget née Wycherley. His mother died on 10 July 1899 at Waimate, probably at the birth and death of a daughter. Mr Bowles married again, but not until 1918. Clarence was educated at Waimate District High School where he passed the Proficiency examination in 1911. He had received a Standard II Merit award in 1907 and he earned a prize for second place in Standard IV in 1908. C. Bowles was one of the Waimate Senior Cadets who left for Auckland on 30 December 1913 to compete at the Military Tournament.

He was serving with the 7th Wellington Regiment Infantry (Territorials) and enlisted on 18 September 1916 at Trentham, putting his age up by two years. A farm labourer at Morven, single and Methodist, he named his father as next-of-kin – Mr W. G. Bowles, Waimate. Private C. Bowles embarked with the 21st Reinforcements, departing for Plymouth, England, by the “Waitemata” on 19 January 1917. Wounded on 19 November 1917, Private C. Bowles was in hospital, his being a severe case. When his brother Bernie Bowles was killed in action in April 1918, Clarence was still seriously ill in hospital, having undergone three operations.

Clarence Bowles, son of Mr W. G. Bowles, Waimate, returned to New Zealand with Draft 159 (“Marama”) which was expected in the Dominion in May 1918. He had embarked at Avonmouth on 6 April 1918. He was discharged on 30 May 1918, being no longer physically fit for War Service on account of wounds received in Action.

“At Rangiora yesterday Private Clarence Bowles, a returned soldier, who was invalided home ten months ago with a badly smashed leg, had the misfortune to slip on a doorstep, breaking the limb again. He was attended by Dr Burnett, and afterwards conveyed to the Christchurch Hospital. Private Bowles made himself very useful in the influenza campaign depot at Rangiora, and at the gathering of influenza campaign workers in Rangiora yesterday afternoon, at which he had intended to be present, much sympathy was expressed for him in his misfortune.” [Lyttelton Times. 10 January 1919.]

“A wedding of considerable interest took place at St John’s Anglican Church, Rangiora, yesterday morning, when. Mr Clarence Bowles, a returned soldier, son of Mr W. Bowles, of Waimate, was married to Miss Edith Travis Turner, daughter of Mr H. Turner, proprietor of the “Standard” newspaper, Rangiora. . . . . . . The bridegroom’s gift to the bride was a silver-mounted leather suit case, and to the bridesmaid a cameo ring. The bride'’ gift to the bridegroom, was a solid silver shaving and toilet set. The newly-married couple left by the midday train, en route for Akaroa, where the honeymoon will be spent, after which they will take up their residence at St Andrews, South Canterbury. . . . . .” [Lyttelton Times. 19 June 1919.] At the meeting of the Canterbury Land Board in July 1919, Section 3, Otaio Settlement, 34½ acres, was transferred to Clarence Bowles, a discharged soldier.

Clarence Bowles died on 23 April 1968 at Wellington, aged 70 years, and was cremated at Karori Crematorium. Edith died in 1986. William Bernard Bowles (known as Bernard or Bernie), the older brother of Clarence, won the Military Medal and wa skilled in action on 6 April 1918 in France. Their father, William (Willie) Goldsmith Bowles, died in 1941, and their step-mother, Maud, in 1949.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [01 October 2022]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [01 October 2022]; Karori Crematorium record (Wellington City Council) [01 October 2022]; Timaru Herald, 23 December 1907, 25 January 1912, 13 & 15 December 1917, 7 May 1918, 26 July 1919, 7 April 1941, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 21 December 1908, 29 December 1913, 24 April 1918, 6 May 1916, 6 December 1917, 28 July 1919, Lyttelton Times, 10 January 1919, 19 June 1919, Press, 9 April 1941 (Papers Past) [30 September 2022; 01 October 2022]

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society

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Not assigned.

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