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corisande

Parcell Rees Bowen MC, DFC and bar

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corisande

There are a couple of brief forum mentions of this man, but they never got anywhere.

I have pulled together all that I can find on him and it is here Parcell Rees Bowen

One can follow his life from the cradle to the grave, but with all the "special assignment" men during his time in Dublin is a bit obscure. It is that that I am trying to cast some light on.

A file exists at Kew WO 374/8033 Lt P R Bowen but I cannot access that at the moment

1. Born Wales 1893

2. Went into ASC as a Private 1914

3. Commissioned 1915 into Welsh Regt

4. MC in Palestine with Machine Gun Corps

5. DFC with RAF in Egypt

6. Bar to DFC with RAF in Russia

7. Commission into the Lithuanian Army

8 Special Assignment to Ireland in July 1920

9 Murdered in Merrion St 27 Oct 1920

So its the bit in particular from July to Oct 1920 that I am interested in, but happy if any other info emerges about his life

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larney

If you have a look at my website, Parcell is commemorated on the War Memorial at Abergwili, near Carmarthen. He's on the bottom of the page-

http://www.laugharnewarmemorial.co.uk/page5.htm

SteveJ

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larney

Ah- just followed your link and see that you've already got my information and photos from the website!

SteveJ

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corisande

Ah- just followed your link and see that you've already got my information and photos from the website! SteveJ

Steve

There are, I think, a couple of mistakes there. I think the year should be Oct 1920, not Oct 1921. And the place he was shot is probably "Merrion St" not "Herrion St"

I have his death record reference as Oct/Dec 1920 in Irish Registrar records and HMG have already had a bill for his coffin in Jan 1921.

angliss-09.jpg

The date effects how one discusses the context of his death. In other words he was not shot during the truce, but during the time of the Lynch Raid, Lord Mayor of Cork's death, Treacy shooting, Carolan Raid and Bloody Sunday all within a month of each other, and all involving men from Intelligence (except Lord Mayor of Cork of course)

Note also that all the men on that list are recognised by CWGC except for Parcell Bowen.

It is odd that nothing appears, for example in the Times. The others death's are reported and Bowen was a much decorated war hero

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corisande

OK I have made some progress with this, and someone found an article on his death

freemans-death.jpg

So I have established that he died 27 or 18 Oct (body found 28 Oct at 7am) in Lower Merrion St, Dublin.

Odd thing now is that newspaper report says "died of natural causes" and no sign of violence. But Welsh funeral says "murdered by Sinn Fein"

Has anyone actually read his Kew file WO 374/8033 Lt P R Bowen or can they suggest any other way of seeing if it was murder or natural causes (I could get the Death Cert)

The British Army was not in the habit of buying coffins for men who died of natural causes, as far as I can see from reading the reports from Ireland. Does anyone know the exact rule on this.

Anyone with access to Welsh newspaper data base at this time, to see if that has a report?

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corisande

We have had a detailed discussion about him in "possible non commemorated" forum

It transpires that he was last seen alive in "South Irish Horse Club"

Apart from believing that it was a serviceman's club and probably on Merrion Sq, I know little about it. Can anyone help?

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ianw

A fascinating story , guys.

I hope he can be CWGC commemorated in due course.

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corisande

For those who have not seen my thread on him on Rootschat - Dublin. I have found there that South Irish Horse Club was at 20 Merrion Sq North, about half way along the north side of the square and about 200 yards from where his body was found

SIH club opened Jan 1919 and closed Apr 1920. Their furniture was auctioned off then.

The place was staked out regularly by Colin's Squad - I assume that so many undercover men used it as they had few other places to go for recreation - but perfectly mad for undercover men to go there under the circumstances

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corisande

When I was at Bureau Military History in Dublin last week, I never came across anyone in a Witness Statement claiming to have killed Parcell Bowen. This is odd, as the IRA men in the Squad seem to record all their shootings in some detail. The shooting of Cecil Lees (in this thread) for example is described in a number of Witness Statements

Looking at Bowen's inquest, he was shot by a single .45 bullet, which was also unusual - the singe shot that is, not the calibre of the revolver. The IRA usually had 2 men shooting and more as back up to cover their withdrawal. And when they carried out a shooting they used multiple shots to ensure death. They wished to make certain that they had killed the target: a single shot would never give that certainly.

So did the Squad shoot him ?. It was an odd shooting in that it was at night in Dublin. I don't think it was mistaken identity, as he was undoubtedly working undercover. And he had been to the SIH Club which was used by service personnel.

Just leaves me with an uneasy feeling that there is more to uncover here.

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