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Remembered Today:

Remembering Today on the GWF


michaeldr

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Remembering Today on The Great War Forum

Private Gordon Grant Bowles RMLI

From the CWGC

Name: BOWLES, GORDON GRANT

Initials: G G

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Private

Regiment: Royal Marine Light Infantry

Unit Text: H.M.S. "M.22."

Age: 27

Date of Death: 20/02/1919

Service No: PO/16757

Additional information: Son of Mrs. R. A. Foot, of 53, Alma Rd., Woolston. Southampton.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Cemetery: BAKU MEMORIAL

Country: Azerbaijan

Locality: unspecified

Visiting Information: Visitors to Azerbaijan require a visa which can be obtained on arrival, although lengthy queues may be found. It is better to purchase a visa prior to departure. There are daily flights from London Heathrow Airport.

Location Information: The memorial can be found within the large cemetery near Parliament Building, which also houses the tomb of the unknown warrior. This will be found on high ground overlooking the bay. A funicular railway can be taken from the promenade. The memorial itself will be found in a small secluded section to the left of the Avenue des Martres. Set on a lower terrace, the Baku Memorial is some 100 metres behind the Turkish Memorial.

No. of Identified Casualties: 47

Did Private Bowles actually die in this area, or is this one of those cases where at a later date some concentration of graves occurred?

I have read the "RN’s Caspian Operations" see http://www.gwpda.org/naval/caspian.htm and can find no mention of HMS M22; what have I missed here?

Is it possible that Pte Bowles was nominally on the books of M22, but actually on attached service in the Baku area?

Can anyone offer the real explanation please?

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Only one other Marine is remembered at Baku; Lance Corp. Percy Roland Ponting RMLI., died 19/03/19, unit text: HMS Queen. However HMS Queen was in the Adriatic at Taranto as a base ship before returning to Britain to be broken up in 1920

It looks as if these men, Bowles and Ponting, were amongst those provided to the Caspian Flotilla by the Mediterranean Fleet.

But I would still appreciate learning the true story if someone has it

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On that same thread you will also see that Kin47 has posted the information that Private Bowles died by his own hand.

Whatever tormented Private Bowles in February 1919, may he find rest perpetual

 

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  • 1 year later...

I am adding a link here as our Pal 'Nilved' has recently posted a photograph of the Baku Memorial

[see post #7 here

where Gordon Grant Bowles and Percy Roland Ponting are remembered

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  • 14 years later...

Hi there. Forgive me for tagging on to this posting. Bowles was a Zeebrugge man who I am researching. His ADM159 has some detail about his death, burial etc  but sadly it's almost illegible. The one word that stands out after what looks like 'cause of death is 'poisoning' which may tally with the suggestion here that he took his own life. The answer may lie in ADM157/2738/58, the ref for his attestation papers. Don't suppose by some fluke anyone has looked at those papers?

Regards

Dom

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Also shown as reported as from poisoning on his western front association ledger card

492513944_BowlesGordonGrant(Ports16757).jpg.3980566ce7a5c43c3743276c24b89443.jpg

Regards Ray

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23 hours ago, RaySearching said:

Also shown as reported as from poisoning on his western front association ledger card

492513944_BowlesGordonGrant(Ports16757).jpg.3980566ce7a5c43c3743276c24b89443.jpg

Regards Ray

That's brilliant Ray. I never knew such cards existed. How do I download a copy?

Best

Dom

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The dependants pension ledger cards were saved by the western front association

They are on fold 3 on Ancestry or if you are member of the W.F.C  they can be viewed vie there website with a password

you can copy and paste the one I posted to your desktop

 

regarding the reported death due to poisoning

some years back I researched a sailor who was listed as having died though "alcohol" poisoning whilst on board ship

I am not saying this is what happen'd to Bowles but keeping an open mind is a possibility 

regards Ray

 

 

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11 hours ago, RaySearching said:

 

some years back I researched a sailor who was listed as having died though "alcohol" poisoning whilst on board ship

 

 

 

 

I have read many accounts of service in WW2, where the practices of "sippers" and "gulpers" were widespread.  The former was a reward to a shipmate for a service or kindness, and the latter for a more special occasion. Petty Officers and above were also allowed to be served their rum ration neat rather then the watered-down version.  It was sometimes hoarded, with the occasional fatal result.

 

 

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Gordon Grant BOWLES 16757

Alcohol poisoning is common with illicit & home-distilled spirit alcohols of all sorts and this problem is still found all over the world today - with an unintended high methanol content being very toxic [rather than the ethanol intended/desired].

In younger days when trotting around the world, and commonly in lesser developed and rural areas, I was warned about it and possible methanol poisoning blindness/death

If he was perhaps on a run ashore in Baku and had a tot or two of 'rum' at a local hostelry or purchased a bottle from a similar source he could perhaps have fallen foul of this type of poisoning.

It is not clear from his pension record cards but Rose Scot did seem to put in a dependant's pension claim, or at least started one as the card above/file was PA [Put away] pending application - what is frustrating is that we cannot see if she was successful.

As his death was within the war period this type of death would probably be classed as not caused by nor aggravated by war service and fall under a possible Article 15 temporary/short war pension claim [to end of war period plus 12 months after - i.e. to end of September 1922 only].

To be successful however there had had not to be serious neglect nor misconduct by the deceased man.  Perhaps the claim was put away and not followed through with on these grounds - or perhaps it was awarded ??  Sadly we can't see from the cards either way.  His service file may have more info but regretfully any Pensions Awards File has not been found [yet? - couldn't find it amongst the few retained PIN 26 files at the National Archives]

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
addit
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Thanks chaps. Interesting thoughts on alcohol poisoning. 

Ray, thanks for the help on the pension card

Cheers

Dom

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Are my  eyes deceiving me 

or do not the records state rum poisoning

army and navy death records

1025754829_rumpoisoning.JPG.9ff759c06407d577a6959bf02135473b.JPG

pension document

218049377_rumpoisoning2.JPG.e16b8ec95d79f828ba92d71c74607f55.JPG

I rest my case

 

regards Ray

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Yes, that's what I thought too Ray, about the pension card: 'rum poisioning'.

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57 minutes ago, RaySearching said:

rum poisoning

 

44 minutes ago, Pat Atkins said:

'rum poisioning'

Yes indeed it does [I don't think any of us are unable to see what is written]

And of course excess ethanol from properly distilled alcohol, including Pusser's rum, can also cause alcohol poisoning

But what sort of rum and from where?

That is not specified so we can still only speculate on its source and why it poisoned him.

Sad whichever way.

:-) M

 

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Whilst previously stated that Private Bowles died by his own hand.  (which of cause suggests suicide)

I think that we can safely conclude, that Bowles's death was accidental, although due in some part to his own negligence 

Ray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

And of course excess ethanol from properly distilled alcohol, including Pusser's rum, can also cause alcohol poisoning

I well remember the dire warnings given to service personnel of accepting offers of poteen  in NI.  Apparently, it could send you blind (and may contain ground glass).

In my experience it was kindly offered and gratefully received. :o

58 DM.

 

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Before you drink poteen,

pour a small amount into a saucer and ignite it.

If you get a blue flame its ok but still letal.

If you get a red flame its still ok to clear your drains  :lol:

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11 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

 

Yes indeed it does [I don't think any of us are unable to see what is written]

And of course excess ethanol from properly distilled alcohol, including Pusser's rum, can also cause alcohol poisoning

But what sort of rum and from where?

That is not specified so we can still only speculate on its source and why it poisoned him.

Sad whichever way.

:-) M

 

Was just corroborating, which when done by others in similar circumstances I've found helpful.

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On 22/02/2005 at 06:59, michaeldr said:

On that same [other] thread you will also see that Kin47 has posted the information that Private Bowles died by his own hand.

Implying suicide, by intent or accident by Kin47, this cause of death rather puzzles me as not sourced or given in detail - and doesn't seem reflected in the three documents we have seen so far here with ... poisoning/rum poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning can of course kill you but drinking to deliberately achieve this end is generally rare I feel - seems more likely to be the accidental consequence of imbibing good rum to excess, or possibly the taking in a toxic distillation of bad 'rum', and thus more likely to be death by misadventure on the part of the deceased.

For now I'm keeping an open mind, as I feel sure we all are.  The death of a young man is sad whichever way.

:-) M

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27 minutes ago, Matlock1418 said:

For now I'm keeping an open mind

Agreed.  How the h**l does the person who wrote "that" know the poor man's state of mind OR specific action ?

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