Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

ww1 soldiers father help needed


weshallremember
 Share

Recommended Posts

good afternoon

i have a puzzle to solve

looking for information about  james bowker possible re-marriage

james bowker born 8th april 1979 hanging heaton yorkshire

father was joseph bowker 

mother was mary bowker  maidon name robinson mary died in 1890

james married alice kelley  on 24th oct 1898

james and alice sems to have split up as they were each living with their own parents in 1901

census.

now the tricky part

james was a dyer (cotton) by trade  but seems to have disappeared not found on 1911 census

now on find my grave ( dont know how accurate the info is )

there is a james bowker listed as died in canada 

with correct birth and age and family details as the man i am looking for

who apparently married  in 1903  miss mary a billett born 1879 in dorset

( married in canada ?? )

can anyone help with details of miss mary a billet 

or any marriage details that would confirm that this is the correct james bowker

the other weird thing is if they were married in 1903

how come his first wife alice was still listed as alice bowker and married on the 1911 uk

census

and was re-married to ernest swallow in 1920 still under the name of alice bowker 

possible james going to canada in 1906  again weird  if he was married in 1903

thanks

trevor

 

 

 

 

 

 

bowker 1906 went to montreal.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mothers maiden name Davis if that helps:

BILLETT, MARY  ANN   DAVIS  
GRO Reference: 1879  J Quarter in WAREHAM  Volume 05A  Page 303
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A short bio of James :
 

Quote

 

JAMES BOWKER.

One of the most popular and efficient public officials of Lethbridge was
James Bowker, late chief of police. He was born in Yorkshire, England,
on the 8th of April, 1879, a son of Joseph and Mary (Robinson) Bowker,
likewise natives of Yorkshire. The father was a dyer and chemist by
trade and at one time operated a dye works on his own account. The
remainder of the time he worked as a foreman in large factories in Eng-
land. Mr. and Mrs. Bowker died in their native country, where they were
consistent communicants of the Church of England. To their union nine
children were born, James being the sixth in order of birth.

Etc....

 

More on : https://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/john-blue/alberta-past-and-present--historical-and-biographical-volume-3-eul/page-43-alberta-past-and-present--historical-and-biographical-volume-3-eul.shtml

 

And photo of his grave:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/116478252/james-bowker

 

Edited by JWK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

JAMES BOWKER.



One of the most popular and efficient public officials of Lethbridge was
James Bowker, late chief of police. He was born in Yorkshire, England,
on the 8th of April, 1879, a son of Joseph and Mary (Robinson) Bowker,
likewise natives of Yorkshire. The father was a dyer and chemist by
trade and at one time operated a dye works on his own account. The
remainder of the time he worked as a foreman in large factories in Eng-
land. Mr. and Mrs. Bowker died in their native country, where they were
consistent communicants of the Church of England. To their union nine
children were born, James being the sixth in order of birth.

James Bowker received his education in the elementary and church
schools of Yorkshire and subsequently entered an apprenticeship in a dye
works, working under his father. Upon the completion of his apprentice-
ship as a dyeing chemist, he enlisted, in 1899, in the Boer war, going to
South Africa as a member of the King's Own York Light Infantry. He
enlisted as a private and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. He
spent two years in active service in Africa, and upon his return to Eng-
land accepted a position as manager of a dye works and subsequently
became a member of the police force at Yorkshire. He was active in that
connection until in the early part of the twentieth century, when he came
to Canada and located in Montreal. There he followed his trade for some
time and later removed to Nova Scotia and thence to Philadelphia. In
1907 he came to Alberta and located at Lethbridge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOW OK 

SO HE ENLISTED IN 1899 

ARE THERE ANY DETAILS OF WHEN HE WENT TO SOUTH AFRICA

BUT WAS STILL ON THE 1901 CENSUS AS A DYER ??????????

AND WHERE AND WHEN DID HE MARRY MISS A  BILLET??????

IT WAS MENTIONED AS 1903

THE OTHER QUESTION ON MY MIND WAS HE DIVORCED FROM ALICE???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

42 minutes ago, weshallremember said:

BUT WAS STILL ON THE 1901 CENSUS AS A DYER ??????????

"he enlisted, in 1899, in the Boer war, going to South Africa as a member of the King's Own York Light Infantry. He enlisted as a private and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. He spent two years in active service in Africa, and upon his return to England accepted a position as manager of a dye works"

The family on the 1916 Canadian census

(also here)

No answer to all the other questions I'm afraid.

Edited by JWK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

very sad

as he had a son by his first marriage

who was killed in ww1

percy was born 4th jan 1899

  59935 PTE P. BOWKER

1ST/ 5TH BAT NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS

50TH DIVISION 149TH BRIGADE

KILLED IN ACTION 3RD BATTLE OF AISNE 27/5/18 AGED 19

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MANY THANKS TO JWK

THE LAST PIECES OF THE JIGSAW IF AT ALL POSSIBLE

IS THERE ANY REFERENCES OR MEDAL ROLLS TO HIM IN THE BOER WAR

AND WHERE DID HE MARRY MARY ANN BILLETT IN 1903 

THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP

TREVOR

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One reference, but don’t know what it says:

79F9CE09-B316-472E-9DBE-CD03FA165331.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It may just be the date the medal was issued? Not sure though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

ancestry has a list of individuals entitled to the South Africa Medal and Clasps and among them is a Private J Bowker:

2137886744_JBowker.jpg.4286f09e2591c64ca66ce77f15342d07.jpg

JP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a Bowker J - Service Coy, 1st Vol Battalion KOYLI. 7513. In the Boer War medal rolls here

There is a Dorset Mary Ann Billett - father Frederick - who married a chap called Bonfield in 1901. One ancestry tree suggest they both died in 1902 but no evidence of that, Cannot find a Bowker-Bonfield marriage either

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only J Bowker I could see on the KOYLI roll for South Africa was a private,  7513. Actually there are two rolls.

 

But this number turns up a service record for a John Bowker of Clayton, Lancashire, son of Jane Ann who attested Lancashire and was discharged underage. So the service record cannot be same man as on Roll but bit of a coincidence?

Ignoring that last para, then I think the medal roll, one of which is headed 1st Vol BN, is your James because he was part of the Batley contingent that returned per this newspaper article Nov 1900. He was still in the Volunteers 1902.

"The British Newspaper Archive | findmypast.co.uk" https://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0000076%2f19001128%2f011&stringtohighlight=bowker yorkshire light

 

Edited by charlie962
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A May 1902 article says James Bowker of the Batley Volunteers was going to attend the coronation proceedings in London.

"The British Newspaper Archive | findmypast.co.uk" https://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0002857%2f19020530%2f107&stringtohighlight=bowker batley volunteers 

Note- the last mention of him seems to be march 1903 with the volunteers.

 

Edited by charlie962
Link to comment
Share on other sites

so did he spend two years active service in south africa

and end up a sergeant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rank.

Bowker is a private on the SthAfrica roll and a Corporal on the newspaper articles.

I cannot post a snippet of the FmP press articles because I don't know how to. Hence only the links. Can anyone else help me?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The marriage to Mary A Billett is given as October 1903 in the Alberta Past & Present extract, which is the source of the info in the findagrave entry.

The Canadian 1916 census gives his entry to Canada as 1905 & Mary's as 1906.  This gap is usual and happened in our family, the husband going over first to get work, then getting the wife to come over, maybe once he had saved her fare.  In the meanwhile she may have been living with relatives in the UK.

The oldest child showing in the bio & the census, James was born Alberta 1908/9, so this fits with starting a family once established in Canada. Assuming there were no older children who did not survive.

I could not clarify the marriage or entry dates from the 1921 Canadian Census index as have failed to find James, Mary & family there.

Maybe any of the children's birth certs or James or Mary's death certs can help.  If the birth certs are like the British Columbia ones I have seen they would at least have mothers birth place and number of children (inc still borns ) from the marriage. Old Alberta certs are available here for what looks like Can$ 5.25.

https://provincialarchives.alberta.ca/how-to/search-your-genealogy

Also maybe this Alberta Genealogy Group can help ?

https://afhs.ab.ca

In Victorian times (not sure when it stopped) when divorce for the majority of the population was too expensive etc it was common to remarry after seven years of desertion/not hearing from spouse without fear of prosecution for bigamy. The second marriage was of course "technically" void, but it was a usual practice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Me thinks   

James Bowker  and Mary Ann Bonfield (nee Billett) the daughter of Frederick and Eliza Ann Billett (nee Davis)

both abandoned their respective partners, and eloped together to Canada where they started a new live together

Where they may or not have legally married       (I have been known to be wrong)

 

Now is this the 1st marriage of the Mary Ann Billett in question

1071755229_mabillett.JPG.344e8eee17fc1dac664ccc640e8165b5.JPG

 

There is a WFA pension card  in respect of Alice Bowker in respect of the son KIA

770766221_BowkerPercy(59935).jpg.11d03c7694082340b1355289e5a2e50b.jpg

Alice  Bowker remarried on the 18th Dec 1920

Ray

Link to comment
Share on other sites

are James or Mary Ann listed on any passenger lists traveling to Canada 

and in what year ?

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a 1907 passenger list Liverpool to Halifax with Albert Bonfield a 30 year old stonemason and his 27 year old wife Mary.

Albert Edwin Bonfield who married Mary Billett 1901, was a stonemason b 1876 and Mary was born c 1879.

So I suggest any bust-up happened in Canada.

Edited by charlie962
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

6 minutes ago, charlie962 said:

There is a 1907 passenger list Liverpool to Halifax with Albert Bonfield a 30 year old stonemason and his 27 year old wife.

Albert Edwin Bonfield who married Mary Billett 1901, was a stonemason b 1876

which indicates I have the wrong Mary Ann Billett then

Ray

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NOW THIS IS DEFINITLEY GETTING WEIRD

WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF 2 MARY BILLETTS GOING TO CANADA

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, RaySearching said:

 

which indicates I have the wrong Mary Ann Billett then

Ray

Or the shipping record is not him?

If a rule was broken somewhere then the story may have been adapted for the audience and dates changed to avoid embarrassment?

1 minute ago, weshallremember said:

2 MARY BILLETTS

No, 2 Mary Bonfields.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...