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Remembered Today:

Pte John William Gowans 2812 Northumberland Fusili


Dave Owens
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Looking for some help in finding out what happened to Pte 2812 John William Gowans . Northumberland Fusiliers. Enlisted Newcastle . Probably 1/6th Territorial.

He is listed as having died in France and Flanders in May 1915,- but not so. He died on guard duty on the tyne (at the time the regiment sailed),- his body was not found for 3 weeks, the day the regiment went into battle at Ypres. Something not right. ?

He had a full military funeral, and has a war grave at Seghill, Northumberland.

Thank You if anyone can help.

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Dave,

Obviously not a lot of help here, but I do remember the story which appeared in one of the local newspapers when I was doing research for the Tyneside Scottish book, but I can't remember which one it was. If I remember rightly he was unidentifiable when he was recovered after having been it the Tyne for three weeks and I believe he'd been guarding either the staithes or a fuel depot, when he disappeared. I think he was actually posted as a deserter to start with.

The death details are obviously a glaring error, which were never put right.

Graham.

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Dave

Just seen this thread.

Whilst researching 6th Batt. N.F. I copied this small piece about Pte. Gowans which from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle for May 3rd 1915. There was another part a little later when he had been found I will try to locate it.

One or two of the 6th Batt. entries in SDGW say France & Flanders for people who died in England.

I also took a photo of Pte Gowan's gravestone at Seghill churchyard.

It is very sad to see that his wife has been buried next to him, even though she seems to have married again.

I'm sorry if these are not very clear images.

Kate

post-2045-1131759589.jpg

post-2045-1131759940.jpg

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Guest Jimmy Knacky
Looking for some help in finding out what happened to Pte 2812 John William Gowans . Northumberland Fusiliers. Enlisted Newcastle . Probably 1/6th Territorial.

He is listed as having died in France and Flanders in May 1915,- but not so. He died on guard duty on the tyne (at the time the regiment sailed),- his body was not found for 3 weeks, the day the regiment went into battle at Ypres. Something not right. ?

He had a full military funeral, and has a war grave at Seghill, Northumberland.

Thank You if anyone can help.

Dave he is down on Soldiers who died in the Great War as:

John William Gowans Private 2812.

1/6th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

Enlisted Newcastle.

Died France and Flanders 2nd May 1915

And on CWGC as:

John William Gowans Private 2812.

1/6th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

Died 2nd May 1915.

Son of Robert and Jane Gowans and husband of Annie Hunter (formerly Gowans) of 3 Cross Row. New Hartley. Northumberland.

Grave: Seghill (Holy Trinity Churchyard) Northumberland.

Down to clerical error.........

Half of them army clerks started off as timekeepers in the shipyards on the Tyne anyway ....

There is no Medal entitlement for him at:

Medal Index Card

Dave get someone from the local paper i.e.

Newcastle Evening Chronicle

Let them sort it for you (they have all the research facilities)

Good story Dave

Let the truth be out.........

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Guest Jimmy Knacky
Dave

Just seen this thread.

Whilst researching 6th Batt. N.F. I copied this small piece about Pte. Gowans which from the Newcastle Evening Chronicle for May 3rd 1915. There was another part a little later when he had been found I will try to locate it.

One or two of the 6th Batt. entries in SDGW say France & Flanders for people who died in England.

I also took a photo of Pte Gowan's gravestone at Seghill churchyard.

It is very sad to see that his wife has been buried next to him, even though she seems to have married again.

I'm sorry if these are not very clear images.

Kate

Good on you our Kate

Mind I Worked a few times near Seghill in the past at Pipetawse at New Hartley....

Spent many a break time looking over the memorial to the mining disaster there.....

New Hartley Colliery Disaster

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Kate

Thank You very much indeed. He was my great grandfather,- My grandmother just knew he was on guard duty on the swing bridge on a thick foggy night and fell in. We tried for years to find out more but had no luck,- even the regimental museum at Alnwick could not help.

I have just given a photo of him on guard duty on the swing bridge to my brother with his death plaque and kings letters,- plus two original poppies. I have no children of my own to pass it down to.

His wife did remarry but her second husband was a bad lot, and she asked to be buried next to her first husband.

Jimmy Knacky,-

His wifes maiden name was Amour, her relative Jim Amour was the overman and killed in the Hartley Colliery disaster ( Britains worst as they were all alive for days but 204 of them killed by gas ). I work near Pipetawse and am from Seghill but now live at Cramlington. Where are you from.

Kate

I am going today to put two poppies on the grave at Seghill. One for him and one for a cousin Willie ? We always knew of a Cousin Willie who was also killed in the great war, but we know no more. You have been fantastic Kate. I will send a copy of your reply to the rest of the family.

Regards To you all

Dave

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Dave

I am very pleased to have 'met' a descendant of Pte. John William Gowans and I have been thinking about you visiting his grave today. It is very appropriate that you posted his name on the forum on Remembrance Day.

I don't suppose you kept a copy of his photograph. It would be wonderful to see him.

What is the name of cousin Willie? Was he a Northumberland Fusilier?

In researching my husbands family who come from Hartley we became interested in the Hartley pit disaster (although my husband had no relatives involved.)

I have a book 'The Hartley Colliery Disaster' - McCutcheon, which gives a very detailed and well researched account. Jim Amour is mentioned several times as being the 'back overman'.

From where he was found, it was obvious that he tried to lead the men, including his own son, to safety. A note was in his 'overman's report book', written whilst they were trapped.

I expect you know all of this but if you would like to see the references to Jim Amour - just say the word.

Kate

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Kate

I have the same book,- and know all about the Hartley Pit disaster. Jim did lead a prayer service for the men just before the gas got them. My Mother used to have a doll made from timbers from the shaft, at the time, but she gave it away when she was younger.

The Masonic hall in Seaton Delaval has a kneeling stool from the same timbers. If you want to see it, call there on a Sunday morning,- better call them first,- in phone book.

I am doing a photo copy of the Photo for you now,- if i can get it to work as i am not too hot on the computer.

I did think of you today as i stood at his grave.

He was buried on his birthday, aged 38. He is identical to me. !

Cousin Willie was in the Northumberland Fusiliers,- we think he was also called John William Gowans, but not sure. He sent a letter home saying he knew he was not coming home but another member of the family has that. We don't know who.

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Guest Jimmy Knacky
Cousin Willie was in the Northumberland Fusiliers,- we think he was also called John William Gowans, but not sure. He sent a letter home saying he knew he was not coming home but another member of the family has that. We don't know who.

John William Gowans Acting Corporal 4881.

8th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

Killed in Action 26th September 1916.

Born Pegswood Northumberland.

Enlisted Ashington Northumberland.

Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial 10B, 11B AND 12B.

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Dave

Thank you so much.

It is a very good photograph. And he is very handsome too. :)

When I am next in the library I will look for his funeral notice in case there is a write up about it.

Jimmy.

It would be very good if you have found the right soldier.

Kate

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Guest Jimmy Knacky

Heres 2 more Tyneside Gowans in the NF

Andrew Gowans Private 13790.

10th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

Killed in Action 28th November 1915.

Born Blyth.

Enlisted Blyth.

Grave: Ration Farm Military Cemetery I.F.10.

John Gowans Private 12747.

13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

Died 3rd October 1915.

Born Whitehaven.

Enlisted Newcastle.

Age 26.

Son of John and Margaret Gowans. Husband of Mary Nicholson (formerly Gowans) of 25 Store Street. Lemington-on-Tyne.

Commemorated: Loos Memorial Panel 20 to 22.

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Dave,

Other Gowans serving with the Northumberlands were;-

1439 Pte F.Gowans of Seaham Harbour, battalion not known, but listed as wounded in September 1916. So he's probably a 1st July 1916 casualty as it was taking that long to process them.

24443 Pte J.W.Gowans possibly 10th Bn, of Blyth wounded March 1918.

6/2119 J.Gowans, 6th Bn who was "Sick to Hospital" 8th May 1915, but nothing further known.

Graham.

P.S.

Got your PM, many thanks.

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Thanks Graham, but its very difficult to pinpoint the correct one. I need to work on the family on him.

Blyth may be the place i am looking for. Just a short walk from Hartley and they did not travel far in those days.

Regards

Dave

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Guest Jimmy Knacky

Heres a Gowan............. minus the s?

Arthur Blackwood Gowan. Lieutenant

1st/3rd Battalion Durham Field Company Regiment Royal Engineers (Territorial)

Killed in Action 14th July 1916

Age 19.

Son of Mr. A. B. and Mrs. A. J. Gowan of 7 Brandling Park Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Commemorated:

Thiepval Memorial. Pier and Face 8 A and 8 D.

Palmer Memorial in Jarrow.

St. Paul's Church Jarrow Commemorative Plaque

Jarrow Ferry named after him A.B. Gowan

(which was the last Jarrow ferry and made its last trip in 1967 when the Tyne Tunnel was opened)

His father A.B. Gowan was manager of Palmer Shipbuilders in Jarrow at the time of his death. (Who at one time had owned a little shipyard in Berwick)

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Jimmy,

That last post on the R.E., the title of the unit has been cocked up by CWGC, and I think you'll find it's 1/3rd(Durham)Field Company,Royal Engineers(T.F.). I think it was formed from the old 3rd(Works)Company, Durham Fortress Engineers(T.F.) which was based at Gateshead. The R.E. didn't use the same organisation as an infantry battalion.

The H.Q. and 1st(Works) and 2nd(Works)Companies, Durham Fortress Engineers(T.F.) were based on Western Road, Jarrow before the war and John Scott Youll, V.C. served in one of these three companies in France before he got his commission.

R.E.(T.F.) units are notoriously difficult to trace during WWI because of title changes and I'm not even sure if the above company was attached to a division or an Army Troop unit

Graham.

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Possibly the 528th Field Company per the Long, Long Trail?

528th

51st Division Sep 14 - Jan 16 then 7th Division

Named 3rd (Durham) until 1917

Steve.

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It is an error on the CWGC site. The only active service battalions of the RE's, were those of the Field Survey and the Special Brigade. Even then, they were normally used in company sized units.

I agree with Steve with regard the Durham RE. My own order of battle for the RE's shows 528 Field Company. They were transferred from 51st Division on 31st January 1916.

Terry Reeves

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Guest Jimmy Knacky
Jimmy,

That last post on the R.E., the title of the unit has been cocked up by CWGC, and I think you'll find it's 1/3rd(Durham)Field Company,Royal Engineers(T.F.). I think it was formed from the old 3rd(Works)Company, Durham Fortress Engineers(T.F.) which was based at Gateshead. The R.E. didn't use the same organisation as an infantry battalion.

The H.Q. and 1st(Works) and 2nd(Works)Companies, Durham Fortress Engineers(T.F.) were based on Western Road, Jarrow before the war and John Scott Youll, V.C. served in one of these three companies in France before he got his commission.

R.E.(T.F.) units are notoriously difficult to trace during WWI because of title changes and I'm not even sure if the above company was attached to a division or an Army Troop unit

Graham.

Yes your right Graham (your a wealth of information bonny lad)

The H.Q. and 1st(Works) and 2nd(Works)Companies, Durham Fortress Engineers(T.F.) were based on Western Road, Jarrow

Which was know as the Jarrow Engineer Volunteers in the late 19th/early 20th century.

And it's Lieutenant-colonel was Charles Mark Palmer of the Palmer's shipyard in Jarrow.

So he should of been:

Arthur Blackwood Gowan. Lieutenant

1st/2nd (Works) Company Durham Fortress Engineers (T. F.)

The Jarra regiment haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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Steve & Terry,

Many thanks for that info on the Durham R.E. units, as all the Corps are badly represented for WWI. I think that J.B.M.Frederick was going to write further volumes on the Corps in his "Lineage of British Land Forces 1660-1978" series, but these further volumes were never completed and I haven't a clue as to what happened to his notes.

Perhaps you two should get together and start putting a R.E. Lineage together, if you do stick me down for a copy.

Graham.

Jimmy,

Just checked with my Army List for April 1915 and A.B. Gowans was commissioned 2nd/Lt into the 1/1st(Durham)Field Coy,R.E.(T.F.) on the 2nd December 1914. So it looks like he was posted to the 1/3rd(Durham)Field Coy,R.E.(T.F.) at some time, which wasn't unusual.

Thoozstillgannincanny?

Graham.

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Guest Jimmy Knacky

Heres another one from Jarrow in the same lot as A.B.Gowan

George Ambler. Sapper 1770.

1st/3rd (Durham) Field Coy. Royal Engineers.

Who died on 7th September 1916.

Enlisted in Jarrow.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Delville Wood Cemetery. Longueval. XI. H. 7.

And heres one with the "Jarra Regiment"

Hugh Campbell. Sapper 470700.

1st/2nd Durham Fortress Coy. Royal Engineers.

Who died on 24th July 1916.

Born South Shields. Enlisted in Jarrow.

Grave/Memorial Reference. Thiepval Memorial. Pier and Face 8 A and 8 D.

And heres one with the Tyne Electrical Engineers RE

Robert William Bell. Sapper 470354.

Tyne Electrical Engineers. Royal Engineers.

Age 35 who died on 2nd October 1919.

Son of James and Mary Bell of the Paper Mill. Jarrow. Husband of Mrs. Elizabeth Bell of 54 Prince Consort Rd. Jarrow.

Grave/Memorial Reference: Jarrow Cemetery. II. 457.

Robert William Bell is also Commemorated on the Palmer Cenotaph and in St. Paul's Church Jarrow.

So it's...............

Arthur Blackwood Gowan. Lieutenant

1st/3rd (Durham) Field Coy. Royal Engineers. not from thi "Jarra Regiment"

So I cannot see any mistakes can you........

Yiv got to be up early to catch us "Jarra Lads" out

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post-7376-1131906422.jpg

Jimmy,

As a Jarra Lad and big Palmer fan, I bet you haven't this before. Recruitng advertisement for the 13th Glosters(Forest of Dean, Pioneers), asked for a 100 lads and took nearly a company(250) of Durham pit lads with him.

Graham.

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