Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Join in and become part of Legion Magazine’s online community by reading and responding to a unique collection of letters written by the Bowes brothers (Clifford, James and Fred) to their mother during the First World War.

Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Nov. 20, 1920

Imperial War Graves Commission 33-38 Baker Street, London, England This is the final letter in the Bowes Brothers collection. The newly named Imperial War Graves Commission promises that Clifford Bowes will be commemorated. It lived up to that promise and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, which honours more than 54,000 Commonwealth soldiers who fought in the area with no known grave. It was unveiled in 1927.   Madam, With reference to previous correspondence, I am directed to inform you that a report has now been received from the Directorate of Graves Registration and Enquiries in France, stating that in spite of a very thorough and methodical search in the vicinity of Zonnebeke, North East of Ypres, where Private D.C. Bowes is reported to be buried, no t...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – June 28, 1920 St. Andrew’s Manse, New Glasgow, N.S.

Dear Mrs. Bowes, Your letter of June 11th arrived today and I am answering by return mail. You would have no difficulty in finding the cemeteries where your first two sons were buried and I am glad that you have had the melancholy pleasure of getting over to visit the graves. About our movements at Passchendaele where Clifford was buried: I have looked up the maps and diary and all my data and will give you what I can, though you might not be able to find the grave. You remember that all this territory was again in the hands of the enemy in 1918 at the time of the German thrust before they were pushed back and beaten. In that with the usual accompaniments of the cannonading the marks could easily be obliterated, but I hope you will be able to find them. Looking at the map the grave w...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – May 2, 1918 Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries

War Office, Winchester House, London, England   Dear Madam, In further reply to your letter I have to say that Private D.C. Bowes is reported as buried at a point South West of Zonnebeke, North East of Ypres. If at a later date the officers of the Graves Registration Units in that area are able to locate the grave, it will be registered and information will be sent to you at the first possible moment. I am very sorry not to be able to send you a more satisfactory reply. Yours faithfully Staff Captain for Brigadier-General
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Jan. 30-1918 Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries

War Office Winchester House St. James Square London, England   Dear Madam, In reply to your letter of 7th of December 1917, I regret to say that the grave of Private D.C. Bowes has not yet been located but your enquiry has been noted and I will write you again as soon as I am able to obtain any information. I am very sorry not to be able to send you a more satisfactory reply. Yours faithfully, Staff Captain for Brigadier General
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Dec. 19, 1917 Somewhere in France

Dear Mrs. Bowes, We are having the coldest weather just now but I am not in the line as I am at a school along with a few more. We have to work very hard but I don’t mind it a bit for change. Mrs. Bowes, it came as quite a shock to me when I heard of Clifford’s death. It was the last thing I expected would have happened to him. I know how you must feel about it and I wish you would accept my sympathy at this time but rest contented that he died doing his duty. I have not been near the 44th for some months so have not been able to learn any particulars. Boissevain has been hit pretty hard lately and I can’t help but feel it very keenly and also in another way that none but those fellows out here can feel. I always try to forget as quickly as possible but it is a hard thing for friends...
Letters From The Bowes Brothers

Letters From The Bowes Brothers – Nov. 7, 1917 France

Dear Mrs. Bowes, My heart is heavy, so I feel called upon to write you with sad and even sadder news. The only consolation I feel in writing is that when the mother at home made the initial sacrifice at home and sent their sons overseas, they, in great uncertainty, committed them to God and knew not whether any would come back. As I write you now, I feel there is no help anywhere else for you except in God when you read the sad news that the third of your three boys has passed beyond. Ever since his two brothers fell, I have tried to keep in touch with him. He was always the same boy he was when he left home. Up until almost six weeks ago, I saw him frequently. Then I was taken ill and was away from the battalion about five weeks, joining them again just before going into action, so ...
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