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April 30, 2012

Lost & Found: A. L. Bowers WW1 ID Tag

This is a Canadian soldier's WW1 ID tag from later in the war. The early aluminum tags were phased out as aluminum was expensive, and these pressed material tags issued.

This tag is stamped with the name A. L. Bowers and Regimental Number 2498308.

The next line has a "P" presumably for rank, and the bottom has the soldier's unit. In this case it is 4C.M.R. which stands for 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles.

We also have two of Pte Bowers'  medals stamped with his name and Regimental Number on the side.

Who was A.L. Bowers? Did he survive the war? My hunt began with the online CEF database where using the Regimental Number on the ID tag I found the Attestation Papers of Arthur Leslie Bowers born 13 April 1894.

Arthur was living in Oshawa but was born in Engfield England. He gave his father, also living in Oshawa as his next-of-kin but failed to provide his father's name.

Pte. Bowers' WW1 Medals
He is a horse driver and a single man. His attestation took place in August 1917 in Toronto. I wanted to know more about Arthur so using I searched census and marriage records. There was nothing conclusive in the census records for 1911 or 1901 but marriage records showed Arthur marrying in October 1924.

Arthur was listed as Arthur Leslie Bowers living in Oshawa born England age 30 son of Arthur John Bowers and Kate Anne Brant. His bride was Elizabeth Daisy Dunk born England age 30. Her parents were George Dunk and Mary Emily Wilcox.

Once I found the marriage record I was able to locate the family in the 1911 census for Athol Township, Ontario. The father Arthur Bowers, a baker, was shown as immigrating from England in 1910. His date of birth was June 1865 in England. His wife Kate was born March 1866 in England. Their children were listed as Leslie (this is Arthur Leslie) age 17, Slanty [?] a son age 10, Sidney age 7 and May age 2.

I next found the family sailing from Bristol England to Quebec on the Royal George on 2 June 1910. They are going to Picton Ontario. The passenger list revealed the name of their second son - Stanley.

My curiousity and genealogy obsessed mind wanted to know more. I looked for the family in the  1901 England census and found them living in Enfield, Middlesex England. Kate was listed as born Dalston, London England and Arthur gave his birth place as Carshalton, Surrey, England.

Little 6 year old Leslie was born in Enfield, Middlesex, England, as was his 9 month old brother Stanley.

I was unable to find death records for Arthur Leslie Bowers.

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