[page last updated 26 May 2015]
Roll of Honour Data Page
Photo Â© The Bowden Family
591 Antrim Parachute Squadron RE.
Ringway Parachute Training Course 69B
Wounded in Action at the Rhine Crossing.
(see below for service record)
Father of two daughters
(dd mmm yyyy)
Cemetery / Memorial:
In 2004, the BBC created a program on the events of D-day, and several veterans were invited to a special screening
including Lance Corporal Bowden, who is stood on the back row at the far right (with walking stick).
Photo Â©The Bowden Family
Sapper Bowden's own account of his military service:
1937 ~ Joined Territorial Army in Belfast at age 17. Antrim Fortress Company Royal Engineers
Trained as Searchlight Operator in Coastal Defence.
1939~ August called up as was was imminent, served at Greypoint and Kilroot forts until September 1940.
1940~ Joined new Field Company at Portaferry moved to Halifax in January 1941.
1941-43~ Served in Field Company mostly in East Anglia 54 Infantry Division, Anti-invasion Division.
1943~ 54th Div was disbanded as threat of invasion by Germans was no longer a problem.
1943~ Royal Engineers of 54th Div transferred to newly formed 6th Airborne Division and 591 Field Coy became 591 Parachute Squadron RE. Trained as Parachutist at Ringway Manchester
1944~ D-day 6th June parachuted in to Normandy 1am at Ranville as member of team with mission to blow up anti-glider poles. Successfully dropped in right area and joined with some of my troop and cleared two runways for gliders coming in with anti-tank guns at 3am.
1944 June-Sep~ worked in Normandy bridgehead, clearing and laying mines, making defences and destroying enemy guns. Returned to England Sept 1944.
1944 Christmas~ Ardennes fo 6 weeks mostly mine and boobytraps to be cleared and keeping warm (or trying to) in very severe winter.
1944 Mid-January~ moved to Holland on Rhine and left in February for England.
1944 March 24th ~Crossed Rhine to a fierce reception from German anti-aircraft artillery. Many casualties. Was wounded in hand and evacuated to Holland next day and then next day to De Haan [Belgium](outside Ostend to hospital).
1945 May~ Home and Sick Leave.
1945 June ~ To Norway to rejoin unit. 3 months engaged in mine and wire clearance. German Prisoners as Labour.
1945 Sept~ Returned to England and finished Army life in March 1946 (3 months leave).
1946 March-April ~ Commercial Civil Service, but called to represent unit which had been disbanded, in Victory Parade in London so back in Army for 1 week only.
1952~ Rejoined Territorial Army, 130 Field Security Company, Intelligence Corps.
Served until 1957 and finally finished Military Service.
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