Roll of Honour Data Page




Lance Corporal 

James Henry


Photo © The Bowden Family


c.1920 Belfast

Service No.



591 Antrim Parachute Squadron RE.

Military Notes:
Service Record:

Ringway Parachute Training Course 69B

Wounded in Action at the Rhine Crossing.

(see below for service record) 

Family Notes:

Son of...
Father of two daughters

Civilian Occupation:





(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 ©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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          [page last updated 26 May 2015]