Other names: Leonard Frank
Locations in this story: Semley, WiltshireNew South Wales, AustraliaSydney, New South Wales, AustraliaFrance & FlandersWeymouth, DorsetAxminster, DevonAndover, Hampshire
Story: Leonard Frank Bowles was born in Semley, Wiltshire, on 10 Apr 1891 and baptised there on 31 May 1891 the son of Frank Bowles and Bessie Alice (aka Betsy) Bowles (nee Smith). He lived his early life with his family at the Old Workhouse, Semley, Wiltshire. Some time after 1911 he emigrated to New South Wales, Australia, and whilst there joined the Australian Imperial Force on 19 Jan 1916 as a Private (Service No. 25680). He was posted to France and Flanders with the 55th Battalion arriving there on 14 Dec 1916. He suffered from serious arthritis and was repatriated back to the UK and attended various hospitals until he was shipped back to Australia via Weymouth, Dorset. He arrived back in Sydney, Australia, on 15 Apr 1918 and was subsequently discharged on 31 Jul 1918 being unfit for further service. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals plus a small pension. He had returned to the UK shortly after and met and married Bessie Louisa Moulding (the widow of Ernest James Moulding who had served and died in the conflict) in Axminster, Devon, during 1919. He apparently applied to join the Hampshire Regiment in 1924 but there is no other information available on this. By the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 4 Oak Tree Terrace, Andover, Hampshire, working as a Wood Sawyer as well as a volunteer ARP Warden. His death was recorded in Andover during 1967. Of his brothers, Bertram Percival Bowles served but died during the conflict whereas Alfred Radcliffe Bowles and Harold Donald Victor Bowles served and survived.