My paternal grandfather, William John Bowden was stationed at the St. Ives Light Horse Encampment (Sydney) on 23rd November 1914 (the date on which he wrote a letter, which I have, to my grandmother.)   I have been trying to find a record of his service in the NAA (and perhaps a photo of him in uniform) and although there are 199 Bowdens listed - he is not there.  His two brothers Richard Eric, and Walter Henry are there and they served on the Western Front.  Could it be that because my grandfather did not leave our shores that he does not appear to have a record?  Any suggestions please.   

Dawn Leitch.

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Dawn,  I found this listing on the War memorial site   is this him?



Dawn,  I don't think that William John I listed belongs to you as he was in Queensland

Maybe his record is there under an incorrect spelling of his surname - you could contact NAA for advice

Did the brother Alfred serve in  WW1 ?



Hi Elizabeth,

Alfred was William's identical twin and as far as I know did not serve.  Two other brothers did - Richard and Walter (Snowy).   Thank you for your reply.


Dawn,  Sounds like the twin brothers stayed at home to assist on the farm

That would explain why William or Alfred are not listed for war service I presume?

Have you seen the listing on Rootsweb world connect for this family?


Hi Elizabeth.    I tried to reply to you earlier and ended up staring another discussion by mistake.  Not very good at this yet.   Yes, that looks to be it - the twins staying on the farm.  Still it was worth a try. Anyway, I've just checked out the listing on Rootsweb you mentioned and that is my grandfather and father.  Thanks for your help.


Dawn,   Dont worry I get confused with this site at times and often cannot find the thread I am looking for and reply out of sequence to queries - it needs a bit of tweaking



Hi Elizabeth.  Now I don't feel quite so bad - thank you.


Hi Dawn,

He wouldn't have enlisted in the AIF which was raised specifically for overseas service.  I have seen some digitised one page attestation forms for men who were not accepted for service but I think that mostly those documents were not retained.



Hi Debra,

Thank you for that.  I think my grandfather was only in the Army for about 2 years as the letter to my grandmother was written November 1914 and they married in September of 1916.  Until I read the letter (doing family history) I had no idea that he was ever involved as it was never discussed.  I know that my grandfather and his identical twin brother were helping their father run a farm at the time of the outbreak of WWI and that he lived there after his marriage.




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