Ernest Victor Reginald Cowley

Name Ernest Victor Reginald Cowley
Corps Royal Field Artillery, 66th Coy.
Rank Acting Bombardier
Service No. 11367
Date/Place of entry 7 September 1914 Rugby
Date of death

Ernest Victor Reginald Cowley was the grandson of Hannah Cowley nee Lines, older sister of Owen Lines, and therefore second cousin to the Cottingham Lines family. He was born at Leamington Spa in 1898, son of labourer Ernest Owen Cowley and his wife Emma nee Herbert, and grew up in Coventry. His only known sibling was a sister, Lillian.

His attestation document shows he was nineteen when he joined the army and had been employed as a clerk. Ernest was posted gunner to the Royal Field Artillery, 66 Company and promoted to bombardier the following March. In June he was sent to the Mediterranean and was at Gallipoli for six months and Egypt for two. He remained there until February 1916 when he was sent to Mesopotamia.

Ernest’s records are horribly scrawled and it is difficult to see if he remained with the same company. What is clear is that he was reduced to gunner early that April for sleeping at his post, tried in June and sentenced to detention for one year. In August he contracted malaria and was in hospital for six weeks, the illness subsequently being treated with quinine; he was declared free of malaria six months later.

Having been released from detention he was again promoted to bombardier in October 1917, only to revert to gunner on 27 December.

Ernest stayed in Mesopotamia until 14 April 1919 and was then posted to India. He arrived there a week later but stayed only to 27 May. He was discharged to the reserve on 25 September 1919, his military conduct described as ‘good.’

He married in 1924 and sailed for Brisbane, Australia with his new wife the same year. They had one child, a daughter.

Ernest was a second cousin of Owen George Lines, Henry William Lines and Frederick Albert Lines, and of Albert Bazeley, Edmond White Bazeley, Frank Walter Bazeley and Arthur Bazeley.