Eric Gordon Bowden
Lieutenant Colonel, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
Eric Gordon Bowden, born on May 12th 1894, was a student at Alleyn’s in Spurgeon's House until 1909. He lived at 135 Ivydale Road, Nunhead before enlisting in the British Expeditionary Force after the outbreak of war in August 1914. Eric served as 2nd Lieutenant with the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) for nearly four years overseas in Italy, France and Flanders. He often led successful raids with great gallantry and always set a fine example to the men he served with. Such actions resulted in him being Mentioned in Despatches and awarded the Military Cross. At 24, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was one of the youngest Colonels in the British Army at this time. Eric continued to serve on the Western Front in 1918 and was in command of composite unit when he was killed in action on July 22nd 1918. He was buried at Steenvoorde cemetery in France.
Eric often wrote home of his wartime experiences and one of his letters was published in the April 1917 edition of the Edward Alleyn Magazine. It provides a detailed and insightful look into life at the front and can be read by clicking here