Information about birth

Date of birth:
23/10/1876
Place of birth:
Kilkenny, Kilkenny, Ireland

General information

Profession:
Labourer
Religion:
Roman Catholic

Army information

Country:
Canada
Force:
Canadian Expeditionary Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
51077
Enlistment date:
20/11/1914
Enlistment place:
Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Units:
 —  Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
04/05/1915
Place of death:
Bellewaarde Ridge, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
38

Memorial

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

Jerermiah Bowe was born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1876. Together with his brother James, he emigrated to New Zealand. But Jeremiah did not stay. While his brother James became a Catholic priest in Dannevirke, Jeremiah moved on and sailed for Canada in August 1914. He did not stay there long and joined the army in November 1914. A veteran of the Imperial Light Horse in South Africa, the 38-year-old was accepted into the prestigious Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the last privately raised regiment in the British Empire. The Patricia's were assigned to the 27th British Division.

In early April 1915, the 27th Division relieved French troops around Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, east of Ypres. During the Second Battle of Ypres, German attacks on their left flank made their positions untenable. On 3 May, they were forced to take up new positions on the Bellewaerde ridge. With the Germans on their tail, the new trenches were hastily dug. There was barely time to construct a parados or parapet. The Patracias were still digging when they witnessed a feat of German gründlichkeit. In the light of dawn on 4 May 1915, it looked as if the entire 4th German Army was coming down the ridge near the Westhoek in perfect formation. Many Patricians came out of their trenches, cheering the spectacle. But reality dawned as the first shells came down. The Patricians lay under heavy artillery fire for the rest of the day. Grinding their teeth, they had to watch their hastily dug positions being blown to bits. Although no attack came, the battalion suffered more than 120 casualties.

Jeremiah was among those killed. He was buried near the positions on Bellewaerde Ridge, along with 109 Patricians, all of whom died between 4 and 9 May 1915. Shortly afterwards, the ridge was lost to the Germans.

After the war, the remains of the 110 Patricians were not identified. Jerimiah is commemorated on the Ypres Monument (Menin Gate).

Files 3

Sources 6

Hodder-Williams R., Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry: 1914-1919. Volume I (Londen: Hodder and Stoughton, 1923) 50-57.
Sources used
Nancy Wadsworth, Dannevirke Gallery of History, personal communication, 16 January 2023.
Sources used
Personnel Records of the First World War (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC) RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 948 - 13).
https://library-archives.canada.ca/
Sources used
War diaries: Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG9-III-D-3, Volume number: 4911, Microfilm reel number: T-10703, File number: 346).
https://library-archives.canada.ca/
Sources used
War Graves Registers: Circumstances of Death (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC), RG 150, 1992-93/314; Volume Number: 156).
https://library-archives.canada.ca/
Sources used
War Graves Registry: Commonwealth War Graves (Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa (LAC): RG150, 1992-1993/314, Box 39-244; Box: 48).
https://library-archives.canada.ca/
Sources used