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James Bowes (1890-1917)

Escomb born coal miner served as a signalman in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

James Bowes was born on 22 February 1890 in Escomb. His father was master stoneman Richard Bowes who was born in Spennymoor in 1858. His mother was Maria Stella Bowes nee Tucker, a coal miner’s daughter from Spennymoor who was born in 1861. His parents married in 1879 and had 11 known children giving James seven sisters and three brothers. In 1891 the Bowes family lived at Woodside, Escomb. By 1901 they had moved to Black Road, Witton Park. In 1911, when James was working as a hewer in a coal mine, they lived at 9 Bell Terrace, New Kyo.

James enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR), serving as a signalman with the service number TZ/1446. He was serving on HMS Partridge, a destroyer that was part of an escort for merchant ships bound for Bergen, Norway. On 12 December 1917 the ship was repeatedly hit by shells and torpedoes and sank in the North Sea. James was one of 97 crew killed. Only 24 men survived and were rescued. James’ body was not recovered for burial and he is honoured on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

James Bowes was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his service in World War One.

Civil Parish: Kyo

Birth date: 22-Feb-1890

Death date: 12-Dec-1917

Armed force/civilian: Navy

Residence: Woodside, Escomb (1891 census)
Black Road, Witton Park (1901 census)
9 Bell Terrace, New Kyo (1911 census)

Employment: Miner – Hewer (1911 Census)

Family: Parents: Richard Bowes (b 1858), Maria Stella Bowes nee Tucker (b 1861)
Siblings: Catherine Bowes (b 1880), Willamina Bowes (b 1882), Thomas Bowes (b 1884), Frances Bowes (b 1886), Stella Bowes (b 1888), Richard Bowes (b 1893), Philip Bowes (b 1895), Hannah Bowes (b 1897), Mary Bowes (b 1903), Margaret Jane Bowes (b 1906)

Military service:

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
HMS Partridge

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Chatham Naval Memorial
Memorial Park 1914-18, South Moor

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham

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