William Bowman

Timelines: Ribbon of Remembrance William Bowman

Not much is known about the service of Sergeant William Bowman of the Yorkshire Regiment. However, Stuart Hodgson a volunteer at the Green Howards Museum noticed something slightly unusual when he came across a photograph of William. The second button on his tunic is covered in black material.

There is a good deal of evidence which suggests that some soldiers who had lost relatives during the war started wearing a black button on their tunic, or sometimes a button wrapped in black crepe. This was probably an un-official practice and a blind eye was turned. However, evidence in an Eastern Command Order (1593) of August 1918 states:

“Mourning wearing of, by Non-Commissioned Officers and men.
The practice by Non-Commissioned Officers and men of covering the second button of the service dress jacket with black material as a symbol of mourning is irregular and will cease forthwith. (War Office Letter No. 54/ Gen No./3025 (QMG 7) dated 19th July 1918)”

We do not know who was being mourned, but it appears that William Bowman survived the Great War.

 

Return to the ribbon

Explore more memories from the ribbon

  • Edoardo Giovanoli

    Information submitted by John Holdsworth. Edoardo Giovanoli was born in Samedan, Switzerland in April 1889, but by around 1907 he had moved to Filey in…

  • Robert William Watson

    Submitted by Jon Bemrose. Robert William Watson was the Fourth son of Alfred and Annie Watson, of 15, Ashville St., Bridlington. Before the outbreak of…

  • Arthur Bateman

    Submitted by Rachel Blenkinsop. Arthur Bateman (Rachel’s maternal grandfather) served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. The photograph of him with his peers shows that…