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

  • John M Osborne

    John Malcolm Osborne, submitter Jackie Wilson’s father, was born on 14th October 1888 to Frederick Osborne and Lydia Lindridge in Goudhurst Kent, having 7 siblings….

  • Cpl W G Padden

    Anthea Dunne dropped into the museum with a photo of her father (pictured in the centre of the group), and after a little research she…

  • Pte J F Firby

    Private Firby was born in 1883 and came from Richmond, living at 49 Newbiggin. He enlisted on 12th December 1914 at the age of 31….