Ralph Archibald Bowie: Wednesday 26th November 1917
Ralph enlisted as a Private in Vancouver on 17 February 1915, giving his mother as his next of kin, and was described as 5’8” tall, with a 37” chest, fair complexion, with Brown hair and eyes, and two vaccination scars on his arm. Like his brother (also commemorated on the SMM Memorial) he had previous military experience, having served in the Militia.
He arrived in France with his unit in October 1915 and took part in all the battles the Canadians were engaged until January 1917 when he was given a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 5th Leicestershire Regiment.
When leading his platoon in an attack near Gravenstaffel in front of Ypres in the Passchendale sector on 26 September 1917, he was severely wounded in the hand but pressed forward gallantly at the head of his men, but a few minutes later he was instantly killed by enemy fire.
Ralph was born on 28 June 1890 in Balham, baptised on 17 August at St Mary’s Balham and went to Upper Tooting High School (on part of the current Finton House School site in Trinity Rd). He emigrated to Canada in 1911 and joined the Bank of Montreal as a teller. For further information on the family, please see his brother’s entry. He had been a bank clerk before emigration.