India General Service Medal 1895, bar Relief of Chitral, 22795 Sergt T.H. Bowen, No 6 Company Queen’s Own Madras Sappers and Miners, rare, one of only 6 recipients on the medal roll, extremely rare to a European recipient.
Naming officially engraved in flowing script: “22795 Sergt. T. H. Bowen Q. O. Madras S. & M.”
The medal roll records only 6 recipients of the medal and bar to the unit, Sergt Bowen one of 2 Sergeants along with 4 Lieutenants.
Thomas Henry Bowen was born in Hodnet, Market Drayton, Shropshire. The son of Henry Bowen a Royal Navy Pensioner (born 1829) and Emma Bowen.
a 19 year old Surveyor when he enlisted with the Royal Engineers having been previously rejected from the R.E. for being under the height requirements, he was however able to enlist again once he was 19 on 20th April 1888.
On 31st August 1892 he was a Sapper with the 19th Survey Companies Royal Engineers when he was recommended to extend his service to complete 12 years service, the remarks stating: “Has been recommended for promotion as Lance Corporal, a steady hard working man, likely to make a good N.C.O.”
Upon being appointed Lance Corporal on 4th February 1893, he joined the Queen’s Own Sappers and Miners on 2nd March 1893 promoted to 2nd Corporal, becoming Corporal on 18th April 1894.
On 1st June 1895 he was appointed 2nd Corporal with the Royal Engineers followed by the rank of Sergeant on 2nd September 1895 with the Queen’s Own Sappers and Miners.
Not long afterwards he died on service on 29th November 1895 aged only 26.