• William Thomas Bowdler

Army / Flying Corps
  • 26th Australian Infantry Battalion
    Unknown
    Unknown

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    Unknown
  • Birth

    Toowoomba, QLD, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Toowoomba, QLD, Australia

Stories and comments
    • The Men of the 26th Battalion
    • Posted by jaydsydaus121, Friday, 26 February 2021

    Brisbane Courier (Qld), Monday 27 December 1915, page 8 A SOLDIER BOY. ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD LAD'S EXPERIENCE. INCIDENT AT TOOWOOMBA. TOOWOOMBA, December 26. "Billy" Bowdler, 11 years of age, had a romantic experience on Christmas Eve. His father is on active service with the 26th Battalion. His mother is dead, and "Billy" resides with his granny, Mrs. Bowdler, near the railway line, between James and Stephens streets. "Billy" is a keen military enthusiast, and has a full uniform, and a hat with emu feather. He blows a bugle well, and says he wants to join his father. On Christmas Eve, when some soldiers were passing through Toowoomba, "Billy" had his full uniform on, and also his bugle. When the troops got out of the train, "Billy" started blowing military calls on the bugle. The troops gathered around the boy, who said he wanted to go with them. He also said "Granny" would let him go. The soldiers took a great fancy to "Billy." Eventually, when the troops left the boy was with them. It was ascertained to-night that "Billy" went as far as Wallangarra with the soldiers. There an officer intervened, and refused to allow "Billy" to accompany them further. "Billy" much disappointed, had to stay at Wallangarra. He was taken charge of there by the railway officials, and sent back to Toowoomba on Christmas Day. He stated that the soldiers collected about 28/ for him, and also looked after him well. He is, however, keen on getting away again to join his father. His granny stated tonight that she would have been anxious about "Billy's" absence only she happened to see the train passing, with "Billy" waving a good-bye to her amongst a lot of smiling good natured soldiers. She knew that if they took "Billy" to Sydney or Melbourne he would be sent back all right.