BOWICK, William Robie
Not of Euston but buried in St Genevieve churchyard after a mid air collision in the area
His brother Charles is commemorated on the gravestone, a Y.M.C.A. worker, having been killed and buried in France.

Lieutenant, William Robie BOWICK
Aged 20
12 (Training) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Died in Air Accident on Tuesday, 11th June 1918

William Robie BOWICK was born in Heidelberg, Cape Colony, South Africa on 20th September 1897, son of John Robie and Isabel Maud BOWICK (née BAKER).

1901 census...Aged 2, he was at 27 Canfield Gardens, Hempstead, with his grandfather Thomas BOWICK [68] journalist and author, born Scotland; his grandmother Elizabeth S [62], born Kenilworth; Aunts Skye [31] professional singer and Ellen [26] reciter, both born in Bedford. His parents were at 71 Pelham Road, Wimbledon, father John Robie BOWICK [40] grain merchant born Warwickshire; mother Isabel M [35] born Guernsey; brothers, Charles [1] born Southall and Jack (8 days), born Wimbledon.

1911 census...Apparently the student William J.R. BOWICK at St. Saviours College, Ardingley, Haywards Heath. His mother was at 27 Welldon Crescent, Harrow On The Hill, Harrow with his brothers Charles Graham [11] born Southall and John Mortimer [10] born Wimbledon; sisters Winifred Maud [8] and Helen Marjorie [6] both born Wimbledon.

He was a student at Bedford Grammar School until 28th March 1916.

His brother Charles Graham BOWICK, born 10th July 1899 in Uxbridge was with the Y.M.C.A. in France and died there on 3rd May 1918. He was killed by a shell and is buried in Lapugnoy Military Cemetery, grave 6:F:1

photo courtesy his great nephew, Jim Hague

William's will has his address as 17 Norfolk Road, Regent's Park, Middlesex, administration to John Robie BOWICK, rubber planter. There is one strange entry on Ancestry from Obituaries, recording a spouse, Larry SWANEY, but unfortunately only a transcription, the originally has yet to be found and I have failed to find a record of any such marriage.

photo courtesy his great nephew, Jim Hague

He was resident with his father at 178 Foster Hill Road, Bedford on enlistment. Commission gazetted LG 16 June 1916, from 2nd Lt to Lieut on 3 August 1917. He had served at the School of Special Flying, Gosport and had flown Caudron AAF(SH and LH); BE8A; BE22 C and E; BE12; RE8; Avro AW (90 and 160 hp) ; DH6 and DH4. The "Avro AW (90 and 160 hp are most likely to be the Armstrong Whitworth FK3 and FK8, and the Avro referring to the Avro 504). Again I do not have the original to hand to check the transcription) My thanks to his great nephew, Jim Hague, for corrections to the list of aircraft. A second look at his records on the next visit to Kew is called for.
Seemingly then a skilled airman, who had served with Nos 7; 48 and 38 Squadrons RFC, becoming an instructor on 29 August 1917 at No 12 Training Squadron, based at Thetford (Snarehill), about 1 mile north of Euston Hall
He was flying in RE8 ser no 787 from nearby Thetford (Snarehill) airfield. William, with an American in the Royal Flying Corps, 2nd Lt. Harry Walter PRINCE as passenger, was in collision with an aircraft piloted by Lt.Thomas Eli SMITH, R.A.F. All three died. Lt Smith was taken home to Walsgrave for burial and 2nd Lt. Harry Prince rests at the American Cemetery, Brookwood, Woking.

The accident seems to have been reported in newspapers from Devon to Northumbria, but the most comprehensive were the reports published in THE NORFOLK CHRONICLE 14 June 1918:

An accident involving the lives of three airmen occurred in Norfolk on Tuesday through two machines colliding. One of the aeroplanes was piloted by Lieut William Robie Bowick RAF who has as a passenger Sec-Lieut Harry W Prince (USA) and the other by Sec-Lieut Thomas Eli Smith RAF. The collision occurred at a height of about 1000 feet and the three occupants of the machines were dead when removed from the wreckage.

and following from the Diss Express

William Bowick is buried in Euston (St Genevieve) Churchyard, south west of church

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details