Private John William Dowling

John William Dowling in Dorking © naa.gov.au
© 2015 Royston Williamson

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

John William Dowling Birth Registration Transcription © findmypast.co.uk
John William Dowling Birth Certificate © naa.gov.au

John William Dowling was born on the 9th of December 1889 in Dorking, Surrey to labourer John Lewis Dowling and Harriet Dowling nee Lynch.

John William Dowling 1891 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at Moleside in Dorking, Surrey. John was working as a labourer and Harriet was looking after their children Lucy, Florence and John.

John William Dowling 1898 St Martin’s School Admission Register © Surrey History Centre findmypast.co.uk

On the 16th of October 1898 John Dowling was admitted into St Martin´s Church of England School in Dorking. Previously he was attending Pixham School. At the time of his admission the family lived at Riverside in Dorking. He left St Martin´s school on the 27th of September 1901.

John William Dowling 1901 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family were still living at Moleside in Dorking. John was working as a labourer in a coal yard and Harriet was looking after their children: Florence, John , Alice, Harriet and Edith.

John William Dowling 1901 Dorking British School Admission Register © Surrey History Centre findmypast.co.uk

On the 3rd of September 1901 John William Dowling was admitted into the Dorking British School. At the time of his admission the family lived at Pixham Lane.

John William Dowling 1911 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1911, John William´s family lived at 3 Mint Gardens in Dorking. John was working as a labourer on an Estate and Harriet was at home. The household further comprised of their daughter Edith. Harriet stated that she had given birth to seven children. The accomodation had four rooms.

At the time of the 1911 Census, John Dowling was working as an odd man for licensed victualler Anne Greaves, at the Punch Bowl pub, Reigate Road in Dorking. The pub had nine rooms.

John William Dowling (middle) © www.awm.gov.au

John Dowling enlisted on the 30th of July 1915 in Brisbane, Queensland into the 6th Reinforcement, of the 26th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. He was a Private with regimental number 2585.

At the time of his enlistment he was working as a labourer. He had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. He had two moles on his right cheek. His next of kin was his father John Dowling of 3 Mint Gardens in Dorking, Surrey.

On the 21st of October 1915 he embarked on HMAT Seang Bee from Brisbane, Australia to Egypt.

In Egypt, he became part of the 7th Training Battalion at Zeitoun. On the 1st of March 1916 he joined the 12th Battalion at Serapeum Railhead Camp.

On the 5th of March 1916 he became sick with a venereal disease and was admitted into the 1st Australian Field Ambulance and transferred into the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. The next day he was transferred by hospital train into the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital in Abbassia, Cairo. He was discharged on the 13th of March and moved to the Overseas Base at Ghezireh, near Cairo.

On the 2nd of April 1916 he was transferred from the 12th Battalion and taken on strenght of the 52nd Battalion at Serapeum, Egypt. On the 5th of June 1916 John embarked with the 52nd Battalion on the troopship Ivernia from Alexandria to join the BEF in France. On the 12th of June 1916 he disembarked to Marseilles in France.

John was wounded in an action on the 3rd or 4th of September 1916 in France.

On the 3rd of September 1916 John was admitted to the 1st Canadian Field Ambulance with a head injury. On the 4th of September he was transferred and admitted into the 8th General Hospital in Rouen, France.

On the 6th of September 1916 he was further transferred into the 2nd Convalescents Depot.

Cured, on the 11th of September 1916 John William marched into the 4th Australian Divisional Depot in Etaples, France.

On the 30th of September 1916 he rejoined the 52nd Battalion in France.

On the 18th of October 1917 he was killed in an action during the 3rd Battle of Ypres in Belgium.

John William Dowling Menin Gate Roll of Honour © CWGC.org
John William Dowling Menin Gate Panel Listing © CWGC.org

John William Dowling is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial in Belgium on panels 7-17-23-25-27-29-31.

John Dowling did not make a will and had no personal effects in his kit.

John William´s father received the British War and Victory medals and the 1914/15 Star. He also received the Memorial Scroll, Memorial Plaque and a booklet ´Where the Australians Rest.´

Dowling Family History

John William´s father John Lewis Dowling was born on the 6th of November of 1853 in Leatherhead, Surrey to boot maker William Dowling, born about 1822 in Dorking, Surrey and Harriet Dowling born about 1823 at St Giles, London. John Lewis was baptised on the 10th of October 1858 at St Martin´s church in Dorking. At the time of the baptism the family lived at Cotmandene, Dorking and William was working as a shoemaker.

John William´s mother Harriet Lynch was born on the 6th of August 1857 in Dorking, Surrey to labourer Henry Lynch and Jane Lynch. Harriet Lynch was baptised on the 17th of January of 1858 at St Paul´s church in Dorking. At the time of the baptism the family lived at Butter Hill in Dorking.

John Lewis Dowling and Harriet Lynch married in the 1st quarter of 1884 in the Registration District of Dorking, Surrey.

John William Dowling had five known siblings: Lucy Dowling born about 1882 in Dorking, Surrey; Florence Dowling born about 1888 in Dorking, Surrey; Alice Dowling born about 1893 in Dorking, Surrey; Harriet Dowling born about 1895 in Dorking, Surrey and Edith Dowling born about 1897 in Dorking, Surrey.

Born                       Dorking, Surrey

Son of                     John Lewis and Harriet Dowling (nee Lynch) of 3 Mint Gardens, Dorking

Regiment                 52nd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force
Number                   2585

Date of Death           18th October 1917
Place of Death          Ypres, Belguim
Cause of Death        Killed in Action

Age                          18

Memorial                  Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial