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Lt Charles Selwyn Cowley

killed in action 9th May 1914, aged 21

Upton in Bloom have committed to remembering all those Upton Servicemen killed in action during World War 1 on the 100 year anniversary of their deaths. Simon Wilkinson & I were contacted by James Boyden, great nephew of Lt Cowley two weeks before the anniversary of his death. We invited James & his family to come to Upton for a small ceremony in the Old Churchyard.

Lt Cowley's nieces, Ann Boyden from Crewkerne & Sally Clementi from Wimbledon and great-nephew James Boyden from Truro came to Upton on 9th May 2015 to remember him. Also, Mark & Lisa Tribe (& daughter Lauren). Mark is nephew to Sally's husband and very kindly had her to stay and brought her to Upton. Also in attendance were the Mayor Cllr Peter Webb, Cllr Henrietta Ross, Ian Quickfall (Malvern College), Angela Gosling and Simon Wilkinson

Charles was the eldest son, of two, of Dr Cowley. He is pictured outside Willow Bank which was the family home.

The battle of Aubers Ridge was a disaster and the Northamptonshire Regt suffered very badly that day. "The poor old Northamptons (regiment) were in the firing line and we were reinforcements. The bombardment started at 5:00am, steady for half an hour and 10 minutes (actually 35 minutes) as hard as they could go, about five to seven hundred guns going off, all sorts. "Just at half past five the Northamptons had to leave their trenches and get up to the Germans under the ten minutes, heavy bombardment, as soon as they left we had to rush across the open and take them over (occupy the front line while the Northamptons charged). The Germans were pouring shrapnel between the reserve trenches and the firing line. We could see the northamptons going over the open in good order, through the smoke. It was simply raining lead, what with shells and machine guns, they had to get over a bit of a river, three or four yards wide and ten feet deep, nearly full of barbed wire. "Our engineers put small bridges over the night before, just room for one man to run over and they were made of new timber, a good target and playing on them with machine guns, not much chance to get over. Some got across and some tried to jump across the water. If you got in it, then ten to one (betting odds) you would never get out, no chance at all if you were wounded. That is where a lot of the missing of the Northamptons are, poor fellows." A Soldier's Tale: Albert Money Wounded at Battle of Aubers Ridge, May, 1915. The Battle of Aubers 9 May 1915



Ann, James & Sally


Mark & Lisa Tribe (& daughter Lauren), Ann, James, Simon, Cllr Webb, Sally, Ian


Mark & Lisa Tribe (& daughter Lauren), Ann, Sally, James, Jackie, Ian, Cllr Webb, Simon,

Pictures © Jackie Surtees & Sally Clementi