• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Cowan-C-D--L-Cpl-415 (redirected from Cowan C D L-Cpl 415)

Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 1 month ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


The Cowan brothers:  Charles is standing at the back, while

Harry is seated on the right, and the younger brother is Arthur

Courtesy of Anthony.


Cowan C D   L Cpl    415    Charles Davenport                7 Inf Bn    19    Clerk    Single    Pres       

Address:    Ascot Vale, Moonee St, 19   

Next of Kin:    Cowan, Florence, 19 Moonee St, Ascot Vale   

Enlisted:    15 Aug 1914       

Embarked:     A3 Orvieto 21 Oct 1914

Prior service: 58 Inf Regt


Cowan was a 2nd Lieutenant at the time of his death.


Relatives on Active Service: 

Cowan H K Pte 14 brother KIA

Davenport A Pte 3721 cousin

Davenport R A Pte 1015 cousin

Phelan-P-S-Pte-6573 future brother-in-law


Date of death: 6 Nov 1916   2nd Lieutenant  7th Battalion

CWGC:  "Son of Joseph Charles Martin Cowan and Florence Cowan, of 19 Moonie St, Ascot Vale, Victoria".



BULLET THROUGH CHEEK [Letter from Colonel Elliott]
"Sergeant Kenneth Walker and Corporal Charles Cowan have

recovered from their wounds, and are impatient to get back

to the front. Cowan had a miraculous escape. His tunic was

shot almost to ribbons by a machine gun, and he received a bullet
through the right check and another through the left ear. Walker

was struck on the top of the head with a shrapnel bullet, but it did

not penetrate the skull. Both are brave lads, and if they survive,

they will do well.

Lieutenant Chapman was shot, through the groin, and died on the

ship on his way here. He was buried at sea. He was all that an officer

could be, and his loss will be greatly felt among us. Of our ultimate

victory I entertain no doubt, though It will be dearly bought. "

"WHEN SHALL THEIR GLORY FADE?" (1915, June 26). The Herald

(Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 1. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article242359515


Essendon Boys Eulogised
An officer at the front in a letter received this week by Cr J F

Henderson, of Moonee Ponds, makes the following references

to the good work done by lads from the Essendon district at


Lieutenant Kenneth Walker repeatedly distinguished himself

under fire, particularly by rescuing men buried in the trenches

by the Turkish shell fire, and by leading a party of bomb
throwers to eject Turks who had seized one of our trenches. It was
while rescuing some of the men of the 6th Battalion that he was

wounded. Another man, Sergeant George Gardner (sic) exhibited great

courage and calmness which won the admiration of the Brigade.

"An Essendon boy who has done excellent work In the fighting lines, is
Lance-Corporal R K Ransom. He is always cool and ready to volunteer
for any job, however dangerous. Sergeants Charlie Cowan and G A
Gilchrist are doing very well. Had they been a little older they would
have received commissions before this. Lance-Corporal P Hoare has just
been slightly wounded.

ESSENDON BOYS EULOGISED (1915, September 4). The Herald

(Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 8. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article242416292


Recommendation for a Military Cross - 2/10/1916

2nd Lieut Charles Davenport COWAN.

At Hollebeke on the night of the 29th September and again on the 30th September 1916, during a silent raid on the enemy trench, 2nd Lieut C D Cowan, who was in charge of the wiring squad of the Raiding party, displayed great bravery.  On the night prior to the raid he carried out valuable reconnaissance of "No Man's Land" where the trenches were only 40 yards apart, reconnoitring the ground within 10 yards of enemy's parapet at a great personal risk.  

On the 30th, the night of the raid, 2nd Lieut Cowan, accompanied by 50 O[ther] R[ank]s was responsible for the direction of the party and the improvement of the gap in the wire.  When within 10 yards of enemy's front line, he rushed his men at the enemy's parapet fearlessly, pushed in the sand bags, making a large gap, greatly facilitating the entry of the remainder of raiding party.  He worked continuously on improving the track back over "No Mans Land".

Recommended by Captain James Bowtell-HARRIS


Not awarded.






Major C. H. Swift, temporarily in command of the 7th Battalion, Australian

Imperial Force, writing to Mrs Cowan, of 19 Moonee street, Ascot Vale,
regarding the death of her son, Lieut. Charles Cowan, who was killed in

action on November 6, 1916, says: — "Your son was shot by a sniper who

had just previously shot another officer, to whose assistance your had son

gone, quite regardless of his own danger."

Lieut. Cowan, added Major Swift, was one of the most popular officers In
the battalion, and his work was exceptionally good. Just before his death
he took part in a successful raid on the enemy trenches, and the officer in
charge attributed a large measure of the success gained to the painstaking
and thorough manner in which he carried out the important duties allotted
to him.

Lieut. Cowan was a son of the late Mr J. C. M. Cowan, a former Mayor
of Essendon. He enlisted on August 23, 1914, and left Australia in October
of the same year. He was promoted sergeant in Egypt, and was wounded
at the landing on Gallipoli. He was back in the firing line four weeks later,
but was ill at Lemnos when the evacuation look place. He gained his com-
mission in France. A brother of Lieut. Cowan has been wounded a second


SHOT BY A SNIPER (1917, July 21). The Herald

(Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 5.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article242481930


Australian Red Cross Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau Correspondence.


Cowan, 2nd Lieut, C D, C Coy

Killed Nov 6th 1916,
I saw him killed by a bullet about 9.30 pm on the 6th.  This happened while we were in the front lines at Gurdecourt.  He was buried at Gurdecourt near Bull Trench.  A Padre officiated.  I could not say his name.  I could not say if any cross was erected.  I knew him well, He was my Platoon Sgt on the Peninsular.  He came from Essendon, Victoria.
Description  Age, 30, Height 5-9, Complexion, Dark
Witness, Pte Galvin, No 1546 C Coy, 7th Batt
Taken at No 3 C D Hurcdott, 10.8.17.

Havre 8th Sept 1917
My cousin CSM Carey of B Co, 7th Batt, told me that he knew where Lt Cowan was buried.  The lieut was killed at Gueudecourt.  
Informant O'Brien, Corpl A E 165
1st Field Eng
Australian Camp, Rouelles

At Guendecourt on the 6th Nov 1916 just about dawn in the front line, Lieut Cowan was hit by a sniper and was killed at once.  Shot through the head.  I do not know whether he was buried.  I was not an eye-witness.  I was told by members of my Coy, who saw him killed.  His brother Cpl Cowan of the 5th AIF saw the Coy Commander, Capt Campbell not long afterwards who gave him all information.  I knew him, his Christian name was Charles.

Eye witness:  No, told by members of my Coy
Description: 5 ft 8 ins, about 21 years, fair, clean shaven
Informant CQMS David Reid, 708
7th AIF C Coy
3rd London General Hosp
Wandsworth, S2
Home address, Aus: Mil: Offices.

Refer to Major Parkes of 7th Battn who is in France, and who can give particulars of death and burial.  I heard that he was sniped.
Witness Pte S R Brown 3251
7th Battn D Coy 15th Pltn
3rd A A Hospital

Refer to L/Cpl E Taylor 722 C Coy 7th Battn who is in France and who saw him killed by a Machine Gun bullet through the stomach when attempting to rescue a wounded man at Bullecourt and who can give full particulars
Witness Pte A E McVitty 6557
7th Battn C Coy  11th Pltn
3rd A A Hosp

He was in D Coy, 11th Platoon, and was killed by a sniper, being shot in the groin in an outpost near Guedecourt.  He died in about half an hour and was conscious.  I do not know where he was buried
Informant:  Pte R B Marshall 6004
9th Australians C Coy

I was with Casualty when he died of wounds on the 6th November, 1916 at Fleurs.  He died from gunshot wound in the abdomen.  Casualty was unconscious.  I was sent out to carry him in.  It happened when we were getting relieved. Casualty was not in the trench.  I do not know whether he was buried.  I do not think so, there was no time.

Informant M David No 2835 7th Btn
Private Address, Maldon, Victoria

Casualty was sniped St Fleurs on the 6th November 1916, whilst being relieved, and he was buried at Fleurs in Bullecourt Trench.  He was killed under my eyes instantly.  I was about 20 or 30 yards away.
Informant Pte E E Bottomley
No 4737 7th Btn
Private Address, Cotham Road, Kew



Local Casualty List

Corporal C. D. Cowan (wounded) is
a son of Mrs F Cowan, 19 Moonee
street, Ascot Vale.

Essendon Gazette, 13 May 1915


Mentioned in correspondence:

Elliott H E Lieut Col  Essendon Gazette 24 June 1915

Elliott H E Lieut Col Essendon Gazette 2 Sep 1915


Ascot Vale State School book of "Noble Deeds"


Cowan, Charles Davenport, Lieut.  Born 2nd Nov 1895.  Enlisted August 1914 as a Corporal in

the infantry. He was made Sergeant on leaving Egypt, and in July 1916 received a 2nd

Lieutenant's Commission.  He spent two years in Gallipoli and France, being wounded at the

landing of Anzac Day 1915 while serving under Colonel Elliott.  On Nov 6th 1916 four days after

his 21st birthday, he went to the assistance of a wounded lieutenant who was shot in the act of

bringing men to relieve the company, and was killed by a sniper.  Before the war Lieutenant

Cowan had been a clerk in the Water Commission's Office.


Villers-Bretonneux Memorial showing names from the 7 Infantry Bn,

including 2 Lieut C D Cowan and Company Sergeant Major H Griffin.

Courtesy of Melbourne High School Archives, 2014.



War Service Commemorated

Essendon Town Hall A-F

Ascot Vale Presbyterian*   

Ascot Vale State School*       

Ascot Vale SS Noble Deeds

Anzac Honoured Dead  6 Nov 1916               

Essendon Gazette Roll of Honour killed               

Regimental Register   

“Send off to the Essendon Boys”

Patriotic Concert, Essendon Town Hall, 1914

58th Infantry Football Club (Essendon Rifles)

Ascot Vale Congregational Church*


In Memoriam


COWAN.—in loving memory of Lieutenant C. D.

Cowan 7th Batt., second son of the late J. C. M.

and Florence Cowan, killed whilst rescuing a

wounded comrade on the 6th November, 1916.

The Argus 7 November 1919



See also brother's notices.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.