Miss Linda Bowles MM


Researched by Bill Ricalton LLHS

Linda Bowles was born on 18th March 1886 at Bothal Northumberland, where her father was a gardener. In 1901 her mother was deceased and she was recorded as being a 'garden weeder'. Later she was to train as a nurse and became a member of the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service.

It was in that capacity that she went to France during WW1 assisting in the care of the casualties of war. During her service, she was awarded the Military Medal for her bravery. Below are the notification and the citation, which were published in the London Gazette on the 17th September 1917.

"His Majesty the KING- has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to Nursing Sister Miss Linda Bowles, Q.A.I.M.N.S."

The Citation Read:

"At Bailleul Ambulance Siding. This lady was on duty on the night of the 6/7th July 1917, at No.11 Casualty Clearing Station. For about three hours bombs were repeatedly dropped in the immediate vicinity of, and eventually into the Casualty Clearing Station, which was under canvas. There were some 250 patients in the Hospital at the time, 27 were killed and 68 wounded amongst the patients and personnel as a result of seven bombs dropped on the Hospital. Throughout she continued her duties amongst the patients helping to calm them and attending to those wounded in the bombardment. She showed the most remarkable coolness and devotion to duty, and gave a splendid example under very trying circumstances."

The Bowles family came to live in Longhorsley in the early '20s and lived in a bungalow called Fellside on the West Road for almost thirty years. Miss Linda Bowles died in Newcastle in 1972

Miss Bowles was a very private person who was seen infrequently about the village, her brother, Aubrey appeared to do the outside chores and shopping. She, however, while not his housekeeper, took care of the domestic work for very many years. Meanwhile Aubrey, an accomplished painter, when not shopping spent most of his time around the village with his paintbrush and easel.