Leonard George Bowtle was the son of a career soldier. Leonard served in teh army during the war and was sent to the Far East. There he was captured by the Japanese and he died in captivity in March 1941 in Thailand. His parents lived in Christy Avenue.
Leonard was born at Roxwell on 31st May 1914, the son of Basil Benjamin Bowtle and Ethel Emily Bowtle (nee Rogers).
Leonard's father was a career soldier and served with the Essex Regiment from 1893 until early 1914 and rejoined soon after Leonard s birth later that year. He had been wounded fighting in South Africa in 1900 when he was Corporal it the regiment's 1st Batallion. He left the army in 1919.
Leonard's parents had married at Framsden in Suffolk in 1903. His siblings were: Basil Harry Bowtle (born in Long Melford, Suffolk in 1904, died in 1967), Dorothy Ethel Bowtle (born in Warley in 1906, died in 1929), Elsie Florence Bowtle (born in Warley in 1908, died in 1995), and Phyllis Bowtle (1916-1918).
Prior to joining the army Leonard was a clerk for the Marconi Company. He was also a member of Chelmsford Amateur Athletic Club.
Leonard George BOWTLE, Private, Royal Army Service Corps
Killed in Thailand while a Japanese prisoner of war. Aged 28
During the Second World War Leonard served as Private S/13033843 in the Royal Army Service Corps. He was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore in February 1942, and on 1st March 1943 died whilst a prisoner of war at Chungkai in Thailand from diptheria. He was aged 28, and at the time his parents were living at 9 Christy Avenue in Chelmsford. He was a single man.
Today Leonard lies at Chungkai War Cemetery in Thailand (grave 12. D. 12.), one of 1,427 Commonwealth and 314 Dutch burials there from the Second World War, the majority being prisoners of war who died whilst whilst working on the notorious Burma-Siam railway. The war cemetery is the original burial ground started by the prisoners themselves, and the burials are mostly of men who died at the hospital.
News of Leonard's death did not reach home until December 1945.
Leonard's father died in 1970; his mother in 1976.