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Archie Bowman: Prisoner of War

By Hamish Ross, Author of ‘Archie Bowman: Foot Soldier, German PoW & League of Nations Man’, 2018

Archie Bowman Book

Hamish Ross’ new book on Archie Bowman was published by Pen & Sword in June 2018. 

When C Company 10/11 HLI was given the order to surrender, Lieutenant Archie Bowman found it hard to take: ‘My vote was cast for a fight to the finish, but Mr Cuthbertson who was in command ordered the surrender. I do not blame him. He is a splendid fellow, and was wounded in two places. But to me the act of surrender was almost unendurable.’

So swift was the enemy advance at the battle of the Lys on 9 April 1918 that their haul of prisoners had to suffer a two-march to reach a railhead to be transported to prison camps in Germany. The pace of the long file of prisoners was slow because of the wounded; it looked like a huge funeral procession, only, Bowman wrote, they ‘left behind the dying and the dead.’

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