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20th Century World War 1

WW1 Sergeant Charles Dowson

Sergeant Charles Dowson

Charles Dowson was one of the men who after enlisting in the colours in August 1914 was to survive the whole of the Great War.    His survival was not without incident however.    After posting to France in October, 1915 he was to be spared from injury and pain until August, 1917 when he was wounded in action.       Recovery and resumption to duties in the battlefield was brought to a halt again when he received wounds in August, 1918
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Further incidence saw Charles taken prisoner as late as the 10th of November – just one day before the cessation of hostilities.     Release from captivity came in December that final year enabling a return to England and then an immediate transfer to duties with the army in the new Weimar Republic of Germany.   His regiment was one of a number brought back to the country in 1919 in order to maintain the railways following a national strike in September of that year. 

After surviving the whole of the conflict, Charles’ life was cut short when after taking part as the escort of the King’s trip to Belfast. The troop train carrying men and horses of the 10th Hussars was derailed in an ambush by the IRA at a site known as Adavoyle in June, 1921 near to the Ulster border.

Charles Dowson was one of three fatalities that day along with a number of men wounded and horses lost in that action.
His burial place at Methley churchyard is marked with a suitable headstone displaying brief details of of his life and death.

Each year up to as recently as 2010 a wreath was placed on the headstone. Don Beilby confided that he never saw the person placing the wreath and never knew who had placed the wreath over the years.

Part of source information provided by Mr A Petcher