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№ 107


17 September 2004

Hammer Price:

The ‘Mutiny Anniversary’ C.B. group of four to Paymaster-in-Chief T. H. L. Bowling, Royal Navy, Clerk of Pearl’s Naval Brigade

Order of the Bath, C.B. (Military) breast badge, silver-gilt and enamels, with swivel-ring bar suspension but lacking ribbon buckle

Indian Mutiny 1857-59, no clasp (Thos. H. L. Bowling, Clerk. Pearl)

China 1857-60, no clasp, unnamed as issued

Abyssinia 1867-68 (Paymaster T. H. L. Bowling, H.M.S. Octavia) light contact marks, otherwise good very fine

Thomas Henry Lovelace Bowling, the son of Thomas Bowling of Ramsgate, was born in 1839, and entered the Navy in 1855. In July 1857 he was at Hong Kong serving as Assistant Clerk in H.M.S. Pearl (Captain E. S. Sotheby, R.N.) when Lord Elgin answered Canning’s urgent request for reinforcements by despatching Pearl and Shannon to India. Pearl’s Naval Brigade, 253-strong, served under Brigadier Rowcroft in operations in North West Bengal and fought no fewer than ten battles in its existence of fifteen months.

Promoted Clerk on 17 December 1857, Bowling was specially mentioned three times for his services with the Brigade. At the Battle of Amorah on 5 March 1858, he was noted by Captain Sotheby as being ‘most ready in assisting Drs. Shone [qv] and Dickinson, Assistant Surgeons, with the wounded’. On 17 April he was mentioned for ‘efficient service’ in the successful action at the village of Thamowlee, and, on the 25th of the same month, was acknowledged as being of ‘much service’ in the series of actions near the village of Puchawas.

Bowling became Assistant Paymaster in 1860, and Paymaster in 1866. The next year he served in the more or less bloodless Abyssinian expedition as Paymaster and Secretary to Captain George Tryon, C.B., Principal Officer of Transport Service. From 1869 to 1885 he was secretary to various Admirals, and in 1886 was advanced to Fleet Paymaster. He retired as Paymaster-in-Chief in 1896, and was made a Companion of the Bath on the ‘occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Indian Mutiny’ in 1907. Bowling died unmarried on 18 June 1922.

Ref: Navy List; Naval Brigades in the Indian Mutiny 1857-58 (Naval Records Society); Who Was Who, 1916-1928.