John Graham Bower

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Commander John Graham Bower, D.S.O. (6 February, 1886 – 15 October, 1940) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Bower was born in South Africa the son of a decorated Commander in the British Army. He gained two months time on passing out of Britannia on 15 January, 1902.[1]

Bower's first appointment was to the second class protected cruiser Highflyer, then operating in the East Indies. He left the ship when she paid off on 24 November, 1903. On 9 December 1903, he received an appointment to join Berwick of the Cruiser Squadron.[2]

Bower was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 31 December, 1907.[3]

On 28 August, 1909, he was admitted to Haslar Hospital with an injury to his middle left finger. He would eventually lose the digit and be granted a one month gratuity for the injury, on 15 October, 1909.[4]

Bower was appointed in command of the submarine C 34 on 1 March, 1910.[5]

In May of 1912, Bower was blamed for exerting insufficient supervision in an accident that caused torpedo with serial number 352 to commence its run within the tube of C 34. In April of 1913, C 34 collided with the battlecruiser Invincible, an accident for which Bower was attributed a lesser degree of blame.[6]

Bower applied to join the Royal Flying Corps around late 1912, but he withdrew his application on 17 January, 1913. On 25 November, 1913, he was appointed to serve in the battleship Colossus.[7]

Great War

Bower served in Colossus until 1 July, 1915 when he was appointed to Thames, additional for command of the submarine C 6.[8]

Bower was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 31 December, 1915.[9]

Bower was captain of E 42 on 29 April, 1917 when she hit UB 23 with a torpedo that failed to explode.[10]

On 27 September, 1918, he was hospitalised for an abscess on his foot. On 25 October, 1918 he was declared fit.[11]

Post-War

In March of 1919, Bower was sent to participate in the Allied Naval Armistice Commission.

Bower was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1919. On 12 August, he was hospitalised for four days with a neck complaint and the on 25 August he was appointed in command of the second class protected cruiser Arrogant, and for duty with submarines.[12]

In late 1921/early 1922, Bower assisted the Naval Section to the British Empire Delegation at Washington and was thanked for his work by Chatfield.

A cascading series of missteps frayed at his career in the 1920s. In 1923, he was blamed for losing confidential books in K 2 by failing to turn them in for re-issue to his successor in command. In 1926, Bower failed to remit in a timely manner cash accounts for Ambrose for the months of March through May. A severe caution to him resulted and he was reminded to abide more closely to regulations. On 20 April, 1927, a gun accident due to poor maintenance aboard the sweeping sloop Crocus resulted in further reprimands.[13]

It seems that there was some other, ultimate mistake whose particulars are as yet undiscovered, for an official letter stamped N.L. 2517/30 in his Service Record dated 6 August, 1930 states that "It has been decided that Commander John G. Bower, D.S.O., R.N., H.M.S. 'Cambrian' is to be relieved in his appointment and placed on half pay. He will not be employed again." A Board Minute for 7 October contains the item "2757. Commander J. G. Bower, R.N. Approved to place on Half-Pay and not to employ again."[14]

Bower was placed on the Retired List at his own request on 7 February, 1931.[15]

A step in rank upon reaching the age of forty-five years was not granted him. Though Bower offered his services in 1938, in 1939 it was noted that he was "NOT to be employed on mobilisation." John G. Bower died in October of 1940.[16]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. C 34
1 Mar, 1910[17] – 25 Nov, 1913[18]
Succeeded by
John F. Hutchings
Preceded by
Harrington D. Edwards
Captain of H.M.S. A 13
1 Mar, 1910[19][20] – 19 Sep, 1910[21]
Succeeded by
George A. Saltren-Willett
Preceded by
Thomas C. B. Harbottle
Captain of H.M.S. C 6
1 Jul, 1915[22] – 9 Feb, 1916[23]
Succeeded by
Maurice W. Bailward
Preceded by
?
Captain of H.M.S. E 42
9 Feb, 1916[24] – 12 Jun, 1917[25]
Succeeded by
Charles H. Allen
Preceded by
John R. A. Codrington
Captain of H.M.S. K 12
12 Jun, 1917[26] – 25 Nov, 1918[27]
Succeeded by
Godfrey Herbert
Preceded by
Ralph Collins
Captain of H.M.S. Arrogant
25 Aug, 1919[28][29] – 1 May, 1920[30]
Succeeded by
Henry F. M. Peto
Preceded by
Gilbert H. Kellett
Captain of H.M.S. Pandora
25 Feb, 1922[31] – Nov, 1922[32]
Succeeded by
Charles T. A. Bunbury
Preceded by
Harry T. Mosse
Captain of H.M.S. Cyclops
Nov, 1922[33][34] – 15 Apr, 1924[35]
Succeeded by
John B. Glencross
Preceded by
Geoffrey R. S. Watkins
Captain of H.M.S. Ambrose
15 Jun, 1924[36][37] – 10 Nov, 1926[38]
Succeeded by
Allan Poland
Preceded by
Henry Spencer
Commander (S), Fourth Submarine Flotilla
15 Jun, 1924[39][40] – 10 Nov, 1926[41]
Succeeded by
Charles G. Brodie
as Captain (S), Fourth Submarine Flotilla
Preceded by
George Wilson
Captain of H.M.S. Crocus
1 Feb, 1927[42] – Dec, 1927[43]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Richard M. Welby
Captain of H.M.S. Curlew
Jul, 1929[44] – Nov, 1929[45]
Succeeded by
Arthur F. Pridham
Preceded by
Arthur F. Pridham
Captain of H.M.S. Calliope
20 Nov, 1929[46] – 24 Jan, 1930[47]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Ronald H. C. Hallifax
Captain of H.M.S. Dartmouth
24 Jan, 1930[48] – 30 Apr, 1930[49]
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
Salisbury H. Simpson
Captain of H.M.S. Cambrian
11 Jun, 1930[50] – 14 Aug, 1930[51]
Succeeded by
Cecil N. Reyne

Footnotes

  1. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  2. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  3. The Navy List. (March, 1913). p. 9.
  4. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  5. The Navy List. (July, 1913). p. 280.
  6. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  7. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  8. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  9. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  10. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 1, Part 1. p. 14.
  11. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  12. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  13. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  14. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  15. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  16. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  17. The Navy List. (April, 1911). p. 344.
  18. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  19. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  20. The Navy List. (April, 1910). p. 344.
  21. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  22. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  23. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  24. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  25. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  26. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  27. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  28. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  29. The Navy List. (December, 1919). p. 728.
  30. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  31. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  32. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  33. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  34. The Navy List. (January, 1923). p. 745.
  35. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  36. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  37. The Navy List. (July, 1924). p. 215.
  38. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  39. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  40. The Navy List. (July, 1924). p. 215.
  41. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  42. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  43. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  44. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222. Month may be read incorrectly.
  45. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  46. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  47. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  48. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  49. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  50. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.
  51. Bower Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/50/99. f. 222.