Born on 1st June 1890 at Friern Barnet, son of Samuel (Lunatic Attendant) and Annie Stower. 1911: He is thought to be the “Ernest William Stowers” who was a General Domestic Servant to William Strangeways, a retired Inspector of Taxes at 17 Queens Avenue, Muswell Hill.
William decided to follow his father’s line of work, and in 1915 was a Private Nurse living in at Claybury Mental Hospital. In June 1915 he travelled to Mill Hill where he enlisted with the Middlesex Regiment, being allocated to 16 (Public Schools) Battalion. At this time his parents were living at 89 Cromwell Road, New Southgate.
He embarked for France on 17th November 1915, becoming an unpaid Lance Corporal on 7th September 1916. He had managed to survive the first day of the Battle of the Somme when the Battalion attacked Hawthorn Ridge at Beaumont-Hamel. This made casualties of 24 Officers and some 500 ranks from the Battalion. What was left was withdrawn to Englebelmer on 4th July 1916, before being deployed to the Ypres sector on 30th July 1916, where they stayed until October.
During 8th October 1916 the Battalion, with 86 Brigade, moved to the Somme again. On 19th October 1916 they took over front line trenches from the Berkshire Regiment in the Flers Sector, and were in their turn relieved on 23th October 1916 when they occupied Switch Trench. During the period 20/23 October 1916 the lives of 24 men were lost, one of whom was Walter Stower.
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian