George “Harry” Bowen (A Canadian in WWI)

I was so excited to hear that the Army Library Program would be focusing on World War 1 during this 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into the war.  My grandfather was born Canadian, and he and two of his brothers fought in WWI.  He left a scrapbook for my family with very interesting mementos and letters, including a map and note of where he billeted on the day the war ended, November 11, 1918.

Because the Canadian Archives are digitizing WWI records of service members and health care professionals, I was able to download details of where he and my great uncles were stationed during training and while they were on active duty.  My grandfather did not graduate high school until 1917, and he enlisted at that point, but my two great-uncles enlisted right away in 1914.  Because Canada is part of the British Commonwealth, Canada got involved in WWI as soon as it started.

I think that there are still important lessons to learn from WWI, and I applaud the Army Library Program for making recommendations about relevant books and movies, and for making them widely available.

Mindy Bowen Boenning


Mindy Bowen Boenning with photo of her grandfather, Harry Bowen (18 years old). Harry was with the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles – Montreal.

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The Bowen Brothers (Hathaway, Harry and Charlie) in uniform.

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Harry Bowen celebrating with many other Canadians on their victory.  The Hindenburg Line (Siegfriedstellung or Siegfried Position) was a German defensive position of World War I, built during the winter of 1916–1917 on the Western Front (France), from Arras to Laffaux, near Soissons on the Aisne.  Allied forces smashed through the Hindenburg Line on Sep 29, 1918. 



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Harry Bowen billeted in Boussu, municipality of Mons, Belgium on November 11, 1918.

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Military parade November 15, 1918 in Mons, Belgium.

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