Wednesday Evening, December 17, 1924

War Hero Dies At Aylesford

There passed away Thursday, in the village of Aylesford, an unsung hero of the Great War, in the person of Cyril N. Bowlby, son of Mr. and Mrs. N. I. Bowlby and late of the Canadian Field Artillery. Shortly after the outbreak of the war, when he was nineteen, he resigned his position in the Bank of Nova Scotia and sought to enlist in an artillery unit then being formed in Halifax. Finding that particular unit overcrowded he proceeded to Fredericton where he succeeded in getting into uniform. The examining doctor at that time pronounced him one of the most physically perfect recruits that had come before him.

In a few months Bowlby was overseas and in France. From early in 1915 until the armistice was signed he was constantly in action, never suffering a casualty of any description. Passionately fond of horses he found happiness in his work with the ammunition column and while he could easily have risen to a higher place in the service he refused to leave the ranks in which he had enlisted and the capacity in which in his modesty he felt he could best render service. So when the victorious troops rode into Germany he was with his column and it was there he spent his fourth consecutive Christmas on active service.

Stricken Suddenly

It was then, while he was awaiting the necessary elements that would enable him to return to the homeland, his work well and nobly done, that he was stricken with illness. Influenza was epidemic and he fell a victim. He developed pneumonia and for five weeks his name figured in the casualty lists as "dangerously ill." Only then that splendid physique that had called forth the appreciation of the examining officer and has been strengthened still more by years of the hardest training ever imposed on man, enabled him to survive that critical period. But he partially recovered and in the summer of 1919 he came home, broken in health but with good hopes for complete recovery.

In a few months he felt well enough to resume his work in the bank and joined the Royal Bank staff at Kentville. He was able to indulge in only the lightest exercise owing to a weakened condition of the heart and lungs, but kept up his work in the bank for over a year when he broke down and was forced to enter the Nova Scotia Sanatorium. There his condition was found to be serious. He was placed in the infirmary and confined to bed. That was in September, over three years ago, and with the exception of a few days he had not left his bed until death released him from his suffering Thursday. Last May he was allowed to go to his home in Aylesford. There in the house in which he was born and where he had spent the happiest days of his life, he laid throughout the summer in a sunny room overlooking the scenes of his boyhood pleasures.

A Hopeless Fight

There he was always glad to receive his friends, and all who saw him there came away with an almost awed admiration for the bravery and fortitude of the young man who, at the time when he should have been in the prime of his young manhood was slowly wasting in the grip of a hopeless disease. Always cheerful, never complaining even to the last and maintaining always an unselfish and intelligent interest in current events and those around him, he put up an unremitting fight against the dread disease, never admitting himself beaten. In his passing it may well be said of him that he gave his life for his country as truly as if he had died on the field of battle.


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