Herbert Edwin Cowell

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Cowell, Private Herbert Edwin (Bert) no.3722.

4th Battalion B Company “Edema” Floss Street, Hurlstone Park.


Born 6/10/1893 at Erskineville, son of William Alfred & Hannah Cowell.

Educated Darlington Public School.

Enlisted at Hurlstone Park 25/7/1915, aged 21.

Church of England.


Next of kin: mother, Mrs H. Cowell.

Embarked January 7, 1916.

War service: Egypt; France. “Saw service with the first Australians into action on the Somme. Served at the capture of Pozieres”

Private H.E. Cowell was wounded at Pozieres, August 17,1916; invalided to East Suffolk Hospital, Ipswich, England.

Casualty list DT 27/12/1916 Returned to duty.

Private H.E. Cowell was Lorna Blamire’s father’s brother. Two brothers enlisted together, a third son was refused on medical grounds (Eyesight). Four sons were in the family. For a long time Herbert Edwin Cowell was listed as missing. (Information from Lorna Blamire).

SMH 11/5/1917: Mr. & Mrs W. A.Cowell of Hurlstone Park have been advised that their son, Private Herbert Edwin Cowell has been missing since April 15th. He was wounded at Pozieres on August 17th, and returned to the trenches on New Years Day.

SMH 15/5/1917: Mr & Mrs W. A. Cowell of Floss Street Hurlstone Park, have been advised that their son, Herbert Edwin, was killed in action on April 15 ...He was 33 [i.e.23] years of age, and prior to enlisting was engaged as a builder with his brother at Hurlstone Park.

Casualty list SMH 11/5/1917: Killed in Action 15/4/1917.

Returned to duty [December 1916]; made the supreme sacrifice at Hermies, April 15,1917.

Killed in action 15/4/1917, somewhere between Lagnicourt, Boursies and Hermies, near the Bapaume/Cambrai Road.

AWM File IDRL428 Letters to Red Cross re Australian servicemen: Printed form letter, Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries, War Office, London, 24/7/1918. To Australian Red Cross Society, London:

Killed in action 15/4/1917, perviously missing. Reported buried at Hermies, East North East of Bapaume. If at a later date the officer of the Graves Registration Units in that area are able to locate the grave, it will be registered, and information will be sent to you at the first possible moment.

Memorial: Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

Information to AWM from William Alfred Cowell, father, “Edema”, Floss Street, Hurlstone Park. Other information from Alfred John Cowell, “Somerset” Ewart Street, Dulwich Hill.

On Active Service SMH 15/4/1918.

Cowell - In loving memory of Private Herbert Edwin (Bert) Cowell, aged 23, 4thBatt., killed in action in France, April 15,1917. Inserted by his loving parents and brothers and sister, Arthur, Bid, and Alma, of Floss Street, Hurlstone Park.

Cowell - In loving memory of Private HE. (Bert) Cowell... Inserted by his loving brothers and sisters-in-law, Alf and Dolly, and Charles and Alice Cowell.

Cowell -... Inserted by May Fisher.

Portrait and biography in The All-Australia Memorial 1919.

Monument, Euston Road Killed in Action.

Roll ofHonour, St Stephens Church, Hurlstone Park (Killed in Action).

Tele/Mirror list 11/11/1993 Cowell, Herbert E. Hurlstone Park died 15/4/1917.

Monument, Euston Square, Hurlstone Park.

Killed in action.

Anzac Memorial.

Australian War Memorial record available at: https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1802309/ [accessed 18/11/2016].

Special acknowledgement

The primary source of the information on this page is copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team of volunteers from the Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.


An uneditable version of the book Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an alphabetical list of the 1,911 individuals recorded in the book - the list is titled Canterbury's Boys List. Each name in the list is linked to an editable biographical file created by copying the biography copied from the book. These editable biographies have been created to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to add information, photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they have discovered so it is available for this and future generations.


Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2002