Francis Llewellyn Cowley – also known as ‘Frank’ was born in July 1877 on the Isle of Man. He was one of ten children to Thomas and Ann Cowley, farmers who owned 133 acres on the northern tip of the island.
Frank’s trail goes cold for a few years; he was still living on his father’s farm in 1891, but by 1913, had moved to to the mainland, settling in Kent.
It was here, in Gillingham, that Frank married Lily Matilda Carrington in the summer of 1913. Sadly there is little information about Lily, but the couple do not appear to have had any children.
Frank enlisted shortly after war broke out; he joined the Royal Engineers on 27th October 1914, and within a couple of years has reached the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
Sadly again at this point Frank’s trail goes cold. He next appears in a newspaper article from 1st March 1919, when he is listed as having attended the funeral in Rainham, Kent, of Air Mechanic Herbert Holdstock. He is now listed as Captain F Cowley RE.
That was resolved to be a tantalising glimpse into Captain Cowley’s final few weeks. From this point, all the documents tell us is that he worked at the School of Military Engineering in Chatham.
Frank passed away on 18th March 1919, although no cause of death is recorded. He was 41 years old.
Francis Llewellyn Cowley lies at rest in the Woodlands Cemetery close to his home in Gillingham, Kent.