In a quiet corner of a cemetery in Somerset stands a gravestone to Private HJ Cowles. It confirms that he passed away on 26th April 1920, and that he was in the Bedfordshire Regiment during the First World War.
Little additional information on HJ Cowles is available. One document, the Medal Roll Index Card, confirms his first name as Henry, and that he had initially joined the Somerset Light Infantry. He was awarded the British Medal for his war service.
Cowles is a fairly common name in the Somerset area, and, without any additional information – date of birth, familial connections – it is impossible to narrow down the name on the gravestone to a specific Henry Cowles from the area or beyond.
There is also nothing in any contemporary newspapers to suggest that Private Cowles’ passing was anything out of the ordinary.
Sadly, therefore, he remains a name lost to history. Henry J Cowles, whoever he was, and however he died, lies at rest in the Milton Cemetery in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.