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Edward Thomas Bowd (1849–1936)

Profound sorrow was expressed on Sunday, 1st instant, when the news became known of the death of Mr. Edward Thomas Bowd, one of the oldest, best known, and most respected identities of the Hawkesbury district, which took place suddenly at his late residence, Wilberforce, at the advanced age of 86 years.

The late Mr. Bowd was one of the grand old men of the Hawkesbury, and notwithstanding his great age he had enjoyed comparatively good health right up to the time of his death, and his sudden passing came as a shock to the members of his family and those who knew him well. On the Saturday afternoon, he attended a B Grade cricket match — cricket was his favorite sport —which was being played on the Wilberforce ground immediately in front of his home. Returning from the match in his usual good spirits, he partook of a hearty meal, and later retired to bed. At about 7 o'clock the following morning, his daughter, Miss Edna Bowd, who resided with the deceased, heard a strange sound in his room, and on investigating discovered her father in a state of collapse. He passed peacefully away shortly afterwards.

Born at Moore Farm, Lower Wilberforce, the deceased was the eldest son of the late Thomas and Ellen Bowd, and lived in the district all his life. He was educated at Old St. John's Church of England School House, Wilberforce, and after leaving school assisted on his father's farming and orchard property. In 1874 he was married to Frances Hall, daughter of the late John Hall, of Cattai, the ceremony taking place at Merry Mount, now the property of Mrs. W. H. Dean.

The young couple settled at Wilberforce, and reared a family of five sons and two daughters, all of whom are well-known and highly respected throughout the district. Mrs. Bowd predeceased her husband 28 years ago, whilst a daughter (Fanny) has also died, the surviving members of the family being Miss Edna Bowd (Wilberforce), Harold (school teacher at Aldavilla, near Kempsey), Edward (Clovelly), Horace (Wilberforce), Hector (Reid's Flat, near Cowra) and Bruce (Wilberforce). There are 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Messrs. Harry Bowd (Crow's Nest) and Palmer Bowd (Wilberforce) are brothers, and Miss Harriett Bowd (Wilberforce), Mrs. Fred. Jeffery (Wilberforce), Mrs. Adelaide Searles (Nowra) and Miss Elsie Bowd (Croydon) are sisters of the deceased.

The late Mr. Bowd was a splendid type of Hawkesbury native. He was a man of portly dimensions and fine physique, and was a picturesque figure in Wilberforce during recent years. He was a steady, industrious man, and a successful farmer, and was highly respected by all who knew him. His probity was unquestioned, and by his death the Hawkesbury has lost a truly good citizen. He took a keen interest in public affairs, especially politics, and his views and opinions were always respected. He was an ardent supporter of Free Trade when those principles were advanced against Protection in the years gone by. He was also a strong supporter of the old Liberal Party, then the National Party, and the present United Australia Party. Until he retired a few years ago, seldom did a political meeting pass at Wilberforce without the picturesque figure of Mr. Bowd in the chair, and everyone enjoyed his short, introductory speeches.

Mr. Bowd also took a keen interest in local government, and his name will always be associated with the early records of Colo Shire Council, of which he was a councillor for 19 years. He was the last surviving member of the temporary council appointed by the Government, and was elected to the council at the first election under the Local Government Act in September, 1906. He served continuously in the council, occupying the presidential chair, with the exception of a break of three years, until he retired about six years ago. Mr. Bowd was a councillor of the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association for many years, and in his earlier days was associated in some way or other with practically every public movement and organisation in the Wilberforce district. He was an ardent church man, a true Christian gentleman, and right up to the time of his death was a trustee, with Messrs. John Turnbull and S. J. Dunston, of St. John's Church of England lands, Wilberforce.

The deceased took a keen interest in healthy sport, especially cricket, which he used to play with considerable success, his prowess in this respect being reflected in his two sons, Messrs. Horace and Bruce Bowd, two of the most prominent latter day Hawkesbury cricketers. He was also president of the controlling body, the Hawkesbury District Cricket Association, for a number of years.

The funeral took place on Monday afternoon, 2nd instant, the remains being laid to rest in St. John's Church of England cemetery, Wilberforce. Prior to the interment, a service was conducted in the historic church by the Rector (Rev. S. Howard, M.A.). during which the Rev. G. P. Birk, of Auburn, delivered the address, and Lay-reader Ward read the Lessons. 'Abide With Me' and another hymn, by special request of the relatives, were sung by the congregation. The Rector, assisted by the Rev. G . P . Birk and Lay-reader Ward, officiated at the graveside. The funeral arrangements were reverently carried out by Mr. Chandler.

The respect and esteem in which the deceased was held throughout the district was strikingly demonstrated by the large and representative gathering at the funeral. In addition to the daughter and sons, brothers and sisters, and other relatives, the Colo Shire Council was represented by the President (Cr. A. Buckland) and Crs. H. C. Matheson and Alex. Smith, junr., and the shire clerk (Mr. Timms), whilst the management committee of the Hawkesbury District Cricket Association was represented by the President (Mr. W. J. Huxley), Vice-president (Mr. R. B. Turnbull), and hon. treasurer (Mr. P. J. Campbell). Various local organisations were also represented in the big gathering.

A number of beautiful floral tributes were placed on the casket, and they were received from the Merriment Sunshine Club (Wilberforce), Wilberforce P. and C. Association, Wilberforce branch C.W.A., Hawkesbury Milk Producers' Association, the Management Committee of the Hawkesbury District Cricket Association, Hawkesbury Growers and Citrus Association, Mr. and Mrs. T. Beecroft, Mr. and Mrs. H. Case, Mr. and Mrs. A. Turnbull and Marie, Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Palmer, Doreen, Percy and family, Fred and May Brown and family, Hector and family, "All the Family," Ted and Hazel, Mr. and Mrs. R. Morrison, Mrs. Norris, Mr. and Mrs. J. Griffiths and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. Schwalbach, Mr. and Mrs. Col. Beecroft and family and Mrs. M. A. Wilbow, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Beecroft, Mr. and Mrs. Harrie Bowd, Mrs. E. Martin, Palmer, Harriet and Elsie, Mrs. A. Bowd, Mrs. H. Norris, Charlie and Val., Mr. and Mrs. H. Becker and family, Mrs. J. Brown and family, Mr. and Mrs. L. Greentree, and Mr. and Mrs. E. Barnsley.

A special service in memory of the late Mr. Bowd will be held at St. John's Church, Wilberforce, this Sunday, March 15, at 10.30 a.m. A devout worshipper for very many years, Mr. Bowd also attended day school in St. John's Old School House (as previously mentioned) and one of his old schoolmates, the Rev. C. C. Dunstan, has been invited by the Rector, Rev. Stanley Howard, M.A., to preach the in memoriam sermon.

Original publication

Citation details

'Bowd, Edward Thomas (1849–1936)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


26 November, 1849
Wilberforce, New South Wales, Australia


1 March, 1936 (aged 86)
Wilberforce, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism