For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project


In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar 


Wilfred Orville Bowen


Acting Able Seaman, RCNVR


Died: 10 Jun 2009, Ottawa, Ontario


BOWEN, Wilfred Orville - Veteran, WWII, Retired Customs and Excise Canada, Longtime Member McLeod-Stewarton United Church. Peacefully, at home, surrounded by family, on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 in his 83rd year. Beloved husband, for 61 years of Hazel Eva Ruth Davis. Loving father of George Orville and his wife Heather Coulter and Patricia Anne and her husband Gerald Gourgon. Much loved Pappa of Abbie Courtney Gourgon and her fiancÚ Rock Gaudreau. Son of the late Bruce Hamilton Bowen and Etta Lavina Gload. Dear brother of Merton (Stella), Stewart (Annette), the late George, the late Bob (former wife Anna Ford), Barbara and Helen (Nick Daneliak). Also survived by sister-in-law Isabella Morrison (the late Eldon) and brother-in-law Hiram Davis (Margaret). Predeceased by sisters-in-law Helen Craig (the late George), Agnes Walls (the late Hiram) and Ethel Delorme (the late Arnold). Loving uncle and great-uncle to many nieces and nephews. Friends may call at the Westboro Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 403 Richmond Road (at Roosevelt) on Friday 6-9 pm and on Saturday 9:30-11 am. Funeral Service will be held at Centretown United Church, 507 Bank Street (at Argyle) on Saturday, at 12 noon, Rev. Grant Dillenbeck officiating, follow by reception. Interment, Capital Memorial Gardens at 3:00 pm. For those wishing, a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated.


Enlisted in the RCNVR at HMCS Carleton on 21 Feb 1944 and was demobilized at HMCS Carleton on 14 Feb 1946


Ships served in:  

HMCS CHICOUTIMI - Served in Chicoutimi 02 Mar 1945 - 08 Mar 1945 while in training at HMCS Cornwallis

HMS TOWY - Served in Towy 26 May 1945 - 21 Jun 1945 as an A/AB, RCNVR

TUG CLIFTON - Served in Clifton 02 Aug 1945 - 31 Aug 1945 as an A/AB, RCNVR


photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

photo 6

photo 7

photo 8

(1) Portrait of Orville Bowen  (2) Naval Training and Active Service record  (3) Orville & Merton Bowen at a portrait studio in Ottawa  (4) Eldon Climer & Orville Bowen  (5) "The Boys" - ship unknown (6-8) HMS Towy K294


photo 9

photo 10

photo 11

photo 12

photo 13

photo 14

(9-14) The Towy went out to Sable Island to tow a ship that was stuck in a sand bar. On the way, she hit a storm and the entire ship was iced up.


(9) HMS Towy K294 ice-up   (10) "My Harbour Station"   (11) "This is me and don't laugh I was damned near frozen"   (12) "Here you see the steps I was on. The two black streaks are the bars, without the ice."   (13) "That's me chipping ice"   (14) HMS Towy's Signalman


photo 15

Here are a few of the crew, they are all the boys from up forward in my mess. Can you find me?


 Johnny Moffat,  Bill Jackson,  Eugene Stephenson,  Bill "Boogy" Cook,  Harry Baber,  Bill Graham,  Art Evans,  J. Jones,  I. Williams,  J. Watts,  G.A. Bedard,  Calour "Cab", Dave "Flin Flon",  Walden,  Brownlee "Brownie",  C. Loy


photo 16

photo 17

photo 18

photo 19

photo 20

photo 21

photo 22

photo 23

(16) Floyd Heide on the bridge - ship unknown  (17) Wilfred Bowen on an unknown ship  (18) Mrs. Ritchie with her two youngest daughters  (19)  Isabel & Betty Ritchie, the two elder Ritchie daughters  (20) Mrs. Ritchie  (21) Isabel & Betty Ritchie with a friend, shopping in Glasgow  (22) Donald, Bruce and Stewart Bowen  (23) Bruce Hamilton  Bowen


Note for photos 18-21:  When he was in Glasgow, Pappa stayed with the Ritchie family. The first night he had supper with them, he was really excited to see canned prunes for dessert and ate them all. Mr. Ritchie told him they were rationed and Pappa felt terrible. Later, in the cover of darkness, he "liberated" some supplies from the ship's galley, namely white sugar, carob powder for "kai" and other hard to come by items. He was forgiven.


photo 24

photo 25

photo 26

photo 27

photo 28

photo 29

photo 30

photo 31

(24) Unknown merchant ship burning / sinking  (25) Postcard of the battleship HMS Nelson  (26) The Bowen clan - Merton, Orville & Bruce (standing); George and Bob (seated in middle row); Helen, Barbara & Stewart (seated in front)  (27) Bruce and Orville Bowen  (28) Bruce Bowen & Eric Pitcher  (29) Unknown woman on the left, Bruce Bowen & Doris (Tootsie)  (30) Unknown gentleman on the left, Merton & Bruce Bowen  (31) Bob, Merton & Barbara Bowen


photo 32

photo 33

photo 34

(32) Bruce, Deltrie & Orville Bowen  (33) Merton, Deltrie & Bruce Bowen  (34) Barbara, Merton & Helen Bowen


Courtesy of Abbie Gourgon



Crossed the Bar Index