E.W.C. Bowrey. Mayor of Bexhill 1923/24 and 1944/46.
Mr L. J. Bartley in his book The Story of Bexhill tells us that Mr Bowrey retired to Bexhill from business in India. We find Bowrey Place located off Hillside Road (off London Road – a few yards from King Offa crossroads) bearing his name in Bexhill. Adjacent to Bowrey Place we find Bayencourt North and Bayencourt South.
After the First world War many towns, especially those located in southern counties, ‘adopted’ and forged links with devastated French towns and villages. Such an association was established between Bexhill and the village of Bayencourt, near Arras, where the 5th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment had been quartered in 1916.
Mr E. W. C. Bowrey, Mayor of Bexhill in 1923/24, fostered the idea of the town subscribing to provide Bayencourt with a water tower and a piped water supply. In 1924, as Mayor of the Borough of Bexhill, he led a civic party to Bayencourt for the inauguration ceremony. A further donation and civic visit was made when it was found that the work had not been completed within the estimate.
The Bexhill Observer of 23rd September, 1994 reminds us of the event under ‘In Days Gone By’ with the following extract from an earlier issue: ‘It is 63 years since Bexhillians clubbed together to provide £250 – then a King’s ransom – to provide the war-ravaged village of Bayencourt, near Arras, with a much needed water supply. Another tide of war has washed over Bayencourt since that time. But the villagers never forgot the generosity of the people from an English town they had never seen.’