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October 29, 2019

It’s a matter of manners

Some things don’t change even when you’re a Centenarian.

Former 7th Division Army officer Lieutenant Doug Bowman took part in the landing in Borneo with 25TH Brigade in 1945.

In December, the RSL LifeCare resident will be 101.

“He was always popular because of his politeness,” daughter Sharon Armour said. “Especially with women. He always treated people properly.

He was, and still is, a real gentleman

“He still thanks the staff when they come into his room with something. That hasn’t changed.”

Mr Bowman was in the armed forces between 1936 and 1946. He joined the AIF in 1942. As well as serving in Borneo, he was part of the Allied effort in New Guinea.

The Novocastrian, now a resident of Peter Cosgrove House, Narrabeen, is also a father and great grandfather.

He was married three times, having outlived his wives. He had two children.

Nowadays, his sight has gone and his is hearing severely impaired, but he reportedly loves to tell stories and revisit memories.

Son-in-law Brian Armour said he was always an easy-going, congenial, sort of a fellow. “I always got on well with him especially as I was once in the Army Reserve – he liked army people,” he said.

Mr Bowman joined the armed forces at the age of 15.

“I decided to join in my school holidays,” he said. “I was always big for my age.”

Mrs Armour remembered her father always taking an interest in things done by his children. He was involved in supervising amateur athletics with which his son Damon, now of Canada, was involved.

Significantly, Mr Bowman built his daughter a car from a pre-moulded chassis which he bought in Brookvale in the early 1960s. “Dad was always good with his hands,” she said. “He also worked for his uncle, as a carpenter.”

Mr Bowman built the extension on the back of their family home in Waratah, Newcastle.

Post-war he worked in a number of professions including commercial sales with the Ford company, which saw him travel extensively throughout NSW.

Almost a year ago, the family gathered at Narrabeen to celebrate Mr Bowman’s 100th birthday.

“He was, and still is, a real gentleman,” Mrs Armour said.

Doug Bowman today, lives at RSL LifeCare ANZAC Village

Story by Rod Bennett

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