Major Richard Bottomley Nowell

Richard Bottomley Nowell was born in Ashton-under-Lyne on September 7, 1880. His father was a medical surgeon and so Richard studied medicine for a time before becoming a “gentleman”.

Richard Bottomley Nowell (1953)

He was commissioned into the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, the Manchester Regiment on February 21, 1903.  Appointed Captain on June 10, 1905 he maintained that rank and his seniority when the 3rd Volunteer Battalion became the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment on April 1, 1908.

On June 22, 1908 he married Florence Elizabeth Ann Tipler and they moved to Handforth, near Wilmslow, Cheshire where they had two children. His occupation prior to the war was a stockbreeder.

He sailed with the Battalion to Egypt in September 1914 and on November 4, 1914 was promoted to Major. Landing with the battalion at Gallipoli on May 10, 1915 (with the Transport section), he was second in command and “D” Company commanding officer. 12 days later when Lt. Col. D.H.  Wade was shot by a sniper he temporarily assumed command of the Battalion before turning it over the next day. Later in the campaign he assumed command of the Battalion again from June 9th to July 16th being granted the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

On August 7, 1915 he was shot through the left shoulder by a rifle bullet while leading 1/2 of the Battalion in the Battle of Krithia Vineyard. The bullet entered the inner border of the left scapula [shoulder blade] approximately 1 1/2″ below the scapula spine and exited approximately 2″ below the acromion at the posterior border of the deltoid muscle. Remarkably, the bullet cleanly exited without passing through the lung or breaking any bones. He was admitted to No 11 Casualty Clearing Station and transferred to the transport ship Ermine at “W” Beach, bound for Mudros. He remained in hospital at Mudros and was additionally treated for Enteritis as he had been suffering from severe diarrhea for some time previously. He was invalided to the UK on August 26 traveling from Mudros to Malta on the Hospital Ship Ermine and from Malta to Devonport aboard the transport ship Ascania, arriving September 11, 1915.

He remained in London for a few weeks, staying at 19 Park Lane, and was medically assessed at Caxton Hall on September 28, 1915 where he was declared unfit for General Service and granted 2 months home leave until November 27th. He was pronounced still unfit in December but on January 31, 1916 he was pronounced fit enough for home service and ordered to report to the 3/9th Manchesters. On April 27 he was medically assessed at the 3rd Northern General Hospital, Sheffield and pronounced fit for General Service.

On JUne 26, 1916 he was ordered to rturn to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and embarked the transport ship Corsican at Devonport on July 3rd rejoining the Battalion in Egypt on July 20, 1916. Here he was immediately posted as 2nd in command.

On January 31, 1917 he led the advance party at Port Said preparing for the Battalion’s imminent move to France.

In March 1917 the Battalion shipped out to France and Lt. Col. (Temp.) R B Nowell was once again placed in command of the Battalion from April 27 to May 25, 1917 and again from July 27 to 30 when Lt. Col. E. C. Lloyd went on leave to Paris. On August 7 he proceeded to England on leave and after his return took temporary command of the Battalion again from September 15 to October 15 while Lt. Col. Lloyd was away. In December 1917 he proceeded to England on leave from the 13th to the 29th. On January 15, 1918 he proceeded to the UK to report to the War Office and was struck off the strength of the battalion.

In England he was posted to the 5th Reserve Battalion Manchester Regiment on March 5, 1918 and at some point after that was assigned the Headquarters of the Yorkshire Coast Defences. Sadly, in July 1918 his wife Florence died.

On November 26, 1918 he was medically assessed for demobilisation and war pension purposes, at RAMC HQ Scarborough, and although he complained of Myalgia (muscle pain) and occasional Lumbago (lower back pain), was pronounced category A fit and ordered to return to HQ Yorks Coast Defences. He was demobilised on January 29, 1919 and retuned to his home at Outwood House, Handforth, Cheshire but now as a widower.

He remained in the Territorial Army Reserve and was awarded the Territorial Decoration in March 1919. He resigned his commission on April 15, 1921 retaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. Around the same time, he married Annie Brown and they made their home in Lytham St Annes. By 1939 he was living in Devon as a retired stockbreeder. His son had emigrated to Brazil in 1948 and so in 1953 he and his wife also emigrated there.

Lt. Col. Richard Bottomley Nowell, T.D. died in Brazil on February 22, 1959. He was 78 years old.