William Chowns was born on 24 January, 1889 at Moreton near Thame, Oxfordshire the son of William and Emma Chowns. He was the fourth child of a family of six boys and one girl.
The family all emigrated to Canada between 1906 and 1911 except Frank the eldest who married and stayed in Thame. He was also killed in WW1.
William was working as a labourer in Humber Bay, Ontario, Canada with no previous military experience when he was drafted on 20th February 1918 as Private William Chowns 3107824 of the 19th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment).
The Regiment were in the trenches near Ypres in Belgium on 10th November 1918 when William was killed instantly by a machine gun bullet through the head. This was one day before the armistice and he was 29 years old.
He is buried in the Mons (Bergen) Communal Cemetery, Belgium, and remembered on the Humber Bay Memorial in Ontario Canada. Whilst his brother’s name appears on Thame war memorial William’s name is missing.