Never let it be said that the Bahamas did not sacrifice its own when the call came for war. World War One took its devastating toll on British West Indian colonies. Families lost husbands and sons to the great war being fought so far from the sunny beaches of Caribbean islands. Through a letter about a forgotten Bahamian, we find that the country lost one of its own, in one of the most famous battles of World War One.
The Battle of the Somme remains one of the bloodiest recorded battles in human history. In less than five months, more than one million men were wounded or killed.
Lewis Lowe of Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, a Bahamian, was killed in the Battle of the Somme.
If it were not for a letter written to the Nassau newspaper of February 10, 1917, the Bahamas would have never known of the ultimate sacrifice and bravery of one of its own.
Lewis Lowe was buried where he fell, at a ruined village, near the Somme, in France.
OUR ROLL OF HONOUR
Green Turtle Cay, Abaco,
29th January, 1917
To the Editor of the Nassau Guardian,
As you frequently mention the death of Bahamians who have given their lives for the righteous cause, the following information concerning Corporal Lewis Lowe of the 47th Canadian Infantry Regiment no doubt will be of interest to some of your readers.
Lowe lived with the Rev. C. J. Thompson, then rector of St. Peter’s, Green Turtle Cay, and being an orphan, and having only a grandmother who was in poor circumstances, (today she is quite an invalid) with no parents, he was taken to England by Rev. Thompson about the year 1900. Lowe being then 11 years of age, and when he was killed he was about 28 years old. It appears that some years after being in England he went to Canada and at the outbreak of the war enlisted.
Lowe never forgot his grandmother and wrote her regularly. News of his death was received by mail and the following is an extract from Rev. Thompson’s letter to his grandmother.:-
“Mrs. Sarah Sterling,
“I got the news this morning (24th Nov. 1916) in a very sympathetic letter from his chaplain. Poor Lewis was killed on Sat. night, 18th November. He was going into the front line with his company. The same shell also killed two of his companions and wounded three more. The chaplain tells me that the death was quite instantaneous. He has been buried where he fell, close to the ruined village of Courcelette, Somme, France.” The Chaplain sends us his deep sympathy and that of the whole Battalion and says of him ‘Corporal Lowe was a grand soldier and a great favourite. He will be sorely missed among us'”
E. H. MCKINNEY