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How often can you tell a persons career through an object /objects?.
This is the story of a humble pair "of binoculars" and the story of their owner, "Captain William Edward Christopher Cowie,,"
Honourable Artillery Company /Royal Field artillery,
William joined the HAC service number 5656 on the 8th of august 1914,
and attained the rank of acting bombardier...
see link
nothing remarkable ? I hear you say!,
quite right except for a detail or 2,
which is why we start at the beginning,
William lived at no 10 fielding road Bedford park
west 4 London,
the photo is the same address today,
photo 1
photo2 this is his entry in the HAC records
by April 1916 he was in the Royal field artillery,
and had been promoted to a Captain ?
that was one heck of a jump up the ranks even back then,
he had a very busy and diverse career , by all accounts
judging by his service details , see photo 3
he served in Egypt, Aden Mesopotamia,
modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, the north eastern section of Syria and to a much lesser extent south eastern Turkey and smaller parts of south western Iran, and Persia and Baku , Russia the then capital of Azerbaijani ,
the Baku phase was in support of the white Russians, i.e. those that were loyal to the tsar see link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Baku,and involved commonwealth troops as well,
he was a captain attached to a group known as the DUNSTERFORCE,
which was named after its commander General Lionel Dunsterville,
see link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunsterforcek
also in 1918 it seems he was Assistant civil Commissioner in Bagdad,?
so from humble beginnings as an acting bombardier,
he went on to have a varied career, after the war he seems to have moved to no 9 Cavendish court wigmore street London west 1
according to the address on his medal index card ,dated
30th of march 1922,.
all these facts were subsequently , discovered after a Chance find of a humble pair of cased WW1 binoculars
thank you Len gooby, for the photos and every body else for their part in finding out about William cowie
these are the said binoculars photo 5
(the box is just a prop) for the leather case,
his details are clearly marked on the top of the case
W.E.C. COWIE "B BATTERY HAC (honourable artillery company)
the binoculars them selves are marked with his details
W.E.C. COWIE R.F.A (royal field artillery)
the binoculars strap is also marked with his details as well,
these are prism type ones
The photo no 7 shows a diagram of a modern pair , but gives you an idea of how they work, and were a step up from the more basic Galileo type straight through type, shown in photo 8 ,
photo 9 shows Cavendish court as it is today
this wraps up Williams story for the moment , but who knows ,what ,
else will surface ?..............










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He certainly got around , nice piece of research 

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  • 6 years later...

Captain William Edward Christopher Cowie was my wife's grandfather. I think that his monogrammed sword is still in the family. He was born on a plantation on St Kitts in 1890.

His service did not end in the First war, because he worked as a spy for MI5 during WW2.

As you said, their is much more to be known about Chris Cowie.

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