25 May 2016

War hero commemorated

The Council has agreed to change the name of Civic Avenue to honour one of Gore's forgotten war heroes.

The street the Council's main office and Gore RSA are on is now known as Bowler Avenue, in commemoration of Lieutenant-Colonel Edmund Bowler.

A Gore lawyer and man with substantial connections back in Britain, Bowler was the whistleblower the military never forgave.

The first New Zealand Expeditionary Force member to set foot on Gallipoli, he did so soon after writing home: "We are going... to the Dardanelles to fight the unspeakable Turk and to strike a blow for the Empire... if I fall, think of the Great Cause in which I have fallen."

His doom, in military terms, sprang from one core problem. Behind his reserved, quiet demeanour, he was a perceptive observer whose unguarded letters to his family back home reveal what you could call a loss of faith, or perhaps a conversion to a new one.

The unspeakable Turk became "a very gallant foe. No one here bears them any malice".

The Great Cause became, in the most withering terms, a "show" bedevilled by "spineless mismanagement".

These words and others critical of the fight at Gallipoli were his downfall, and for 90 years Bowler's efforts at Gallipoli were largely ignored and his story untold.

While the Council’s physical address has changed, the postal address remains P O Box 8, Gore. 

Gore District Council 29 Bowler Avenue Gore P: 03 209 0330 E: