David John "Dai" Bowen (30 July 1891 - 15 April 1912) was a Third Class passenger of the Titanic. He was a Welsh professional boxer, who died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic, along with a fellow Welsh boxer, Leslie Wiliiams.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Bowen was born on 30 July 1891 at Baglan Street, Treherbert, Glamorgan, Wales. He was the son of James Bowen and Leah (nee Protheroe), the 7th of 8 children.

Originally a collier, Bowen was trained to box by George Cundick, who had learnt his art as a physical training instructor with the British Army in India. Cundick also trained Leslie Williams. After turning professional and getting married, Bowen won the Welsh lightweight title, and started boxing on the various British circuits.

Cundick arranged for a series of boxing contests in the United States for both of his boxers, and they booked tickets with agents Dean and Dawson in Cardiff (ticket number 54636, £16 pounds 2 shillings).

On the Titanic[edit | edit source]

Bowen boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passengers, Bowen wrote a letter to his mother:

11th April 1912

My Dear Mother

I am just writing you a few lines before I go sick for I have been very good so far. This is a lovely boat, she is very near so big as Treherbert, she is like a floating palace, against you walk from one end of her to the other you are tired. We are landing in France the time I am writing you this, you don’t know whether she is moving or not for she goes very steady. Dear Mother, I hope that you won’t worry yourself about me, I can tell you that I am a lot better than I thought I would be, for we gets plenty of fun on board. We met two Swansea boys at the station, so you see that I get plenty of company. There is hundreds of foreigners on her of every nation. The food we get here is very good but not so good as dear old home. We have no boxing gloves with us, they would be no good if we did have some. Remember me to Martha Jane and Jack and Tommy Ostler, tell Morris and Stephen that if I will feel like I do now when I land in Yankee Land I shall be alright. I shan’t give you no address now, not until I land for it won’t be worth. I did not see David Rees in Southampton at all. Remember me to all I know, tell Stephen to tell all the boys that I am enjoying myself alright so far. If James tell you that I have not wrote to him, tell him that I can’t do it very good now, you can show him this if you like, for it will be the same I shall have to say now for the time being as I am telling you. I hope you will excuse the pencil for I have no pen and ink, so cheer up now mother, for I am in the pink, so don’t vex. I think I will draw to a close now in wishing you all my best love.

From your loving son,

David John

Fate[edit | edit source]

Both boxers died in the sinking, although Bowen's body, if recovered, was never identified. Later on they found out it was George Floyd. Bowen's family paid for a grave site memorial in his honour in Treorchy Cemetery.

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