Colonel James Henry Bowker’s Monument in Malvern
This monument of Colonel James Henry Bowker was erected by his executors in 1904. He was the ninth son of Miles and Anna Maria Bowker, who came to South Africa as settlers in 1820.
James Henry Bowker was the High Commissioner of Basutoland from 1868 to 1871, was Colonel during the Seventh and Eighth Kaffir Wars and also Chief Commissioner on the diamond fields of Griqualand West. He was better known for his role as ‘an ardent Naturalist, especially in the departments of Entomology and Botany’. He was co-author with Roland Trimen of ‘South African Butterflies’, which at the time was one of the standard guides on the subject.
Bowker’s move to first Northdene and then Malvern was only after retirement. According to an article in the Natal Mercury after his death, ”in the pursuit of nature he has contributed more to current knowledge than any other man in the country, particularly in regard to butterflies of which he made an especial study, and was instrumental in discovering more than 40 new specimens formerly unknown to science”.
According to the monument, James Henry Bowker was born in 1826 and died at Malvern on 27 October 1900. This monument can be found on the corner of Pentrelew and Stella Roads in Malvern / Queensburgh. Nearby, you’ll find Bowker Road, named after Colonel James Henry Bowker.