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24 October 2014

The Returning Officer: Derbyshire NE

By Stephen Brasher

Major Harland Bowden was elected as Tory MP for Derbyshire North East in one of the last by-elections before the First World War. He trained as an engineer and had been a local councillor for Alington in Gloucester. In March 1914, he resigned his command of the 1st Herts battery of the Royal Field Artillery, as he did not want to be forced to coerce Ulster Protestants if Ireland were given independence.
He served as commanding officer of the empire regiment of the Royal Fusiliers until 1915, when he resigned after a court case in which he was charged with perjury. Bowden was found not guilty and claimed someone had tried to shoot him while he was walking with his daughter in St Albans.

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