George Shepherd Bowie was born on 1 December 1869 in Ottawa, Ontario. His father, steamboat captain Alexander Bowie, was from Montreal, while his mother, Esther Shepherd, was likely from Sheringham, Norfolk, England. George had two older siblings, Henry William (1862-1947) and Katherine Esther (1864-1953), and a younger sister, Elizabeth Alexander (1873-1954), all born in Ottawa.
With occupation listed as student of law, George joined the Royal Military College in September of 1883, leaving in June of 1887. On 15 November 1897 at St Michael's College in Toronto, he married Jessie Augusta Doran, daughter of Judge William and Isabella (née McCrae) Doran of North Bay. Born in Perth, Ontario, Jessie had moved to North Bay with her parents and siblings. George and Jessie were living in North Bay at the time of their marriage where George was working as a barrister. Children born to the couple in North Bay were Mary Eileen (1899) and Isabella Gertrude (1901).
George signed his Officers Papers with the 94th Battalion in Rainy River, Ontario on 15 December 1915, occupation given as barrister at law. He gave his wife Jessie of Rainy River as next of kin. Besides attending the Royal Military College, George had served with the Governor General's Foot Guards, the Ottawa Field Battery, with the 2nd Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles in South Africa, and the 11th Battalion CM. While training in Canada, George was the Commanding Officer of C Company, Fort Frances and Rainy River. As a Major with the 94th Battalion, George embarked from Halifax aboard the SS Olympic on 28 June 1916.
Once in England the battalion was disbanded and George was transferred to the 32nd Reserve Battalion. However he had suffered an episode of bronchitis at Valcartier in Quebec before leaving Canada and was admitted to the Military Hospital at Shorncilffe in August of 1916. Discharged on the 21st of September, George was found medically unfit for further service due to chronic bronchitis and was returned to Canada.
While he was overseas, Jessie had gone to North Bay but the family returned to Rainy River once George was back in Canada. Jessie died on 3 July 1917 in Rainy River. Predeceased by his father Alexander in 1898 and his mother Esther in 1905, both buried in Ottawa, George died suddenly on 15 July 1929 in Rainy River. Both Jessie's and George's death records indicate that they are buried in the cemetery in Rainy River while a family tree on ancestry.ca have them buried in the St Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery in North Bay. There are no grave markers for the family in either cemeteries.
George's brother Henry William enlisted with the 77th Battalion, going overseas with the battalion as a Major. He served in Canada, England, and France with the 77th, 60th, 51st, and 4th Reserve Battalions. He was struck off strength by reason of being appointed Sergeant at Arms, House of Commons in August of 1918.