During the First World War Captain Eldred Bowyer-Bower, a British pilot, was attacked by the French Air Force. His plane was destroyed and he died.
On 19th March 1917 this tragic event was highlighted by a strange phenomenon.
On the morning of Captain Eldred Bowyer-Bower's death, his step-sister, Dorothy, who was in a hotel room in Calcutta, India, looking after her baby (Alexander born 15th February), claimed to have seen him. Though she was shocked to see her brother, she was very happy and she was not at all suspicious of his visit. Her name was Mrs Spearman and, after she greeted her brother, she moved away to place her baby in a cot, in order to hug Eldred Bowyer-Bower. When she turned to face him he had vanished.
At the same time, Mrs Chater, the Captain's other sister, was told by her three year old daughter that she had seen the Captain, her uncle Alley Boy. She was very close to him. Mrs Chater tried to convince the child that she could not have seen her uncle because he was in France. The girl, however, insisted that she had seen him "downstairs".
Mrs Chater wrote to her mother on the same day, telling her what had happened. She stated that her daughter was very fond of her uncle. The two sisters did not find out about their brother's death until a few days later.