Josiah Bowden served as a lieutenant with 6th Battalion City of London Volunteer Corps. He became the vice-consul at the British Embassy in Paris, and was living in the city at the time of the 1900 Olympics. Along with fellow fencer Charles Newton Robinson, he was one of just two Britons in the épée competition, in a field of 102. Unlike Robinson, Bowden reached the quarter-finals. He took part in the Coupe Internationale d’Épée at Paris in 1903, and was one of the event’s judges the following year.