DOWLEY (our family pronounces it to rhyme with "cow-lee" not "coo-lee") is a fairly rare surname here in England, so I am very interested in any connections.
I have an Alfred in some of my 1851 census notes born in London about 1847 (which is, however, too early for your man, as that would make him about 73 in 1920).
I suggest you need to find someone with a copy on CD of the 1881 census for England and Wales (try an LDS family history centre – they’ll have it and on microfilm too). With this you can look up all Alfred DOWLEYs who are living in England or Wales and are then about 23 years old ...(making him 62 in 1920). Let me know how you get on.
There won’t be many people to choose from, provided he hadn’t already emigrated to the USA that is...
I am looking for any DOWLEY sightings in the following parts of England in the period 1750-1890: London, and surrounding areas of Surrey or Kent. Especially looking for Frederick Nicholson DOWLEY (born about 1829), his many elder siblings, and his parents, James DOWLEY and Harriett nee NICHOLSON.