Born Eunice Crook in Lancashire, England, on 23 August 1898, Bowman was the second-oldest out of twelve children; her parents were Thomas Crook and Sarah (Hosler) Cook. Her baptismal records presumably made their way into her documentation as a supercentenarian; she was baptised on 13 November 1898, aged three months.
Bowman and her family, following a decline in the textile industry, moved to Gateshead in 1905 when Bowman was seven; she would live there for the next 105 years. Her father would work in the coal mines when they lived at Gateshead.
As a child, Bowman was kept from school to look after her younger siblings and assist in the housework.
After completing school, Bowman would work in a fish-and-chips shop together with her grandmother.
She went to work in a munitions factory during World War I, working for twelve hours, seven days a week; her work initially consisted of messenger work until she was sent to assist in gunpowder work.
On 25 December 1919, Bowman married her first husband, Robert Pearson (c. 1900-1928), who died at the age of 28 from complications following tuberculosis, but not before having four children with her.
During the Second World War, she re-married to Frank Bowman and had two children, one of whom died in infancy. Their marriage lasted until Frank Bowman died in 1950.
His death would be followed three years later by her father at age 74. Her mother would die in 1970, at age 92.
Bowman would continue to work in a fish-and-chip shop until she was 84. Her work was accompanied by her sister, Annie, who would become a centenarian.
St. Mary's lighthouse, Whitley Bay, was re-opened by Bowman herself a week after her 110th birthday; the ceremony apparently marked both the 110th anniversaries of her birth and the lighthouse.
Bowman would later go on to outlive all her siblings and most of her children; the last remaining child of hers, Connie Bowman, died in 2010.
Bowman was reported to have "a very positive attitude and just had simple pleasures. She has always had a nice outlook on life and is always smiling."
She stated on 23 August 2009, "I have never drank alcohol or smoked. I have had a happy life."
Bowman became the oldest living British on 8 May 2010, upon Florrie Baldwin's death. She was 111 years and 258 days old at the time of her accession to the title. However, Bowman passed away sixty-nine days later, on 16 July 2010, at the age of 111 years, 327 days, passing the title to Annie Turnbull (21 September 1898 – 3 September 2010) of Scotland. She died as the 26th-oldest British ever, to be displaced one spot some time later by Turnbull.
She was buried at Heworthburn Cemetery, in Gateshead, on 22 July 2010.