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Athol Powys Fowler


Serial No:
Serial No. 4120

25th Battalion


Athol Powys Fowler - Information

Athol departed Brisbane onboard the HMAT Commonwealth on the 28th of March 1916, for war. He had enlisted in the AIF in Lismore on the 16th of September 1915, aged 23. At the time, he was living in Brisbane and working as a labourer. Athol was born in Picton to James Robert and Gertrude Eliza Fowler. His family later moved to Bellingen River.

Athol landed in Egypt, and was presently admitted to hospital in Suez with the mumps. In mid May, he was stationed to Tel-el-Kebir Camp, before going to France later that month. In July, he joined the 25th Battalion in the lines. His unit then participated in the Somme Campaign, assaulting the village of Pozières. After that hell, Athol and his mates were granted a reprieve in a quiet section of the lines in Belgium. However, later in the year they were moved back south to the Somme. In November, they attacked the Germans at Flers, across the churned up dead landscape that was quickly being consumed by mud. Athol was then mistakenly reported as killed in action on the 5th of November. Unfortunately, his poor mother was sent this terrible false news, taking years off her life. His commanders soon fixed the hiccup, reporting that he was alive and well in the unit. The 25th Battalion suffered through a bitter winter caked in muddy water. In March 1917, the Allies, including the 25th Battalion, were chasing the Germans as they were withdrawing to the Hindenburg Line. In the process, Athol was in a shell hole on the Cambrai Rd near Lagnicourt on the 26th of March. He was suddenly hit with artillery, which blew off his left arm and shoulder. He then died of his wounds shortly afterwards. His mates buried him in the Erullers Military Cemetery, near Arras in France. His poor mother had to suffer through the news of loosing her son again.