George Fowler

RBS remembers 1914-1918



George Fowler

Bank: Parr’s Bank

Place of work: London Bartholomew Lane office

Died: 21 December 1915

George Edwin Fowler was born in Sunderland in 1884, the son of William and Mary Fowler. He worked for Parr's Bank. He was also a prominent member of the bank's staff sports club.

In August 1914 Fowler left his job at the bank's London Bartholomew Lane office to join the army, becoming a Private in the London Regiment. He was twice wounded, but on both occasions the injuries were sufficiently minor that he was able to remain on active service. On 21 December 1915 he was operating a machine gun near Loos, France, when a German shell fell on him, killing him instantly. He was 31 years old.

His obituary in the bank's staff magazine recalled him thus: 'George Fowler! The name whenever mentioned among members of the Sports Club will bring a vision of a firmly set mouth, steady eyes, and a slim youthful figure either on the football or cricket field, or more particularly on the Thames as a member of the rowing club. Fowler was a sportsman to whom sport meant the best thing in life; a man who was always ready to 'turn out' for a game, and as August 1914 proved, even the great game of war found him among the first to 'turn out'. Pluck, doggedness and determination were uppermost in his character. In a losing race on the river he would hang on to the finish, and as he used to say 'get there in time to shake with the winners anyhow'. Fear never entered into any of his calculations; even when he was unable to swim a stroke he would venture out on the Thames with a swift tide running, and in semi-darkness in the frailest of racing craft ... The last thing Fowler could be persuaded to do was to talk about himself or his achievements in sport. If pressed, he would say he did nothing, yet when the war is finished and the sports club is again active, there will be a place which will never be filled. It will be the place of George Fowler.'

 

 

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