Courtesy of Amanda Bullock
Driver Thomas Vicary Fowler
Pakenham & District War Memorial & Pakenham State School Roll of Honour
Born: 1895 - Bourke, NSW
Enlisted: 20 November 1915 aged 20
Unit: 8th Field Artillery Brigade Ammunition Column (SERN: 20287)
Served: Western Front
Died: 10 August 1971 - Perth, Western Australia
Known as “Vic”, Thomas Vicary Fowler was the third child of Adam Singer Fowler and his wife Katherine, and an older brother of Ernest Fowler. After the family moved to Pakenham, Vic attended the Pakenham State School before moving to Western Australia with his parents. In 1915, Vic and Ernest travelled all the way from Western Australia to Melbourne to enlist because they wanted to join up with their former school mates from Pakenham (1). Vic was appointed to the same unit as Ernest: the 8th Field Artillery Brigade Ammunition Column. Vic travelled to England with Ernest, but was hospitalised several times there. He only proceeded to France on 30 December 1916. In early 1917, Vic was transferred to the 31st Battery, where he served with Ernest (2). Late in 1917, Vic was hospitalised in England for severe bronchitis, tuberculosis and pleurisy. He was listed as seriously ill in late December 1917 (3). In February 1918, Vic was returned to Australia. In late May 1918, Vic and other soldiers who had already returned home were presented with special gold medallions by a grateful Pakenham community (4). The following month, Vic was discharged from the Army as medically unfit. Later, Vic’s service was remembered on both the Pakenham State School Honour Board (5) and the Pakenham & District Soldiers’ Memorial.
Vic moved back to Western Australia where his parents were living. He eventually settled in Perth, where he became a tram conductor and later bus driver. He married Alice Blyth and had a family. Vic died in Perth in 1971, the same year as his brother Ernest passed away.
The assistance of Vic’s nephew Ernie Fowler and relative Amanda Bullock is gratefully acknowledged.
(1) Information provided by Ernie Fowler
(2) NAA CRS B2455 FOWLER T V
(3) Geraldton Guardian, 29/12/1917 p. 3
(4) Pakenham Gazette 7/6/1918, p. 3
(5) Pakenham Gazette 29/11/1918 p. 3