Medals from the Collection of Peter Duckers

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Date of Auction: 17th July 2019

Sold for £9,500

Estimate: £1,800 - £2,200

A 1914 Great War ‘Western Front’ M.C. group of six awarded to Major E. K. Fowler, 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force), Indian Army, who was wounded and decorated for gallantry at Wytschaete on 31 October 1914 during the First Battle of Ypres

Military Cross, G.V.R., reverse privately engraved ‘Lt. E. K. Fowler 57th Wildes Rifles F.F. 30th July 1915, Wytschaete October 1914.’; 1914 Star, with clasp (Lt. E. K. Fowler, 57/Rfls.); British War and Victory Medals, with M.I.D. oak leaves (Capt. E. K. Fowler); India General Service 1908-35, 2 clasps, Afghanistan N.W.F. 1919, Waziristan 1919-21 (Maj. E. K. Fowler, M.C. 57/Rfls. F.F.); Delhi Durbar 1911, silver (Lieut. E. K. Fowler 57th Rifles) mounted as worn, good very fine (6) £1,800-£2,200

Footnote

M.C. London Gazette 15 June 1915:
‘For distinguished service in the Field.’


Ernest Kynaston Fowler was born in 1886, the son of Major W. M. Fowler, Gloucestershire Regiment. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Wiltshire Regiment in August 1906 and arrived in India in August 1907. He transferred to the Indian Army in March 1909 and was posted to the 57th Rifles at Bannu. He served in the Special Police during the Delhi Durbar ceremonies in 1911.

During the Great War, Fowler served on the Western Front and was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery when he was wounded serving as machine-gun officer, 57th Wilde’s Rifles, at Wytschaete on 31 October 1914, as described in the Corps History:
‘With Major Willans was Lieutenant Fowler, in charge of the regimental machine guns, which he fought with great gallantry throughout the action. While crossing a road under heavy fire in search of information, he was wounded in several places by a high explosive shell which burst quite close to him. For his gallant conduct he was awarded the Military Cross, while Major Willans received the D.S.O.’ (
The Indian Corps in France by Lt-Colonel J. W. B. Merriwether, C.I.E. and the Rt Hon. Sir Frederick Smith refers)

His M.C. was personally presented to him by the King at Windsor Castle on 30 July 1915. He was also Mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 22 June 1915).

Fowler was Quartermaster of the Regiment from January 1913 to November 1914. He was promoted to Captain in August 1915 and Acting Major in May 1917. After service in France he went with the regiment to East Africa and was appointed Brevet Major in January 1918 for services in that theatre. After the Great War he served in Afghanistan and Waziristan in 1919, including command of the garrison at Thal in January 1919. He also served on the Staff of the Kohat Brigade. Besides his regimental duties, Fowler filled a number of Staff appointments in the 1920s, including DAAG, Southern Command, in 1924 and DAQMG in Poona, in 1927-28.

He served with the regiment until May 1929, at which time he was appointed Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel but, before the appointment could be gazetted, he died, aged 42, in the British Military Hospital in Paris whilst undergoing an operation.

Sold with the recipient’s original M.I.D. certificate; his small pocket notebook, recording expenses, Urdu and French vocabulary &c.; a ‘cuttings’ album with photos of recipient as young man and in uniform; letters to home written in 1914, postcards, newspaper cuttings, notification of shrapnel wound in 1914 &c.; original telegrams regarding Fowler in 1915; original lecture notes by Fowler regarding East Africa; and with a large file of original letters from his daughter Anne to her mother in India (Fowler’s daughter Anne married 617 ‘Dambuster’ Squadron Leader D. J. S. Shannon, D.S.O. and bar, D.F.C. and bar) and then to Fowler’s father when she served as a WAAF in the Second World War, these to the end of the 1940s and letters from Fowler’s wife to her father, Colonel S. H. P. Graves, 40th Pathans); and various copied research.