© Avening Parish Council 2023
“Preserve, Conserve, Enhance”
29 Rowland Fowles
Private: Royal Army Medical Corps
The military machine is made up of many parts. Not all airmen flew Spitfires or Sopwith Pups, and not all
soldiers were in the trenches or drove a tank. Some, through luck, or health difficulties, were limited to
back-room tasks like the many men who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Such was the case of
Rowland Fowles. According to press reports, he suffered from a deformed knee and was thus not
considered fit enough for front line service. He was limited to hospital work and service to the many men
who would have been grateful for his assistance with their suffering.
At some time during June 1918, Rowland contracted pneumonia and, again from press reports, we learn
that despite all attention, he succumbed to the illness. His father was informed on the 1st of July.
Rowland's grandfather, Frederick Fowles had married Sarah Whiting in 1831 and had been a baker in
Cherington. He died in 1852 at the age of 46 and his wife, unable to carry on the baking business,
continued service by opening a shop in Cherington to support her eight children. The youngest of these
was Rowland's father, also named Rowland.
Rowland Senior continued a life of service and, for nearly thirty years, was landlord of "The Butcher's
Arms" on Point Road, (now a private dwelling), and Rowland was born there in 1889. He was preceded
by an elder brother and two sisters. The family were still in Point Road for the 1901 census although
Rowland Senior was away in Bethnal Green, London with his cousin, Edwin, who was a corn merchant
there. However, by the time of his son's death, he and the remainder of the family had left Point Road
and were living on Tetbury Hill.
It was here that he would have received Rowland's two medals and Memorial Plaque. The latter became
known by servicemen as “The Death Penny"!
We are indebted to Rowland's great niece for her assistance and photographs.