The AIF Project

Wilbraham Lee FOWLER

Regimental number137
Date of birth1887
Place of birthThursday Island, Torres Strait, Queensland
SchoolRavenswood State School, Queensland
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationBank accountant
AddressQueensland National Bank Ltd, Innisfail, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Next of kinFather, John Longton Fowler, State School, Toowoomba, Queensland
Enlistment date26 September 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll24 September 1914
Rank on enlistmentCorporal
Unit name15th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal RollCompany Quartermaster Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll15th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularKeen footballer, and was referee in all matches at Innisfail.
FateKilled in Action 27 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death from cemetery records30
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Joseph Longton and Honora Josephine FOWLER, Lindsay Street, Toowoomba, Queensland. Native of Thursday Island, Queensland
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 446 Sergeant John Cyril FOWLER, Australian Flying Corps, returned to Australia, 3 December 1918; 636 Pte Joseph Harold FOWLER, 5th Machine Gun Bn, returned to Australia, 8 July 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and was wounded on 29 May during a Turkish attack on Quinn's Post. Was evacuated to hospital in Malta and then to Netley Hospital in England. After recovering from his wound he went to Egypt for training and then was sent to Polygon Wood on 27 September 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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