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Person Details
01 Oct 1893
William Leonard, known as Leonard, was the eldest son of Francis (Frank) Fowler and his wife Ada Fowler nee Toms. Both his parents were born in Nottingham; Francis on 15 December 1867 and Ada Oldham Toms in 1870. They were married in 1891 (J/A/S Nottingham) and had nine children of whom eight survived infancy: William Leonard b. 1 October 1892 (O/N/D Nottingham), Francis (Frank) Rupert b. 29 February 1896 (A/M/J Nottingham), Charles Bernard b. 1898 (J/A/S Nottingham), Mary Annie k/a Mary or Annie/Anna), b. 22 March 1900 (A/M/J Nottingham), Ivy May b 2 July 1902 (J/A/S Nottingham), Violet b. 1904 (J/A/S Nottingham), Ada Olive (Olive) b. 7 September 1906 (O/N/D Nottingham) and Daisy R b. 5 November 1908 (O/N/D Nottingham). All the children were born in Nottingham. In 1901 Francis (33), a machine fitter, and his wife Ada (29) were living at 77 Denison Street, Nottingham, with their four children, Leonard (7), Frank (5), Charles (2) and Mary (1). Also in the household was a boarder, Mary Chambers (17) a tobacco pipe maker. By 1911 the family had moved to 95 Bridlington Street, Nottingham. Francis (43) was a fitter (furniture manufacture). In the household with their parents on the night of the census were Leonard (17) and Frank (16) who were both 'fitting cycle trade', Charles (12), Anna (11), Ivy (8), Violet (6), Olive (4) and Daisy (2). Francis and Ada were living at 17 Pleasant Row, Nottingham, when Leonard was killed in action on 31 May 1916. They were still at the same address in 1939 at the time of the England & Wales Register. Francis, described as a 'saw doctor retired', and Ada were living with their two unmarried daughters, Ivy May and Daisy R who were both working as tobacco leaf strippers. Ada Fowler died in 1939 (Dec Nottingham) age 68 and Francis Fowler in 1952 (Jun Nottingham) age 84. Of Leonard's siblings: Francis (Frank) Rupert joined the Royal Navy in February 1915 (for further details see 'extra information'). He was serving in HMS Caledon a light cruiser (Caledon Class), when he was severely wounded in the light cruiser action off Heligoland on 17 November 1917. Although he returned to duty in shore establishments on 16 June 1918 he was invalided out of the Navy on 26 September 1918. He married Gladys Dexter in 1918 (A/M/J Nottingham) but in 1939, when still married, he was living in the household of a widow, May Macklin nee Redgate (b. 27 December 1894, married 1916 to John J Macklin who died 1923 aged 28). Also in the home were May Macklin's two unmarried children, John James Macklin (b. 15 February 1918) a viewer at a cycle works, and Joan M. Macklin (b. 10 June 1923), a tobacco packer). Francis died in 1958 (Jun Nottingham) aged 62. Charles Bernard does not appear to have served in the war. He married Annie Dunsmore in 1922 (O/N/D Nottingham) and died at 17 Pleasant Row on 26 March 1926 aged 27. Mary Annie appears to have had a son, Francis T Fowler, in 1921. In 1939 when the national register was compiled, Mary was living at 10 Pleasant Row, Nottingham, with Francis (b. 2 November 1921; birth registration gives mother's maiden name as Fowler) who was working as a dyer's labourer. Mary was described as single and was working as a machinist. Mary Ann died in 1979 (Dec Nottingham) Ivy May was living with her parents in 1939 (see above). She died in March 1988 (Mar Nottingham) aged 85. Violet has not been traced after the 1911 Census. Ada Olive (Olive) married Horace M Clarke in 1939 (A/M/J Nottingham). At the time of the 1939 national register they were living at 1 Collingham Footway, Nottingham; Horace (b. 31 May 1909) was a textile warehouseman. Ada died in 1984 (Sep Nottingham). Daisy R was living with her parents in 1939 (see above) and died in 1963 (Sep Nottingham) aged 54.
Leonard was a fitter in the cycle trade in 1911 but he gave his occupation as carter when he joined the Royal Navy in 1912
31 May 2016
2876829 - CWGC Website
SS/112777 (PO)
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Queen Mary Royal Navy
Leonard joined the Royal Navy on 4 September 1912 on a 12 year engagement (5 years Royal Navy and 7 years Royal Fleet Reserve). He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory ll, 4 September 1912-28 September 1912 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Renown, 29 September 1912-23 November 1912; Victory II, 24 November 1912-8 March 1913; HMS Adament, 9 March 1913-3 September 1913; HMS Queen Mary, 4 September 1913-31 May 1916 (Stoker 1st Class 6 November 1913). His service record was annotated, ‘NP3925/1916. DD [discharged dead] 31st May, 1916. Killed in action.’ Leonard was killed at the Battle of Jutland when the battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary (Battle Cruiser Fleet, Vice-Adm. Sir David Beatty) was lost with all hands. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
The headmaster of New Radford School Nottingham referred to Fowler and three other former pupils in his log entry 5/9th June 1916 - 'In the recent Battle of Jutland four of our old scholars lost their lives. - Ernest (sic) Walters, J. [John] Moreland, Leonard Fowler and Alfred Richards.' (Nottinghamshire County Archives SL125R3/3) Francis Rupert Fowler (M12054): Registers of Seamen’s Services - Engagement 15 July 1915, 12 years. First service date February 1915; served HMS Excellent to 29 May 1915 then President ll, 30 May-3 March 1916 and later HMS Caledon from 7 March 1917 until 18 November 1917 when he was treated for injuries received in action on 17 November 1917 (Naval record annotated, 'Ledger NP9706/17. Seriously wounded in action 17th November 1917 HMS Caledon'). Returned to Portsmouth 16 June 1918 and thereafter served in shore establishments until invalided out of the Navy on 26 September 1918. Ordinary Seaman John Henry Carless, HMS Caledon, was awarded the VC posthumously, for his part in the action on 17 November 1917. Nottingham Evening Post. ‘Deaths’, 29 March 1926: 'Fowler. On March 26th, at 17, Pleasant-row, Charles Bernard, beloved husband of Annie Fowler. Service St Paul’s Hyson Green, 2 o'clock. Interment Bulwell 3 o’clock.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on