Harold B. Fowler
Rifleman, London Regiment (City of London Rifles)
Bertram Harold Fowler was born in October 1898 to his parents George Isaac and Louisa Fowler, who were Methodists. Harold was the youngest of four children - Louisa Maria, George Henry and Ethel Florence. They lived at 19 Ardbeg Road, Herne Hill. George Isaac was a printer with works at 79 Southwark Bridge Road.
Harold was a pupil at Alleyn's before signing up to the war effort. After being attested, he joined the London Regiment (City of London Rifles) as a Rifleman and was sent for service overseas on the Western Front. Fowler was just 16 when he arrived in France with the British Expeditionary Force for the first time in 1915. The allies had recently failed to gain higher ground in the disastrous Battle of Aubers at the start of May and were now planning a second attempt at taking the objective on May 15th 1915. This action, which would later become known as the Battle of Festubert, was a minor tactical success which saw the British capture some enemy positions in the German front line. However, casualties were incredibly high and numbered around 16,000 by the end of the attack. It was during the third day of this battle that Fowler was killed in action on May 18th 1915. He is buried at Bethune Town Cemetery, France.
With thanks to the Herne Hill Society for providing some of this information. Harold is also remembered on the Herne Hill WW1 memorial website.