FOWLER, Aubrey and Clarence

Aubrey and Clarence were born at Inverell and were the sons of Arthur and Alice Fowler who lived on the property ‘Branxton’ at Brodies Plains near Inverell.  Aubrey was a nineteen year old Farmer when he enlisted at Inverell in August 1915. He was one of a group of thirty two men farewelled at a large public rally held outside the Inverell Town Hall on 21 August 1915.

Aubrey had been a member of the 5th Light Horse prior to enlistment.  He joined the 7th Light Horse Regiment, 13th Reinforcement which sailed from Australia on HMAT A60 Aeneas in December 1915.  They arrived in Egypt a few weeks later and trained there until sent to France in June 1916.  By this time he had been transferred to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade and appointed Gunner.

Aubrey died of wounds on 8 January 1917 after a shell burst near his gun and fragments struck him, severing an artery.  His mate Gunner McMullin, from Ashford, had carried him to have his wounds dressed. Aubrey was buried at Guards Cemetery, Lesboeufs, France. He was just 20 years old. At home a Memorial Service was held for Aubrey at the Brodies Plains Hall. His few remaining personal effects were returned to his father.

Clarence enlisted at Inverell in January 1918 when he was just eighteen, his father giving permission for him to serve overseas.  He joined the NSW Reinforcement 12 unit which departed Australia on HMAY A30 Borda in July 1918.  After arriving in England in September he was transferred to the 5th Training Battalion stationed at Forvant. Eventually he went to France in January 1919. Clarence returned home and was discharged in September 1919.

The names of Aubrey and Clarence are recorded on the Fern Hill Public School Honor Roll, where they had been students at this school near Inverell.  Aubrey’s name is also inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll and Cenotaph.  After the War he was one of 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade.