Edward Fowkes was probably the brother of Benjamin Fowkes and, like him, attended Cradley C of E school. When war came, he enlisted in the Worcesters, alongside Benjamin, since they had adjacent regimental numbers – Edward 18763 and Benjamin 18764. Both went to the 10th Battalion and served in B Company. In July they went overseas to Artois and served in the quiet sector of Festubert and Richebourg. Benjamin Fowkes died of wounds in December 1915. The battalion was among those selected for the first day of the Somme on the 1st July 1916 but after the first waves had made little progress on that fateful morning the 10th were held until the 3rd July for the delivery of an assault on the village of La Boisselle and its neighbour, Ovillers. It was a daunting proposition but at heavy cost the German defenders of La Boisselle were cleared and Private Fred Turrall was awarded the Victoria Cross. But among the many killed in action was Private Edward Fowkes who was 31 years of age and is buried at Gordon Dump Cemetery, Ovillers, (VI G 2). He is commemorated on the Halesowen and Cradley school Memorials.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH,High St,Halesowen,Dudley,West Midlands,B63 3BB,England, B63 3BB
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