William Fowkes was born in Cradley and was living there when he signed on as a regular soldier before 1914. He was posted to the 3rd Battalion of the Worcesters which was part of the British Expeditionary Force at the outbreak of war. He survived the Retreat from Mons, the battle of the Aisne, the first battle of Ypres and in 1915 the attack at Spanbroek Mill on the 10th March. Ten days later the battalion moved into new trenches nearer to Ypres and it was here that William Fowkes was killed in action, probably by a German sniper. He is buried in Voormezeele Cemetery Enclosure 3 (XIII L 10) and commemorated on the Cradley and Halesowen Memorials.
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