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 which was part of the British Expeditionary Force at the outbreak of war. He survived the Retreat from Mons, the battle of the Aisne and the first battle of Ypres and the attack at Spanbroek Mill. In mid-March 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 at Voormezeele Cemetery Enclosure 3 (XIII L 10). He is also commemorated on the Cradley and Halesowen Memorials.
Dudley Gilbert Claughton school
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