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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Private PLY/2313(S) Ernest Arthur Fowkes


Richard Fowkes

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Hello there,

My Grandfather, Ernest Fowkes, was killed on 24th. March 1918 (Palm Sunday) just outside Bertincourt as a member of the Royal Marines Light Infantry. During my continued research into his military career I recently came across this entry in a book called "Bedworth and the Great War" by Trevor Harkin, which reads, "After the war, Corporal Callent who was Ernest who reached home as a released prisoner said, "Private Fowkes was hit in the chest by a bullet from a German sniper at about 9am on Palm Sunday, 24th. March. There was just time before the company were all taken prisoner to bind him up and place him on a stretcher when they were all compelled to leave him, as his Corporal is convinced to a dying condition." This report was published in the local paper. 

The problem I have is that a search through census returns, birth, marriages and death records have failed to come up with an Ernest Callent or even a Callent family in the Bedworth / Coventry area. I wonder if, somewhere along the line, there has been a misspelling of the name Callent. As the author of the book cannot currently access his records I wonder if anybody can suggest where I might find records of a Corporal Callent - or  a Corporal with a similar sounding name, who was part of 1/RMLI and captured on 24th. March 1918? Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Richard Fowkes.

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Many thanks horatio2 - my late father remembered being taken to visit this "officer" who lived in Foleshill , near Bedworth when Dad was a small boy!

Richard

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There survives an Attestation Pack of service papers for your GF Ernest. They are in the archive of the Fleet Air Arm Museum [National Museum of the Royal Navy]. The NMRN is currently Covid-closed to visitors and enquiries but worth applying for copies ...... in due course .......

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I have copies of "Ernies" military records - but again many thanks for your help. You might be interested to know that, on his return from captivity. Lance Corporal Callant, visited the school where my uncle was a pupil. The Headmaster, William Alexander, was a relative by marriage. Thomas was able to pass on the circumstances of Ernie`s death  which have come down the line as oral tradition, though until now his correct name was a mystery! 

Richard

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