Thomas James Buckley Fowler – known as James – was born in 1872, the eldest of eleven children to Tom and Ellen Fowler.
Much of his early life is lost to time, but we do know that James married Emily Ann Gregory on December 26th 1898, and the couple went on to have four children – Wilfred, Harold, Violet and Ivy.
On his marriage certificate James lists himself as a shoemaker and, given the family were living in the Somerset town of Street, it is likely that he was employed at the Clark’s factory there. By 1911, however, the family had moved to Glamorgan, where he had taken work as a timber man in the coal mine in the village of Nelson.
Private Fowler enlisted when war broke out, joining the 10th Battalion of the Welch Regiment in October 1914. During his time with the regiment, he was promoted, first to Lance Corporal and then to Acting Sergeant.
He transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps just under a year later. In November 1915, he was admitted to hospital with enteritis, which led to him being shipped back to England for treatment.
Once he had recovered, Private Fowler was enlisted in the Provisional Company of the RAMC, transferring again to the 7th Company in 1916. He then operated on home soil for the next few years.
James was admitted to the Royal Military Hospital in Bristol on 28th October 1918 with influenza and bronchial pneumonia. He sadly passed away a few days later, on 2nd November 1918. He was 46 years old.
James Fowler lies at rest in the cemetery in Street, Somerset.