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L/Cpl. Christopher Edward Fowler MM.
Australian Imperial Forces 33rd Btn. C Coy.
from:Barry, NSW, Australia
My Uncle Christy Fowler enlisted on the 10th of November 1915, aged 18. He was a labourer from Barry, NSW. He joined the 13th Reinforcements, 17th Battalion at Lithogow Depot Camp and in June 1916 he proceeded to England, arriving in Plymouth on the 3rd of August. On the 6th July 1916 he is recorded as disobeying orders and being absent without leave at Capetown from the troopship HMAT A.55 Kyarra and was given 3 days Field Punishment No.2.
Christopher then joined the 33rd Battalion on the 21st November 1916 in France. In December he was admitted to the 7th General Hospital (The Malassises Hospital) in St Omer suffering from mumps, he rejoined the 33rd battalion on new years day 1917. On the 12th March 1917 he is again punished for failing to obey a lawful command given by his superior officer.
He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 2nd of June 1917 and saw action in the Battle of Messines, where he was awarded the Military Medal, his citation reads:
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the Battle of Messines Ridge from June 7th to June 11th. L/C Christopher Edward Fowler acted a a mopper up and showed great dash and determination. He himself killed six of the enemy. On the afternoon of June 9th he led the first patrol to Thatched Cottage and captured the post. Throughout the whole action this soldier displayed great initiative and forethought, and at all times was courageous and cool. He set a splendid example to his men."
He was wounded in action on the 16th July 1917 receiving a gun shot wound to his left eye. On the 24th July he was transported back to England onboard the Hospital Ship Grantully Castle and on the 25th was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth. Whilst there he was reprimanded by Lt. Col. Heywood for refusing to obey and order and went Absent without Leave for 6 hours on the 14th Sept 1917 for which he forfeited one day's pay.
Christy was repatriated to Australia leaving England on board the Kenilworth Castle on the 12th of March 1918. He was discharged from the Army on the 3rd of July 1918.
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