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Vowler, Darrell Francis Stephen (1894-1919) | by sherborneschoolarchives
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Vowler, Darrell Francis Stephen (1894-1919)

Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the First World War, 1914-1918.


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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.


Details: Darrell Francis Stephen Vowler (1894-1919), born 3 December 1894, son of Francis Simcoe Vowler and Ellen Frances Anne Vowler of Edymead House, Launceston, Cornwall, formerly of Sheen, Punduloya, Ceylon/Sri Lanka; brother of John Arthur Geoffrey Vowler (1897-1917).


Attended Oaklands Court preparatory school, St Peter's, Thanet, Kent.


Attended Sherborne School (School House) January 1910-December 1912; shooting viii team, 1912.


Attended Sandhurst.


WW1, Captain (temporary Major) D.F.S., Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment, attached to the Machine Gun Corps. On 7 August 1914 appointed 2nd Lieutenant to the 3/Sherwood Foresters and was mobilised at Plymouth on 27 August 1914.

Died on 28 February 1919, aged 24, of pneumonia contracted in camp at Hazeley Down near Winchester, Hampshire.


Buried at Launceston Cemetery, BB. 42,%20D%20...


Commemorated at:

Launceston town war memorial, Cornwall.


Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance. Mrs Vowler donated £16 towards the Sherborne School War Memorial in memory of Capt. D.F.S. Vowler and Lieut. J.A.G. Vowler.


Letter from Darrell Vowler published in The Shirburnian, March 1915:

‘2nd Sherwood Foresters, British Expeditionary Force, France, January 19th, 1915.

Dear Sir, I was very pleased to get your letter last night, in fact the arrival of the rations and mails is an event one looks forward to daily. I have been out here ever since November; I haven’t had much actual fighting, we have been doing trench work the whole time. The first line of trenches that I kicked off in were a matter of 30 yards away from the Germans, and the neutral ground between the two lines was well stocked with Germans in numerous stages of decay! Not at all a very pleasant spot; in fact in one communication trench we found feet and arms sticking up. We are in a different part of the line at present, but I hear the German remains haven’t been buried yet. It was fairly certain they had undermined us, a cheerful thought to know you might go up to join the aeroplanes! We are about 600 yards off them now. Any amount of us wander about on the top, their snipers don’t worry us much, unless the men take it into their hands to stand and have a lengthy argument in full view of every German. We have had our share of rain, the trenches themselves were four feet deep in water everywhere, then all sorts of damming works went on; of course one gave way, one night and I was met by a tidal wave coming down the trenches. Things are much better now, but still one can gently sink in mud over the knees in places. I use a pair of waders which are quite useful. What seems rather marvellous I have never had a cold so far – and before the other day, when we were relieved, I hadn’t had a dry thing to my name for about a fortnight. I used to sleep on a very liquid couch, and a wet blanket; we soon gave up the idea of keeping dry. We were in them for three weeks then, and got four days so called rest afterwards. A chateau fell to our lot, quite the best billet I have had up to date. Got a proper civilised bath, up to then the substitute was a biscuit tin, etc. The Regiment is just north of Armentieres – that will get cut out by the Censor if it is noticed, but still it may get through.

A sniper had the cheek to hit our best frying pan this morning, suppose that was a couple of feet off me. I got a large quantity of French mud down my neck. Please excuse my pencil, I can’t procure any ink.

With all good wishes for the New Year and coming term, Yours sincerely, Darrell Vowler.’

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Taken on July 22, 2013