D eath: Apr. 17, 1917
For nearly 92 years Gladys Winifred Fowler lay in a sealed coffin in the catacombs Kensal Green Cemetery in England. She died in an English hotel room at the age of 18 years, while her father was serving in the military. She was the daughter of then-New Brunswick MP George Fowler, at the time a lieutenant-colonel serving with the 13th Battalion Canadian Infantry during the final months of the First World War. A death certificate lists her cause of death as a combination of heart disease and illness. At the end of the war the family thought she had been repatriated and buried in New Brunswick, but for reasons that may never be known she was not. Only after a volunteer with the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery helped solve the mystery, that her story became known.With the help of Air Canada offering to fly her body home and a local Funeral Home making the arrangements, she is now laid to rest with the rest of her family in the community cemetery.
GLADYS WINIFRED FOWLER Gladys Winifred Fowler was born on June 4, 1898 to George William Fowler and Ethyl Georgina Fowler (nee Wilson). She had two younger brothers, Eric MacLeod Fowler (born 1900) and Cedric Weeden Fowler (born 1905). Gladys Winifred Fowler, called Winifred by her brother Cedric, was a beautiful and talented young woman. She studied the piano. Many years after her death, her brother Cedric praised her skill. He loved to listen to piano music. Winifred was an educated and modern young woman. When the family was in Ottawa during sessions of Parliament, Winifred attended a women's seminary there. She also studied piano at the Toronto Conservatory. In 1916, Gladys Winifred Fowler traveled to London with her mother Ethyl and younger brothers, Eric and Cedric, to join their father and husband. George William Fowler was the commander of the 104th Battalion, C. E. F. Colonel Fowler had previously left for England with his unit. While there, Winifred assisted the Red Cross, caring for wounded soldiers. According to Cedric, she continued studying piano in London at the Imperial Conservatory during the war. In 1918, while living in a row house in Northwest London, the family was bombed out. Afterwards the mother and daughter stayed at Berner's Hotel. As a result of this incident, Winifred became seriously ill. She suffered from measles and pneumonia, complicated by a heart condition, the result of a bout of rheumatic fever, which she had as a child. She died at the hotel at age 18. In September 1918, Winifred's mother and brother Cedric, then aged 13, returned to Sussex after the war without her. Her father and her brother Eric, who had been seriously wounded in the war, traveled separately. Now, 92 years later, Winifred will return to the peaceful valley of Hammondvale to be buried at the Hammondvale Community Cemetery, where her father, mother, brother Eric, grandfather and great-grandfather and their families lie buried as well. The Fowler family homestead stands nearby. The Escort Party were: WO. Roland Doucette, Pvt. Matthew Benjamin, Pvt. Alan Irvine, Pvt. Nicholas Cunningham. The Pallbearers were: Sgt. Darren Spicer, Mcpl. Byron Ostrom, Mcpl, Marshall Smith, Mcpt. Gustavs Kalnins, Cpl. Wes Goddard, Cpl. Bryson Darrell, Cpl. Shane Teakels, Cpl. Cody Bulmer, Tpr. Benjamin Goodwin and Tpr. Scott Cummins. The Honorary Pallbearers were: Rob Moore, MP, Alan Tonks MP, Bruce Northrup MLA, Rod Weston, MP, Barry Smith and Glenn Benson Trustees of the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery. Family links: Parents: George William Fowler (1858 - 1924) Ethyl Georgina Fowler (1874 - 1936) Burial: Hammondvale Community Cemetery HammondvaleNew Brunswick, Canada