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Local People in World War 1: Ernest Fowler

This gentleman is Ernest Fowler, who was born in 1878 at Hyde Cottage, Church Rd, Frampton Cotterell - which stood where Conifer Close is now. He went to school locally, then went to work as a clerk in Bristol (he would cycle there and back).


When war broke out in 1914 he was married to Miriam with a baby son. He joined up at the start of 1918, but we could find no record of him in the Army, despite the photograph of him in his uniform. Then we discovered - he'd joined the newly formed RAF, and he'd been sent to a place called Auldbar, in Scotland. Why? There was a huge airship base near Peterhead, but landing airships when it was windy was a real problem; Auldbar's landing site was protected by trees. Landing airships took a lot of people, holding onto ropes - it must have been very dangerous! Why did we have airships in Scotland? They would fly above our shipping lanes and could see submarines below the surface.


Ernest was demobbed in 1919, returned home, and lived for the rest of his life in Frampton. He was a quietly spoken, mild mannered man whose favourite television programme was Mr & Mrs! He died at the age of 100.

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Hyde Cottage, Church Rd, Frampton Cotterell.

A video showing Airships spotting submarines in WW1 - and trying to land! 

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