Sir Henry Fowler KBE: An Henrican’s Engineering Journey
by John Kyte
Over the years there have been a number of VEHS publications giving accounts of people who, through history, have been associated with Evesham. However there is one person who was born in Evesham and very little mention of his name or achievements has been published as a local history record. That person is Henry Fowler who was knighted in 1918 for his services to the war effort in World War One.
During the design of the VEHS’ exhibition at the Almonry Museum illustrating the Influence of the Industrial Revolution on the Vale, a great deal of information was collected on the life of Sir Henry Fowler, his local family, his early education at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, and his contribution to the technology, engineering and education of the late 19th and early 20th century. In studying contemporary accounts a picture was formed of a modest man who throughout his life lived up to his religious beliefs, who commanded respect both nationally and internationally in the engineering world, enjoyed sporting activities and who demonstrated his support for the communities in which he lived.
It was therefore decided to produce a local history publication about Sir Henry Fowler and his achievements in the hope that it will help to acknowledge a local man and provide a record for future generations and students. In addition to this recent publication, there is also now a dedicated display and exhibition on Sir Henry Fowler in the Almonry. Lots to study and enjoy!
Footnote: Building a New “Patriot” Class Locomotive
The 3 cylinder LMS “Patriot” class locomotive was introduced towards the end of Sir Henry Fowler’s reign as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the LMS Railway, a position he held from 1925 until 1932. The LMS-Patriot Project was launched in April 2008, with the aim of constructing a new steam locomotive to the original design: this would later be named ‘The Unknown Warrior’. See here for the details of the project.