Private, 1945, Alexander John Fowlie (26), Killed in Action

13th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, 22nd August 1915

Aberdeen University Roll of Service

Extract from the above publication – FOWLIE, ALEXANDER JOHN: Private, Australian Expeditionary Force; son of John Fowlie, clerk of works; born Aberdeen, 1 October 1889; educated Fordyce Academy; student in Arts and Agricultural Science; MA, 1911. Whilst studying to complete his BSc. (Agriculture), he received a very good appointment in a rubber plantation in Galang Bazar, off Sumatra. Finding the German extraction of his superiors not to his liking, he went to Christmas Island and afterwards to Australia, where he was farming when war broke out. Fowlie enlisted in the 13th Infantry Battalion Australian Expeditionary Force in January 1915. After some months’ training in Australia he sailed with his Battalion for Egypt, and in April 1915 took his share in the landing at Gallipoli. He served there for some months, and was killed in action, 20 August 1915.

Further Military Research

On researching his A.I.F. Military Record the following information was gleaned: Alexander had been in Australia for about a year and was a Student when he decided to enlist on the 23 January 1915 at Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia, being placed into the 13th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force. His fathers address at this time was given as ‘Linden’, Macduff, Aberdeenshire.

At his medical at this time his description was given as:-

  • Height – 5’7″
  • Weight – 10st 12lbs
  • Chest expansion 31″-35″
  • Complexion – Fair
  • Eyes – Green
  • Hair – Dark Grey
  • Religion – Church of England
  • Has a scar on the back of left wrist

He embarked from Sydney, Australia on the 13 April 1915 aboard ‘A55 Kyarra’, eventually reaching the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was killed in action, on the 22 August 1915. There are witness statements from a Private 1788 Miller and 1778 Meldrum who state the unit lined up and Alexander Fowlie was shot in the head and killed instantly, the bullet then continued and shot Meldrum in the shoulder. Fowlie was initially buried at Chailak Dere Cemetery No.2, Gallipoli which was about 1.75 miles North-East of Anzac Cove, he was probably reburied at Embarkation Pier Cemetery, Turkey although it is unknown which is his precise grave.

HMAT A55 ‘Kyarra’ which Alexander was transported in from his embarkation Sydney. The vessel was later sunk in the war by U57 near Swanage.


Alexander Fowlie was born on 1 October 1889 at Aberdeen.

In the 1891 Census his address is shown as 11 Dee Street, Old Machar, Aberdeen, he was shown as the only child to his:-

  • Father – John, born c.1864 at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire – Joiner and
  • Mother – Annie, born c.1864 at Alford, Aberdeenshire

In the 1901 Census, the family has moved to Grand Entry Lodge, Cullen, Banffshire, his father is now an Architect (Estate) and the family has expanded to:-

  • Brother – Spencer S. born c.1892 at Aberdeen
  • Sister – Jeannie C. born c.1893 at Kincardineshire
  • Sister – Annie R. born c1894 at Kincardineshire
  • Brother – Thomas G. born c.1896 at Kincardineshire
  • Brother – Victor M. born c.1901 at Cullen Banffshire
Unit Colour Patch 13th Battalion Australian Imperial Force


On his enlistment, his address was shown as ‘Woodside’, Bulgandry, New South Wales, Australia. His parents resided at ‘Linden’, Macduff, Aberdeenshire.


Alexander John Fowlie was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.


Alexander John Fowlie is honoured and remembered on the Macduff War Memorial, Aberdeenshire and also on the Aberdeen City War Memorial.

Enquiry by Red Cross

The Red Cross were to make enquiry into the death of Alexander Fowlie and the following two statements were noted. The first from Private 1788, William Miller who states – “I knew Fowlie in C Company he was a Volunteer Reinforcement and his number would be 1900s. He was killed on the 22nd August 1915 at Australia Gully, just as they fell in.  A bullet went clean through Private Meldrums shoulder in the front rank and then hit Fowlie in the head and killed him. Meldrum and I were wounded the same day and Meldrum told me about it on the hospital ship. There was only one Fowlie in C Company.”

and the second statement was from Private, 1778, William Alexander Meldrum, “There were two Fowlies in the Battalion. The one with that number was of C. Company. On the 21st, of August, we had advanced on our left to straighten our line and to connect it with the Suvla Bay force.  A.J.Fowlie was immediately in front of me and a bullet went through his head and killed him. The same bullet wounded me in the left shoulder.”

Links to Additional Information



Contributor :-

  • Vincent Stuart
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