Heritage Mississauga is pleased to deliver correspondence from many of the women who served during the Second World War.
This week we present a letter that is quite close to our heart. Written by Sergeant Florence May Fowler while at training camp at MacDonald College Quebec, the letter is addressed to her sister Ivy Fowler. Florence May Fowler is the Great Aunt of our Executive Director, Jayme Gaspar, who provided the reading of the letter.
Sergeant (Sgt) Florence May Fowler was born on November 20, 1916 in North Bay, Ontario and she died on March 28, 1943 in Baie-d’Urfe, Quebec due to an accidental death at the age of 26. She served in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps.
Sgt Florence May Fowler was the daughter of Esau and Alice Louisa Fowler (nee Robertson) of Indian Grove, Port Credit, Ontario. Sgt Fowler had one brother and three sisters: Corporal Charles James (Lorne Scots), Grace Agnes, Ivy Dorothy, and Lilian Minnie Fowler.
Florence left school at the age of 13, having completed grade 8. After leaving school, she spent the next 12 years working various domestic service jobs, until she enlisted for military service 1941. When Sgt Fowler enlisted on November 10, 1941, she had six years experience working as a parlour maid for Dr. D. King Smith at 15 Highland Avenue, Toronto but hoped to find work in bookkeeping and typing after the war.
Sgt Fowler was killed on 28 March 1943 when she was struck by a train in Baie-d’Urfe, Quebec. She had been in the Officer Training Course (OTC) at No. 1 CWAC Advanced Training Centre in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec.
The incident was treated as suspicious, and thus handed over to the Quebec Provincial Police, but they were unable to prove that foul play had occurred.
Sergeant Florence May Fowler is buried in Springcreek Cemetery in Clarkson and is listed on the Port Credit Cenotaph.
#ApartTogether we remember the extraordinary women who have served and continue to serve today.
Picture Credits: Heritage Mississauga, Library and Archives Canada. Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Juno Beach Centre, Mississauga Library System, Peel Art Gallery, Museum & Archives (PAMA), www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca, https://wwiicdnwomensproject.org/, www.veterans.ca, www.theglobeandmail.com