Philip Edward Michael VOWELS MC and Bar


VOWELS, Philip Edward Michael

Service Number: 729
Enlisted: 7 September 1914, Place of Enlistment, Helena Vale, Western Australia.
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 11th Infantry Battalion
Born: Horsham,Victoria, Australia, 7 September 1891
Home Town: Horsham, Wimmera, Victoria
Schooling: St. Michael’s School, Horsham, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Ironmonger
Died: Killed in action, France, 11 May 1918, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Borre British Cemetery
Section 1, Row A, Grave No 33
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World War 1 Service

7 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 729, 11th Infantry Battalion, Place of Enlistment, Helena Vale, Western Australia.
2 Nov 1914: Involvement Sergeant, SN 729, 11th Infantry Battalion
2 Nov 1914: Embarked Sergeant, SN 729, 11th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Fremantle
24 Jun 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 729, 11th Infantry Battalion
16 Apr 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 729, 11th Infantry Battalion, Severe Gun Shot Wounds
17 Jul 1917: Honoured Military Cross
20 Nov 1917: Honoured Military Medal and bar
11 May 1918: Involvement Lieutenant, 11th Infantry Battalion

Philip Edward Michael Vowels

Phillip Edward Michael Vowels was born in Horsham, Victoria on September 7, 1891, to William Henry and Bridget Maria Vowels. He was schooled at St Michael’s School, Horsham and later moved to Perth with his mother. He served five years with the Goldfields Infantry Regiment.

Phillip enlisted with the AIF at Helena Vale WA on September 7, 1914, Regimental No. 729, with the rank of Sergeant, 11th Battalion F Company. His unit embarked from Fremantle WA on board HMAT A11, Ascanius November 2, 1914.

Promoted to Second Lieutenant on August 4, 1915, he served in Egypt, Gallipoli, and France’s Western Front. He was killed in action in France in 1918, aged 27 and is buried in the Borre British Cemetery, France.

On March 3, 1915, Phillip was posted to Gallipoli with his battalion but was hospitalised due to illness June 10 to July 6.

He re-joined his battalion in Gallipoli, but on August 31 became ill again and was invalided to England on September 17. Placed on the Supernumerary List on January 1, 1916, he proceeded overseas to France on May 10, joining 11th Bn.C. Company on June 8.

Phillip was wounded in action July 24, and invalided to England, returning to France on January 20, 1917. He was again wounded in action on April 16, with severe gun-shot wounds to an arm.

He was invalided back to England on April 20 and promoted to Lieutenant on April 30. Phillip then proceeded back to France on July 23 and re-joined the 11th B.N. in the field on August 4. He was awarded the Military Cross and a Bar to the Military Cross.

His Military Cross Citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty he led his men with great dash and skill against two enemy machine gun positions, and captured them under heavy fire. When the objective was reached he showed a coolness and determination during the consolidation under heavy fire, which was an example for all.” (Commonwealth Gazette No. 120, August 7, 1918)

COST OF WAR: The Vowels family paid a heavy price for peace, losing two sons in the conflict.

His Bar to Military Cross Citation reads “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty with thirty N.C.O.’s and men, he carried out a raid which, owing to his previous thorough reconnaissance and able leadership, was a complete success. Without suffering a casualty, he inflicted heavy losses on the Enemy and brought back fifteen prisoners and one machine gun.” (Commonwealth Gazette No. 150 September 24 1918)

Phillip fell ill on December 4, 1917 and was sent to the 7th Stationary Hospital Boulogne. He was discharged on December 14 and granted sick leave to England.

He re-joined his battalion on December 28, then detached to 4th Army School of Instruction February 9, 1918. He re-joined his battalion on March 10 and was killed in action on May 11, 1918.

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