This is a culturally important medal group that has connections with our colonial bushranging days. Group consists of an Edward VII Imperial Service Medal (First Star Type) correctly period engraved to FREDERICK FOWLER, Indian Mutiny Medal with Jewellers clasp "CENTRAL INDIA" period re-named engraved in capitals F. FOWLER 5 BENGL. EUROPN CAVLRY and a New Zealand Maori war Medal dated 1861-1866 correctly impressed SERGT F. FOWLER. 3rd WAIKATO REGT.
This group comes with some research but there is scope for more, research to date indicates the following:
- Frederick Fowler completed his service in New Zealand and was immediately asked by the New South Wales Mounted Police to join. One Newspaper article reports the dismay of the other Police at the time in the recruiting of a soldier.
- In the book Australians in the Waikato War by Barton his medal is shown as the only medal sent to the New South Wales Mounted Police Force.
- Rising through the Police ranks Fowler had an amazing career catching many Bushrangers, quelling mining riots such as at Araluen and even in the company of Senior Sergeant Fitzpatrick (of Ned Kelly fame) in Clarendon at the time that they were hunting the Kelly gang.
- During the Araluen riots the crowd "were armed with revolvers, which they were determined to use, lives would have certainly been lost. Thirty two revolvers , we understand, were taken from this body by the Police". FREEMANS JOURNAL SYDNEY SATURDAY 29th OCTOBER 1870.
- Imperial Service Medal (ISM) awarded and recorded in the London Gazette date 26 june 1908. The ISM was awarded to Sub-Inspector Fowler who rendered special service at the Araluen riots and during the maritime and mining strikes.
Below is a list that we have found so far of the names of Bushrangers that the Newspapers credit Fowler with catching. Some use different alias,s and may be the same person who has changed his name across the state borders.
- WILLIAM SLEIGH
- FRANK QUI(N)LAN
- CLARENCE (RIVER) BUSHRANGER
- BUSHRANGER USING THE ALIAS "WARD"
- BOMBALA MURDERER
- GRAFTON BOY BUSHRANGER
- SLY THE RICHMOND
- TASMANIAN LYNCH
The Indian Mutiny Medal is a self award and the clasp has been modified (possibly in the colony) to say "CENTRAL INDIA". There may be the temptation to exclude this medal from this impressive group, however as the group has come from the family we felt that it tells another part of his story. Period records suggest that as a boy he was in the Mauritius Police for some time and also worked on the boats before settling in Australia and as such, he may have done something that made him think he was entitled to it.
Comes with period miniature medals and an original small photo.