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Seaman John (Jack) Fowlow was born around 1887 in Trinity East and was a member of the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve, service number 688. He was killed on board of H. M. Minesweeper Erin's Isle.
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Transcription of a letter that was sent to Mrs. Fowlow detailing how her husband had died in service.
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How Mr. Jack Fowlow R.N.R. Died in the Kingís Service


3 Dene Street
New Bridge Road
Hull, England

Feb. 26th, 1919

My Dear Mrs. Fowlow,

Just a few lines to express to you my greatest sympathy in the loss of your husband in H.M.S. Erinís Isle on February 7th, and I should like to let you know the circumstances in which he died.

Well, on the evening of February 6th we left Sherness and anchored near the Edinbro Light Vessel, and as the weather was fine we were staying there until 7 a.m. on Friday morning. I had given orders that all the hands had to be called at 6 a.m. so that everything would be ready to get under way at 7 a.m. Well, I had just been called myself at 6:05 when a drifting mine struck us and exploded on the starboard side forward, right underneath where the seamanís quarters were, and blew the ship practically in two halves, and she sank in about 2 minutes, taking 23 men down with her, nearly all seaman. I think only 3 that lived in the seamanís quarters got away after striking the mine, and one of them was a young fellow belonging to Newfoundland named John Bartlett, who I have asked to call and see you when he gets home again.

Well, Mrs. Fowlow, I had your husband with me ten months in the Erinís Isle and I can say that I have never had a nicer or more straight-forward man in every way than Jack, and he was looking forward to March 31st, as he expected to get home any time after that, and I fell it very much to think that he is gone.

Well Mrs. Fowlow, if there is anything I can let you know I should be very pleased if you write to the address enclosed, and it would be a great pleasure to do anything I can for you in your great trouble, and I might also say that you can be assured that Jack died a hero and wound not have saved himself at the expense of others if he had the chance, for a more honest upright, clean living man never went in a ship than your dear husband, and I hope the memory of him will give you health and strength to be [ar the ] great loss you have had in the sudden loss of one who was liked by everyone who knew him.

I donít think I can say nay more just now, as I have been very ill myself since it happened, but I felt as if I must try and let you know something of what happened. So I must conclude with kindest regards and my deepest sympathy to you and all his relations.

Yours Sincerely,

J. W. Hanlan.
1st Lieut. H. M. S. Erinís Isle

White, Florence M. & Miller, James