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Major-General Charles Christopher Fowkes, DSO[1] (1894–1966) was an officer in the British Army during World War II. His nickname was "Fluffy."

Brigadier Fowkes participated in the East African Campaign commanding 22nd East African Brigade, part of Lieutenant-General Alan Cunningham's force based in Kenya. In August 1941 he was placed in temporary command of the 12th African Division and was confirmed in the role the following month. In November he led his division, supported by Ethiopian patriot forces in the final action of the East African campaign, the capture of Gondar on 27 November.[2]

After the campaign Fowkes remained in East Africa on garrison duties until April 1943 when he was appointed to command 11th (East Africa) Division. It had been felt by the British authorities that African soldiers would be well suited to jungle warfare and so the division was sent in June 1943 to Ceylon for training and then in June 1944 to Burma to join Indian XXXIII Corps and take part in the Burma Campaign.[2] From then until December, fighting in horrendous terrain through the monsoon (because African soldiers were thought to be less susceptible to malaria - which proved to be the case), the division fought in the notorious Kabaw Valley and cleared the west bank of the Chindwin river establishing three bridgeheads for Fourteenth Army on the other side. The division was then withdrawn to India to regroup and rest. Fowkes fell ill and was sent on leave at the end of 1944 to recuperate. Neither the division nor Fowkes saw any further action during the war and Fowkes retired from the army shortly after the war ended.[3]

Originally commissioned into the South Wales Borderers, Fowkes was promoted to Major-General in 1941. He received the DSO for his efforts in the East African Campaign.[1]

Command history[edit | edit source]

  • Commanding Officer, Southern Brigade, Kenya - 1936 to 1939
  • Commanding Officer, 2nd East African Brigade, East Africa - 1939 to 1940
  • Acting General Officer, Commanding 2nd African Division, East Africa - 1940
  • Commanding Officer, 2nd East African Brigade, East Africa - 1940
  • Commanding Officer 22nd East African Brigade, East Africa - 1940 to 1941
  • Acting General Officer Commanding, 12th African Division, East Africa - 1941
  • Commanding Officer, 22nd East African Brigade, East Africa - 1941
  • Acting General Officer Commanding, 12th African Division, East Africa - 1941
  • General Officer Commanding, 12th African Division, East Africa - 1941 to 1942
  • General Officer Commanding, 12th African Division, East Africa - 1942 to 1943
  • General Officer Commanding, 11th (East Africa) Division, East Africa, Ceylon, and Burma - 1943 to 1944
  • Retired - 1946

See also[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: A biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount. pp. 544 pages. ISBN 978-1-86227-431-0. 

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "No. 35396". 26 December 1941. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35396/supplement/ 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mead (2007), p.142
  3. Mead (2007), p. 143

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