Posts Tagged ‘information needed’

The Fowler family of Pontypool

April 2, 2011

It’s quite surprising how many Pontypool people have gone to live in other countries. I know that two copies of my book were sent out to former Pontypool residents who now live in Australia. Earlier this week I received an email from a member of the Fowler family, Jacqueline Yallup. She happened to come across my blog and was thrilled to see the photograph of Fowlers’ shop and the comments about it. Her emails are self explanatory so I print both of them below.


“I am researching my Fowler family. I was so excited to come across you web page and to see a picture of the Fowler drapers, wow, to see what once belonged to the family and to read the comments.

I will be spending the day reading through all your blogs to read of life around Pontypool, a dream I always hope to reach was to go and see for myself, but becoming more crippled I fear a dream that will not be realized.

My great grandmother was Kate Gwendoline Fowler, daughter of Edwin Fowler and Edith Hesket. Kate married Stanley Copley. They settled in South Africa. My grandmother was not responsive in sharing information and so I know nothing of these families.

This web page is giving me some insight into Pontypool and its people.”


I replied to the above letter and received the second email below.



“Thank you so much for your reply. I would be delighted if you could post that up and perhaps someone out there will have some information.

I was born and raised in Natal, South Africa and we moved to New Zealand six years ago. It gave me a good insight into how hard it must have been for my great grandmother, being so far from her beloved homeland and family.

Stanley Copley was a surgeon. He was sent out to South Africa during the Boer War to the military hospital at Weston, Mooi River, Natal. He fell in love with Natal and while there applied for a practice license. He was granted this and returned to Pontypool for a short while after the war. I presume to sign off from the Royal Service and get his belongings and break the news to dear Kate. He returned to Durban, where some months later Kate joined him. They married in Durban. Must have been awful for her, strange town, very wild countryside, no family. Anyway Stanley went on to do very well for himself in Durban, was a highly respected surgeon as well as assisting to develop general sanitary conditions in the growing city. He served as Mayor for a term. After Kate passed on he moved inland to the area where his daughter was, Mooi River and where he served at the military hospital. He is buried not far from where the hospital was now.

I would be so delighted if anyone can share anything with me. I have been so enjoying reading your blogs this morning.”


So if any visitors to this blog know anything about the Fowler family or if they have any more photographs of Fowlers’ shops (either “Top” Fowlers or “Bottom” Fowlers), please email me and I will pass on the information, or photographs to Jacqueline. As she is now unable to visit Pontypool, perhaps we can export some Pontypool information to her in New Zealand.