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William (Willie) Fowler was born in Renfrew on 4 June 1913. He was the son of James and Kate Fowler whose home was Calderbank, then a village near to Airdrie in Lanarkshire. James, from being a boy soldier, now worked for his grandfather in the local steelworks.
Willie’s early years were during the First World War. While his father was fighting in the trenches, Willie stayed for a time on a relation’s farm in West Calder. His schooling was at Airdrie Academy, where he developed a lifelong love of literature fostered by his use of his grandfather’s extensive library. Sportswise, he became highly proficient at football, acquired notoriety for the ferocity of his tackles, felling much larger men than his own diminutive five feet two inches!
He was awarded a Carnegie Scholarship to study medicine at Glasgow University, graduating in 1935. From there, he spent his residential year at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where his wicked sense of humour was often allowed full sway!
He worked then at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital as a registrar. It was here he met and soon married Connie Corris, a striking and determined redhead from the Isle of Man. She …
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