The Soldier Who Hid From The Germans In a Woman’s Wardrobe For Four Years.

by Daniel Russ on July 12, 2009

Trooper Patrick Fowler, Hid In A Wardrobe For 4 Years

Trooper Patrick Fowler, Hid In A Wardrobe For 4 Years

One of the funniest military anecdotes ever. It’s all true and Trooper Fowler lived in England until the age of 90, and died in 1961.

To avoid detection by the Germans, Trooper Patrick Fowler of the 11th Hussars hid inside a wardrobe behind enemy lines for nearly four years! He was cut off from his regiment at Le Cateau in 1914 and was eventually taken in by Frenchwoman, Madame Belmont-Gobert. At her farmhouse he was concealed inside a squat wardrobe, less than 6’ high. Two weeks later eight German soldiers were billeted in the house. They spent much of their time drinking coffee and gossiping in the very room where Fowler’s wardrobe was standing. Later the Germans required the whole house, so Madame Belmont-Gobert was forced to move to a small cottage. A German soldier even helped to move the wardrobe with Fowler still inside it to the cottage. Finally when Allied troops reoccupied the village in October 1918, Fowler emerged and, by coincidence, one of the first men he saw was one of his old officers from the 11th Hussars. Madame Belmont-Gobert was decorated for her bravery – she would have faced dire consequences if found harbouring a British soldier. The very wardrobe in which Fowler hid is now an exhibit in the Regimental museum in Winchester.

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