Kenilworth Rugby Football Club members to be honoured at town's Remembrance Service

Lt Mike Fountaine
Lt Mike Fountaine

Paul Fountaine plans to lay a wreath on behalf of members from the Kenilworth Rugby Football Club at the Kenilworth Remembrance service.

Paul, who retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Army, will be representing military service members from the rugby club as he places the wreath at the Kenilworth War Memorial during the Remembrance Service on Sunday.

Kenilworth War Memorial

Kenilworth War Memorial

The wreath laying will honour all the rugby club members for their service, including those who gave their life serving their country.

Paul's late brother, Lieutenant Michael 'Mike' Fountaine, is one of seven people remembered by the club for their service.

Thirty years ago Lt Fountaine, who served in the Royal Marines, died during a Special Boat Service (SBS) diving accident in 1989 at the age of 26. Mike was the second oldest of four brothers, three of which played for the Kenilworth Rugby Football Club. Mike played colts at the KRFC.

Three of the four brothers also served in the military, including the eldest, Andrew Fountaine, who also served in the Royal Marines.

Bryan and Rosalind Fountaine holding pictures of their son, Lt Mike Fountaine

Bryan and Rosalind Fountaine holding pictures of their son, Lt Mike Fountaine

Lt Col Paul Fountaine said: “The rugby club is a great part of the civic fabric of Kenilworth with lots of young people so it's a great privilege to be asked to represent not only those that have fallen, but those that are still serving.”

All four brothers grew up and attended school in Kenilworth. But Mike was the first of the brothers to play at the Kenilworth Rugby Football Club.

At the time of his brothers death in the diving accident on June 5, 1989, Paul Fountaine had been serving with the 5th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, which was the Warwickshire Reserve Battalion.

Paul Fountaine said: “I think the experience of losing my brother actually brought into focus to me the importance of what I wanted to do.

Article in the Kenilworth Weekly News about Lt Mike Fountaine after the accident

Article in the Kenilworth Weekly News about Lt Mike Fountaine after the accident

“It was a strong calling of service. Service in support of others. I had a change of career path and decided to join the Army.”

Paul Fountaine went on to serve 22 years in the Army before retiring in 2012 as a lieutenant colonel.

Several other family members plan to attend the service, including Paul's parents, Bryan and Rosalind 'Ros' Fountaine along with their eldest son, Andrew.

Ros plans to plant a cross at the war memorial with the name of her uncle, Reginald Hoare, who died serving in France during the First World War on one side of the cross and her son's name, Lt Mike Fountaine on the other side of the cross.

Crosses at War Memorial in Abbey Hill of Kenilworth

Crosses at War Memorial in Abbey Hill of Kenilworth

Ros recalled: “He was a lovely young man. He was sporty and musical too. He had a private pilots license before he could drive a car.”

The late Mike Fountaine trained to be an officer in the Royal Marines with Prince Edward, and was later mentioned and pictured in a book entitled 'Prince Edward a Biography' by Ingrid Seward.

Ros also has two brothers who served in the military, and one her grandson, Jacob Fountaine, who was recently commissioned to serve in the Army's Royal Engineers.

The following ex-players will be remembered for their military service:

- Lt Terence Flynn, (Royal Warwickshire Regiment) aged 23, from Station Road, was one of three brothers who were all to die in the war. He was killed at Dunkirk in May 1940.

- Sgt Ronald Hope Meredith (RAF), aged 32, went to Bablake School and was captain of Kenilworth RFC in the seasons before the war. He died on active service in March 1942.

Lt Mike Fountaine

Lt Mike Fountaine

- Sgt-pilot Raymond W K Clarke (RAF Volunteer Reserve), aged 23, went to Bablake School and also represented Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Leicester. He was killed in early December 1938 before the war started when his plane nosedived half a mile from Ansty Aerodrome.

- Lt Arthur Geoffrey Davies, (Royal Artillery) aged 28, lived in Balsall Common but played for Kenilworth and died on active service on December 9, 1942. He is buried at Cromer.

- Also on the Kenilworth war memorial is Oscar Frank Wheatley. Although, he never played for Kenilworth RFC Oscar was the father of Chris and Mick Wheatley, both Kenilworth RFC players. He played for Coventry and Warwickshire RFC. Oscar was a Lieutenant-Commander on HMS Khedivi, an aircraft carrier. He was a pilot in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and was killed on 20th June 1945.

- A member, who didn’t die, but was awarded a Military Cross for conspicuous bravery was Second Lieutenant A. D. W. Ross of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

- Lt Mike Fountaine, (Royal Marines) aged 26, died in an SBS (Special Boat Service) diving accident in 1989.

Mick Wheatley, author of ‘Black & Blue – the History of Kenilworth RFC’, Susan Tall and Paul Fountaine contributed to the information gathered about the history of the club's military serviceman.