No.18335, Private, Joseph RAWLINSON
Aged 37

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 20th July 1917

Joseph Rawlinson was born in Poslingford on 18th July 1879 (Risbridge Q3-1879 4A:503), son of William and Elizabeth RAWLINSON (née RAMPLING)
The surname on official documents is continually changing, Rawlinson, Rawlingson, Rollinson, but the family in all cases comprises the same group. The only item that jars is the birth registration is late 1879 and that does not tie in with the census age, but it seems the baptismal date was been used for some reason at the 1881 census. The baptism record clearly shows birth on 18th July 1879 and baptism on 2nd May 1880 in St Mary's Poslingford

1881 census...Aged 11 months, he was at New England, Poslingford with his father William ROLLINSON [43] labourer; his mother Elizabeth [44]; brothers Charlie [18], John [16] both labourers and Alfred [11]; sisters Emma [6], Elizabeth [4] and Kate [2].All were born in Poslingford, all Rollinson..

1891 census...Aged 11,he was at New England, Poslingford with his parents (mother recorded as born in Hawkedon) and sister Elizabeth. All Rawlinson.

1901 census...Aged 21, a coal carman, he was lodging with the Blackman family at 95 Bovill Road, Lewisham. His parents and sister Elizabeth were in New England, Poslingford, all RAWLINSON, and mother recorded as Hawkedon born

In Q4-1902 in Lewisham, Joseph Rowlinson married Rose Ellen GARWOOD [3-6-1879]. His father died in 1904. Sister Elizabeth then married Frederick BIGG and in 1911, Joseph's mother was living with the BIGG family in Knettishall near Thetford.

1911 census...Aged 31, a farm labourer, he was at The Street, Poslingford with his wife Ellen Rose [31] born Cavenham, Suffolk and their daughters Doris Rose (15-7-1904-1989), Lottie Nellie Ethel (22-6-1906-1993) and Kathleen Annie (11-6-1908-1995) and son Joseph William (4-1-1911-1982)

THere was one more daughter, Mary Minnie [24-2-1913]. Rose Ellen married John F. BARTON in Q3-1918 and lived at Blacksmiths Hill, Bully Green, Poslingford.

He enlisted in Clare.
On the 20th July, during the Battle of the Somme, the 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment were assembled and deployed in Pont Street, taking part in the renewed attacks on Longueval and Delville Wood. The artillery barrage lifted while it was still dark and the advance began. Again, from Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" :-
The two Suffolk companies in the forward line moved in double lines of platoons with a front of 140 yards each. Much bitter fighting followed, which, though indecisive locally, enabled a footing to be gained in High Wood by a division containing another Suffolk battalion - the 4th, and the British line to be linked up thence with Longueval. The casualties in the 2nd battalion were heavy...."
In fact 113 were killed and 88 of these have no known grave. The 4th battalion lost 31.

Joseph found in this area and re-interred in cemetery after the war

photo: Rodney Gibson

Joseph Rawlinson is buried in Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval grave 2:K:7

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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