ROLFE, Pelham George

Cadet, Pelham George ROLFE
Aged 14
1124 Squadron (Mildenhall), Air Training Corps
Wounded and died through Enemy Action on Monday, 19th March 1945

Born in West Row on 6th March 1930 (Mildenhall Q3-1930 4A:1577), son of Frank Frederick and Doris Evelyn ROLFE (née FORD) of "Wanda", West Row. He had left school and was working for Newman Ford, driving a tractor and ploughing. Like many of the ATC cadets, he was keen on boxing The family were still at the same address in 1939, father Frank [24-11-1898] a smallholder/auxiliary postman; mother Doris [4-11-1902]. There is one closed record.

On Saturday 17th March 1945 another West Row cadet, Ronnie Rolfe was competing in a boxing match at RAF Bircham Newton and several of the cadets went to watch him. They travelled in what they called the Pneumonia Truck,the ubiquitous RAF lorry with canvas sides and no heaters. It was a happy group that started for home after Ronnie had won that evening, but a low flying German raider, a Messerschmidt Me 110, strafed the lorry. Pelham was found to be wounded and was taken to hospital in King's Lynn. His parents were able to visit him on the Sunday. His father had to leave to tend his animals, but his mother remained with him and was with him when he died on Monday. Pelham was given a military funeral in front of 500 mourners, a guard of honour of his ATC squadron, his coffin being borne by other members of his squadron.
My thanks go to Una Jenkins, authoress of "West Row Girl in Wartime" for allowing me to use some details from her book

Pelham Rolfe is buried in West Row (St.Peter's) Churchyard
and commemorated on the war memorial in Mildenhall

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

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