ROWLINSON, Ernest William

No.G/9996, Private, Ernest William ROWLINSON
Aged 27

1st Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment)
Killed in Action on Saturday, 15th July 1916

Ernest William Rowlinson was born in Withersfield (Risbridge Q2-1889 4A:659), baptised in St Mary's Withersfield on 8th February 1891, son of Samuel and Jane ROWLINSON (née BROWN). Surname sometimes as RAWLINSON.

1891 census...Aged 2, he was at Willowbank, Withersfield with his grandfather George BROWN [66] farm labourer; his grandmother Susan [66]; uncle Harry BROWN [22] footman/labourer was visiting; his father Samuel ROWLINSON [27] farm labourer; his mother Jane [25]; sisters Kate [4] and Gertrude [2 months]. All were born in Withersfield.

1901 census...Aged 11, he was "near the Green", Withersfield with his parents (father now horsekeeper; brothers Harry [15] milkman on farm, William [5 months]; sisters Kate, Gertrude, Ethel [6] and Lilian [4]. Also there was his widower grandfather George BROWN . All were born in Withersfield.

1911 census...Aged 21, a barman, he was at the Unwin Arms, 163 Turnpike Lane, Hornsey (demolished in 1980's). Also there was Amy BATTY [60] cook, born Kilburn and her daughter Daisy Marie BATTY [20] born Tottenham His parents were still in Withersfield with his brothers William, Samuel [5] and Bertie [4]; sister Clara [1] )all born in Withersfield, and a William BROWN [48] recorded as groom in relationship column ?.
His parents later moved to Denmark Hill, Camberwell, London.

In 1915 Q2 in Edmonton, he married Daisy Marie BATTY [28-1-1891], later of 47 Lowth Road, Denmark Hill, Camberwell. and then The Cottae, Cross Lane, High Street, Hornsey

He enlisted in Mill Hill, Middlesex.
The battalion war diary :-
"15-7-16...Left at about 6:30 am for BAZENTIN LE PETIT village passing on our way through a gas cloud which made us all feel most uncomfortable. On reaching the church at BAZENTIN LE PETIT village "B" and "C" companies proceeded round the north side of the village, "A" and "D" going straight through the village. Arriving at the road running N and S past the EASTERN end of the village the companies deployed, "B" and "D" in the front line, "C" and "A" in support. on a front of 800 yards. The 1st Queens (100th Bde) attacked on our right and the 2nd Welsh Regt (1st Div) on our left. We had the 1/4th Suffolks in support with the 2nd Argylls and the 4th Kings in reserves. The first objective was the GERMAN SWITCH trench.On deploying along the road we found a party of the enemy in the N corner of BAZENTIN LE PETIT WOOD who fired into our left flank with machine guns and rifles and pointed out our position to their artillery by firing white and red flares over us. We also came under heavy field gun fire and howitzer fire as well as machine gun fire from the SOUTH principally HIGH WOOD which we had been informed was in our hands. Companies thus advanced with both flanks open and were held up on the crest of as slight ridge E of the village by heavy fire. We tried to dig ourselves in but were compelled eventually to fall back to the line along the road running N and S on the E side of the village. The 1/4th Suffolks fared no better the we, and the 100th Bde on our right were likewise unfortunate.
Our casualties were:
Officers; killed-6 wounded 7 total 13 Other ranks - killed 44 wounded 201 missing 63 total 308",

CWGC figures put the deaths at 102, of which 85 have no known grave.

the scene in 2014 and where Ernest was found
Found in a grave with six others, identified by titles,boots and a spoon bearing his number.
They were moved to London Cemetery in 1936.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Ernest Rowlinson is buried in Longueval, London Cemetery and Extension, grave 7:H:25

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

BACK to Withersfield home page