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Born: 1 November 1895, Halifax
Address: 4 Bankfield Road, New Close, Shipley
Parents: Frederick George & Ellinor Gertrude
Siblings: Cyril, Kenneth, Frederick
Organisations/clubs: Saltaire Congregational Sunday School teacher
Rank: Sec Lieut
Rolls of Honour:
Regiment: Machine Gun Corps
Rowland Wilson
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Rowland was the eldest of four children of worsted spinner Frederick George Wilson and his wife Eleanor Gertrude. He was born in Halifax on 1 November 1895 and the family moved to Shipley sometime between the 1911 census and the outbreak of war On 24 November 1916 the Shipley Times & Express reported: Second Lieut Rowland Wilson, son of Mr and Mrs F G Wilson, of Bankfield Road, Nab Wood, Shipley, was on Wednesday reported as missing, a telegram to this effect being received from the War Office on Wednesday. Later in the day, however, another telegram stated that he had been found in hospital suffering from gunshot wounds in the head and thigh.
He joined the Officers’ Training Corps and was attached to the East Surrey Regt and afterwards to the Machine Gun Corps. He has been at the front for just over a month. A report into the Saltaire Congregational Annual Men’s Dinner, published on 19 January 1917, includes some remarks Rowland made in a speech. ‘He said that although the British Tommy might be “fed up.” He did not think that fact affected the work they accomplished.’ He then added a joke: ‘With reference to the statement (by an earlier speaker) that our soldiers
stick to anything, he quite agreed that when things were rather scarce in one quarter and not so scarce in another, people very often missed things (laughter). ‘He believed that Sunday school training was doing good in the army. The men liked to hear a really good man preach. ‘The “boys” in the trenches had always done their best to win the war and they would continue to do so. It remained for the people at home to emulate them. (Applause)’ We next hear about Rowland on 12 April 1918: ‘Mr and Mrs F G Wilson of 4
Bankfield Road, New Close, Shipley have received information to the effect that their son, Lieut Rowland Wilson, Machine Gun Section, has been missing since March. ‘Lieut Wilson, who is 22 years of age, was wounded and was for a time missing in November 1916. ‘An old boy of the Bradford Grammar School and Honorary Mathematical Scholar for Queen’s College, Oxford, he joined the Oxford OTC at the outbreak of the war, was commissioned in July 1915 and went to the front in October 1916. ‘He is a very keen footballer and is connected with Saltaire Congregational Church.’ Rowland’s brother, Cyril, also fought in the war and died in the 1918 flu pandemic.
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