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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Albert Victor Rowles

In memory of:

Sergeant Albert Victor Rowles

September 6, 1917

Military Service


Service Number:

907950

Force:

Army

Unit:

Canadian Labour Corps

Division:

1st Bn.

Additional Information


Born:

June 30, 1876

Commemorated on Page 320 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY (ENCLOSURE 4)
Belgium

Grave Reference:

Enclosure No.4 II. D. 4.

Location:

BEDFORD HOUSE CEMETERY ENCLOSURE NO.4 is located 2.5 Km south of Ieper town centre. The cemetery lies on the Rijselseweg (N365), the road connecting Ieper to Armentieres. From Ieper town centre the Rijselsestraat runs from the market square, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort) and directly over the crossroads with the Ieper ring road. The road name then changes to the Rijselseweg. The cemetery itself is located 2 Km after this crossroads on the left hand side of the Rijselseweg.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Group Photo– Albert Victor Rowles and Sarah Rowles 
Regina, SK
Source:  Agnes May Cox Family

Albert Victor Rowles ventured from England to Canada in April 1910 on the S.S. Lake Erie and made the journey again on the S.S. Tunisian in March 1913. He settled in Regina, Saskatchewan, where he sought carpentry work and awaited the arrival of his English fiancée, the widowed Sarah Pearce (maiden surname Simpkins). Sarah emigrated from London, England, to Canada on the S.S. Victorian in June 1913 with two teenage children, Agnes May and Frank Pearce, and reached Regina about three months after Albert. They married soon afterward.
  • Group Photo– Albert Victor Rowles in his C.E.F. uniform with Sarah Rowles
 Regina, SK (1916)
Source:  Agnes May Cox Family

In spite of his age, Albert Rowles enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in April 1916 after less than three years of marriage to Sarah (Simpkins) Pearce.
  • Attestation Papers– Attestation Paper – front
Source:  Library & Archives Canada, 14 Oct 2014
  • Attestation Papers– Attestation Paper – back
Source:  Library & Archives Canada, 14 Oct 2014

When Albert Victor Rowles signed his attestation paper in Regina, Saskatchewan, on 27 April 1916, he was a 39-year-old married labourer and had served three years in the 20th Hussars in England from 1892-95.
  • Record of Service– Source:  National Archives of Canada, 26 Mar 1998

On 11 November 1916, Albert Victor Rowles arrived in England on the Empress of Britain and was taken on strength in the 32nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Sandwich, Kent, as Acting Sergeant.  On 28 November he was transferred to the 37th Battalion at Shoreham, Sussex, and on 18 December to the 1st Canadian Labour Battalion at Shoreham.  He was sent overseas on 8 January 1917 and confirmed as Sergeant in the field when he arrived in France on 11 January 1917.  Although he was not considered fit for duty in the trenches, no doubt because of his age, and worked on building railways behind the lines, he was killed on 6 September 1917.
  • Circumstance of death– Circumstances of Death
Source: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/mass-digitized-archives/circumstances-death-registers/Pages/item.aspx?PageID=84013

Transcription: At about 8.30 o'clock on the morning of September 6th 1917, Albert Victor Rowles was with a working party building Broad Guage[sic] Railway and gun spurs South of ZILLEBEKE LAKE, and West of HILL 60.  The area was under fairly heavy shell fire, and he was hit in the thigh and small of the back by shell fragments.  He died on the way to No.72 Field Ambulance about fifteen minutes after being hit and never spoke or regained consciousness during that time.
  • War Diary– War Diary of the 1st Infantry Works Bn (formerly 1st Labour Battalion)
Source: http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e059/e001461642.jpg

Report of Death and Temporary Burial of Sgt. A. V. Rowles

Transcription: 
Place: CHATEAU des TROIS TOURS – B.28. CENTRAL – SHEET 28 ¼0000 BELGIUM & FRANCE

Date: 6  9/17
2 officers and 231 O.R. working in daytime as per 5-9-17  907950 Sgt Rowles. A.V. killed – Hostile shell fire – Body left at MAIN DRESSING STATION, WOODCOTE HOUSE (I 20, C A.3  Sheet 28 ¼0000) 3rd Australian Field Ambulance for Burial - . . .

Date: 7  9/17
907950 Sgt. ROWLES A.V.  buried GUNNERS LODGE – (GRAVE – SERIAL NO. 392) SHEET 28 – I26  63.1. . . .
  • Grave marker– Gravestone in Bedford House Cemetery
Source: http://twgpp.org/information.php?id=3142275
Photograph and details by volunteer/s: TWGPP Volunteer/David Milborrow

Sergeant Albert Victor Rowles was buried in Bedford House Cemetery, Enclosure No. 4, in Grave 4, Plot 2, Row D, at Zillebeke, Belgium, one mile south of Ypres. He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and his widow received the Memorial Cross GRV (King George V).
  • Memorial Card– Memorial Card printed by Sarah Rowles
Source:  Family archives

Albert Rowles was very kind to his wife Sarah during their three years of marriage, and she was heartbroken when he was killed.  Her son by her first husband died in France in November 1918.  She lived on her own in Regina until her death in 1946.
  • Entrance
  • Cemetery
  • Cross of Sacrifice
  • Grave Marker

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