The Rollings Family WWI

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The Rollings Family WWI

Postby id24211856 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:48 am

I am making enquireies into 3 brothers of the Rollings family who all fought in WWI and all attached to the Worcestershire Regiment.
1. (My Grandfather) Walter Hubert Rollings b.1889 Reg No 12585
2. Alfred Horace Rollings (Known as Horace) b. 1893 Reg Nos 12995 21310 and sometimes listed as 10232 for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. (I have copies of his Service Record)
3. Ralph Reginald Rollings (Known as Reg) b. 1894 Reg No 4586 and KIA 19th July 1916

From the information I have discovered so far, Walter is listed as belonging to 2nd Worcestershire Regiment and I know that he fought in the battle at Gheluvelt. I have not been able to obtain his service records but assume at some point he must have transferred to 7th Worcesterhire Regiment as Walter saw his brother Reg blown to pieces by an exploding shell and we know that REg was in the 1/7th at the time. I also have photos of him at a later date in "C" Company 7th Worcestershire Regiment at Kidderminster HQ with shooting trophies.
I have also discovered that Walter was Groom to the adjutant Captain B. C. Stenhouse-Clarke and that later (approx 1930's) was in charge of the "Cookhouse Crew" as I have a photo of him with his "Crew" taken at camp in Weymouth.
Walter was apparently wounded in action as shown by a vertical stripe on his sleeve in another photo, but where, when, and how, I do not know.

Alfred Horace Rollings (Horace), I have discovered, joined the army on 4th September 1911 and was originally in the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. In the Records it is noted that he served in Egypt from 22 Jan 1913 to 17th October 1914 and qualified during that time on 27th June 1914 for the Camel Corps. It would be interesting to find out what he would have been doing there.
He was transferred to 1st Worcester Regiment on 1st April 1912. He was transferred again to 1/Garr Bn Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry on (what looks like) 15th or 18th of April or November 1915.
On 1st June 1916 he was "discharged no longer physically fit for war service" due to the "loss of terminal phalanges of 1st and 2nd fingers of right hand. Capacity fro earning full livelihood lessened by one quarter." I have been told that this has been noted previously as a commonly self-inflicted wound but again I cannot establish whether or not this injury was obtained during action or not and if so where or when. It seems likely that this injury was obtained in action due to the following included in his records. In a letter stamped as being received on 12th August 1918 he writes "I understand by public notice in the papers that I am entitled to a certificate of discharge showing that I was honourably discharged, also a Mons Medal. Would be much obliged if you would kindly forward same to above address and oblige. Ea Pte 21310 AH Rollings. 3rd Res Batt Oxrford and Bucks". Although the letter was obviously written by someone else, he has signed it himelf as "AH Rollings K.C." If he was in receipt of the Kings Cross Medal it would be nice to discover where and under what circumstances he deserved this honour.

Ralph Reginald Rollings (Reg) was killed in action on 19th July 1916. I understand that the 1/7th Worcestershire Regiment was at the time engaged at Ovillers and assume that this would have been where he was killed. By his brother Walter's eyewitness account, Reg was blown to pieces by an enemy shell. I cannot find the record of his death certificate and wondered if any of his remains may have been found and buried. It would also be nice to know if his name appears on any memorial and if so, where would this memorial be located. He is listed in the Worcesterhire Regiment Roll of Honour but this gives very little information.

I try to make sense of the WWI accounts of the various battles but get confused over where the Battalions fit in when "Divisions" and different numbered "Armies" are referred to. Perhaps you can help make this clearer for me.

Any other information you can help me with would be greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely

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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:59 pm

Postby Kevin Lynott » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:49 pm

the following is an extract of some of the research I am doing of the men listed on the Kidderminster Memorial:-

ROLLINGS Ralph Reginald Pte 4586 1-7th Bn Worcs Reg 144th Brig 48th Div KIA 19-7-16 aged 21 years.
On this day the Bn was in the front line at Ovillers. Sgt Horace Taylor, Ptes George Adams, Harold Ayres, James Bourne, Francis Burry, Gerald Corbet, Edgar Goodwin and Sidney Manley all of the 1-7th were also KIA on this day.
He has no known grave and is commerated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.
He had worked at Rogers & Co Shoeing Forge, Bridge St. He enlisted under the Lord Derby Scheme and was called up on 1-12-16. The third son of Walter and Clara Rollings of 36 Clarence St. His eldest brother Pte 12585 Walter Hubert Rollings served in A Coy of the 1-7th Worcs. A second brother Alfred Horace Rollings who served as 12995 in the Worcs and 21310 in the OBLI was WIA on 15-11-14 10 days after arriving in France. He was discharged from the army on 1-6-16. His sister Elsie lived at Hockley St, Birmingham.

Most is what you already have, but it indicates that if the reports are correct there was nothing left to bury and he is commerated on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing. The other men listed are Kidderminster men listed on the Kidderminster memorial who were in the same unit as Ralph and were KIA on the same day.

Kevin Lynott
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Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:35 pm
Location: Worcestershire

Postby Mike Jones » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:51 am

Hello Tony,
To much to type in one sitting. So will do your Great Uncle Alfred Horace Rollings first. Your grandfather Walter, joined the Worcesters on 16th August 1911. Which was about two weeks before Horace joined his regiment. There is an accepted principle in the Army that an older brother can claim a younger for his regiment. I think that is what happened here. Walter claimed Horace for the Worcesters !
The 1st Battalion left England for Egypt in January 1913. They were due to stay for at least 4 years but war changed that. Whilst in Egypt most if not all the men were trained for the Camel Corps at the Cairo training school. If you click on the Battalion drop down at the top of the page, click on 1st Bn., then click 1914-1920 section. Lots will be revealed, including a foto of Horace! The whole Bn. is pictured, in small sections and in great detail. The 1st Bn. landed in France complete with Horace on 5th November 1914. This qualified him for his Mons Star. The Bn. direct from Egypt was badly effected by Frostbite in the harsh winter of 1914. At least 400 men had become casualties to frostbite and were sent back to England. Allan Parry has the casualty lists and will be able to tell you more.
A little about Walter before I go. Did you know that Walter's name is in Worcester Cathedral? It is written in Gold leaf on the Embarkation Roll of the 2nd Bn.. These panels are honoured and are a great source of information to researchers like myself. A question for you, please. How do you know that Walter was at Gheluvelt? I think he was but do you have some extra information?
Regards Mike Jones
Mike Jones
Mike Jones
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Location: Kent

Postby id24211856 » Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:31 pm

To Kevin and Mike Jones
Many thanks for the information, all of which has been very useful.
With regard to Mike's question about Walter. Walter was my Grandfather. My brother John was brought up by our Grandparents and was told by Walter that he was at Gheluvelt. I have discovered from Louis that Walter was Groom to the adjutant, Lieutenant BC Stenhouse-Clarke and from this website that the adjutant's horse was the first Casualty in the battle of Gheluvelt. My brother John told me today that our Grandfather Walter told him that he was holding the reins of the horse and that the Leiutenant was standing the other side of the horse when the horse got shot!
If either of you would like my e-mail address please contact Louis and he will be able to supply you with the details. I have also submitted photos for the site which Louis has said he will add in due course.
Always grateful for more information.
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:59 pm

Postby allanp » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:40 pm

Hi Tony

I have checked through the Worcester Herald Casualty lists and have found this information.

13 February 1915 edition
12995 Pte G. Rollings - Wounded

2 September 1916 edition
4586 Pte R. R. Rollings - Kidderminster - Killed

Regards Allan
12631 Lance Sergt George William Hill. KIA Vimy Ridge, 28 April 1916 3rd Battalion
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Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:51 pm
Location: Bromsgrove Worcestershire

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