Name : Reginald Holland Rowell
Son of Robert Rowell and Selina Rowell (née Salter)(died 1891) of Lake, Isle of Wight.
Born : 1880 Sandown, Isle of Wight. (Date of Birth given as 12 September 1881 in Royal Navy records)
Census information :
1881 : Robert and Selina Rowell, with their children including Reginald aged '9' months, are at Newport Road, Lake. Robert Rowell is a Pensioner Labourer (Ag).
1891 : Robert and Selina Rowell, with their children including Reginald aged '11', are at Newport Road, Lake. Robert Rowell is a General Labourer.
1901 : Reginald Rowell, aged '19', is an Able Seaman on board H.M.S. Vulcan Torpedo Depot Ship.
1911 : Reginald Rowell, aged '32', is a Boarder with the Gray family at 2 Mount Pleasant, Sedgehill, Shaftesbury, Wiltshire. He is a General Labourer.
Service Details :
Private 15001 Reginald Rowell, 5th Bn., Dorsetshire Regiment.
Formerly 192473 in Royal Naval service.
Reginald Rowell enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd class in 1897, and attested for continuous service on 12 September 1899, for a period of 12 years. He was 5 ft 3 in tall, with dark brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. His date of birth was recorded as 12 September 1881, and place of birth as 'Loake' I.W. He was a Labourer.
His Service record [from The National Archives, supplied by Trevor Rowell] shows that he was rated Boy 2nd class on enlistment (15 Feb 1897), with subsequent ratings Boy 1st class (4 Nov 1897), Ordinary Seaman (12 Sep 1899), and Able Seaman (3 Mar 1901).
He served with the following ships or shore establishments :
H.M.S. St Vincent
H.M.S. Prince George
H.M.S. Duke of Wellington
H.M.S. Firequeen I
H.M.S. King Edward VII
H.M.S. Victory I
He was discharged on 18 Apr 1907, having completed a total of just over 10 years' service.
Trevor Rowell writes :
Reginald Rowell fought in several battles of the Somme while they were part of 34th Bde. 11th Div. The battles he took part in were:
The capture of the Wundt-Werk (Wonder Work)
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette 15 - 22nd September
The Battle of Thiepval 26 - 29 September
From the date of his death we believe he was killed first day of the battle of Ancre 13 - 16 Nov 1916 Details of the battle can be seen at:
Battle of the Ancre (Wikipedia article)
The 5th Dorsets were not in the official order of battle on that day but the regimental history shows that elements of the 5th Btn did take part.
I have found out that Reginald Rowell was a member of the machine gun section of the 5th Dorsets and this is how it all fits:-
A Machine Gun Company was attached to each Infantry Brigade and their subsequent Division. Hence the 34th Machine Gun Company.
Brigade attached to: 34th Brigade
Division attached to: 11th (Northern) Division
Formed from the:
Machine Gun Section of 8th Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers
Machine Gun Section of 9th Bn. Northumberland Fusiliers
Machine Gun Section of 5th Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
Machine Gun Section of 11th Bn. Manchester Regiment
Casualty Details :
Died : 13 November 1916, aged 36.
Buried at : Regina Trench Cemetery, Grandcourt, Somme, France.
Commemorated on these Memorials :
Lake War Memorial
Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake, War Memorial
Christ Church, Sandown, War Memorial
County War Memorial, Carisbrooke Castle.
Documents and Newspaper cuttings :
ISLE OF WIGHT MERCURY
Friday, November 24, 1916 Page 3
Official intimation is to hand that Private Reginald Rowell, 34th Machine Gun Co., son of Mr. Robert Rowell, of Lake, was killed in action in France on November 13th. He was aged 36, an ex-Navy man, and had seen fighting in Gallipoli, Egypt and France.
H.M.S. Vulcan Wikipedia article
Trevor Rowell (his great nephew) for TNA document and additional service details.
Janet Griffin for newspaper research.
Page status :
Page last updated : 16 September 2013 (added details from Trevor Rowell)