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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Help Researching a 1st Leeds Pals Man.

John Beech

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Afternoon All


I am currently research the men of 156th Protection Company RDC who acted as camp guards at Donington Hall and Kegworth POW Camps on the Notts / Derbys./ Leics. border and have come across a man who I am trying to establish served at the camps with 156th Protection Company.


15/112 Private Rowland (Roland) Burnell was born in Bramley, Leeds on 29th July 1895 and was an early recruit to the 1st Leeds Pals, 15th West Yorks, the Gratuity Calculator suggests he enlisted around 20th October 1914. He travelled to Egypt with them arriving in early December 1915 before transferring to France in March 1916.  I am assuming he was involved with the attack at Serre on 1st July, as he arrived back in the UK suffering from shell shock on 9th July 1916.


He returned to France in November 1916 and was initially being posted to the 9th (Service) battalion before transferring to the 2nd Battalion. He returned to the UK at the beginning of March 1917.

He appears to have then been medically downgraded and was transferred to the Royal Defence Corps as 70588 Private and is shown as being with 157th Protection Company on both Register of Soldiers Effects and CWGC. 157th Protection Company provided guards for the No.6 Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell on the edge of Nottingham, and whilst he could have been treated at either of the camps hospitals, he would have been able to be treated more locally. Registers of Soldiers Effects lists him as dying at Kegworth Camp on 19th October, with his death being registered at Loughborough, the registration district for both camps.


I am hoping someone with an interest in the Leeds Pals may have more information on his RDC service.


Thank you in anticipation






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