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stuart rowles

Walter Thomas Rowles - to Canada and back

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stuart rowles

Walter Thomas Rowles was born on Monday, 25th August 1884 at ‘No. 2’, Back of No. 32 Blythe Street, Birmingham the eldest son of Thomas and Sarah Rowles (née Tidmarsh).

He is listed in the 1901 census as a ‘Fruiterer’s Assistant’.
He is listed in the 1911 census age 26 and his occupation is still ‘Fruiterer’s Assistant’. He is living with his parents and brothers at 64 Winfield Street, Rugby, Warwickshire.


He emigrated to Canada on the vessel “Tunisian”, arriving at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on  28th April 1912. He gave his occupation in England as ‘Fruiterer’ and his intended occupation in Canada as ‘General Labourer’.He enlisted on the 3rd January 1916 in the 108th Battalion. (Selkirk & Manitoba Battalion).
He served in France between 21st April and 12th June 1917, when he was injured. His medical sheet states he suffered ‘Gunshot Wounds’ at Vimy Ridge on 3rd June 1917.
They also state that at the time he was serving with the 16th Battalion. He was invalided to Canada on 29th December 1917 sailing on the H.S. “Araguaya”.
After arriving home Walter received medical treatment on his wounds for many months. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.


An article from the Manitoba Free Press dated 17th January 1918 reads: 'WOUNDED HEROES WELCOMED HOME'
Although 11 hours late, scores of Winnipeg residents waited on the platform to welcome 81 of her soldiers from the War. The second man to step from the train was Pte. Rowles who lives at 419 Redwood Avenue. He was wounded in both legs at Vimy Ridge on 3rd June 1917. He went overseas with the 108th Battalion.

A Winnipeg newspaper report dated 1920 states he was charged with a breach of the Tobacco Act and remanded in Police Custody. He is alleged to have sold tobacco to minors.

In the 1921 Canadian census he is living at 758 Corydon Avenue, South Winnipeg. His occupation is given as “Confectioner”. He is single and age 35.


At some point Walter returned home to England, and in the ‘1939 Register’ he is living at 17 Cross Street, Rugby. His occupation is given as ‘Fruiterer’

He died on Monday, 4th June 1951 at Warwick Hospital, age 66., age 66. He appears to have been unmarried.
His home address was given as 17 Cross Street, Rugby, now an electrical shop. His death was notified by his mother who was still living at 94 Cambridge Street, Rugby.


I have been unable to find where he was buried/cremated, so if anyone should stumble over his headstone please let me know.

Edited by stuart rowles

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