Frank Rolfe

Village memories: Loudwater (picture from SWOP website)

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Lance Bombardier 66251 Royal Field Artillery D Battery 107th Brigade
Died of illness on 27th January 1919 aged 27
Remembered with Honour at Tournai Communal Cemetery Allied Extension, Belgium
Grave reference IV.J.6.

Frank was born in 1892 in Beaconsfield to William and Mary Ann. By 1911 the family were living at Baken Yard, Beaconsfield. William's occupation was listed as painter and Frank as gardener. Two older and one younger brothers were labourers and younger sister Cissy was still at school. By the beginning of WWI the family had moved to The Bungalow in Station Road, Loudwater.

Frank enlisted in the 107th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery and was attached to 'D' Battery although the date and place of enlistment are unknown. Brigades were usually referred to by Roman numerals, ie CVII Brigade and it was formed as part of the raising of the Third New Army, K3 but is sometimes referred to as 107 Brigade RFA. The Brigade was originally comprised of A, B, C and D Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. The batteries were all armed with four 18-pounder field guns. After undergoing initial training at Aldershot, the Brigade was sent to France in 1915 to be incorporated into the 24th Division where it remained throughout the war.

The Division served on the Western Front for the remainder of the war, taking part in many of the significant actions including the Battles of the Somme and the Battle of Cambrai in 1918. When the Armistice came into effect at 11am on 11 November 1918 the units of the Division were holding positions 1.5 miles east of the Maubeuge-Mons road. Between 17-19 November they moved back to the area between Denain and Douai and 25-27 November went to the area St Amand-Orchies. On 18 December the Division moved once more, to Tournai. Demobilisation began and by 26 March 1919 only cadres were left. In all the 24th Division had suffered the loss of 35,362 killed, wounded and missing.

Frank died from illness on 27th January 1919 aged 27 at Casualty Clearing Station number 51 at Tournai, Belgium. He is remembered with honour at the Tournai Communal Cemetery Allied Extension, grave reference IV.J.6.

Additional information taken from the Buckinghamshire Remembers website:
Name Frank ROLFE
Rank/Number Lance Bombardier 66251
Regiment Royal Field Artillery D Bty 107th Bde
Age/Date of death 27 27 Jan 1919
How died/ Died of illness France & Flanders
Last known address
Cemetery Tournai Communal Cemetery Allied Extension, Belgium
Grave or Memorial Reference IV.J.6
Location of memorial Loudwater
Date/Place of birth Dec qtr 1892 Beaconsfield
Date/Place of baptism
Pre-war occupation of Casualty gardener
Parents William & Mary Ann Rolfe
Parent's occupation painter
Parents’ Address (last known) 1911: Wycombe End, Beaconsfield
Wife’s Address (last known)

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