Private 40098 Rowland Fellows

 Fellows Rowland 96 417x600

Killed in Action on Thursday, 31st August 1918, age 20.
Commemorated on Panel 9 of Vis-En-Artois Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

1st Bn., North Staffordshire Regiment. 72th Brigade of 24th Division.
Formerly 31234 South Staffs Regiment.

Son of Mrs Hannah Florence Fellows, of 80, High St., Princes End, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Coseley, Enlisted: Lichfield, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the St. John's, Woodsetton, and Christ Church, Coseley memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1742308/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
71 High Street, Princes End, Tipton, Staffs.
Edward Fellows (32, Carter at Sheet and Ironplate Works, born Coseley), his wife Hannah Florence (28, born Coseley), and their 3 children: Elias (7, born Coseley), Rowland (3, born Coseley), George Wilkes (1, born Coseley).

1911 Census
71 High Street, Princes End, Tipton, Staffs.
Edward Fellows (43, Carter, born Coseley), his wife Hannah Florence (40, born Coseley), and their 5 children: Elias (17, Clothier's Errand Boy, born Coseley), Rowland (13, born Coseley), George Wilkes (11, born Coseley), Thomas Darby (5, born Coseley), and Edward (3 months, born Coseley).

Personal Data

After Rowland's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/5/11d (3 pounds, 5 shillings and 11 pence), this was paid to his mother, Hannah F., in December 1918. His War Gratuity was £8/10/0d (8 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Rowland had enlisted in approximately August 1916.

Action resulting in his death

On 20th August 1918, the 1st North Staffs took over a front line sector about half a mile north of Lens in French Flanders. They remained here until relieved on 31st August. This was a relatively quiet tour of the front line, except for a trench raid planned on the 25th August and carried out on the 30th/31st August.

The Operation Order said that the raid on the German trenches (known as Cinnabar Trench) was to take place on 31st August at 00.15hrs. 2 platoons of 'C' Company, under the command of 2nd/Lieuts Crawford and Cowden, were to enter the German trenches. The objective was "to capture prisoners, secure identification, kill Germans, and destroy enemy dug-outs".

The War Diary for the 30th records "Two platoons of 'C' Company raided the enemy trenches, no identification was obtained. 2nd/Lieuts Crawford and Cowden were in charge of the party. Our artillery barrage fell short and interfered with the enterprise. Casualties: 2 killed, 1 missing. 4 wounded". No further mention was made of the raid in the War Diary.

It would seem that the raid was unsuccessful as no mention is made of prisoners, or destruction of dug-outs. It is possible that the North Staffs casualties were caused by our own artillery "our artillery barrage fell short", but we cannot be certain. The 2 men killed and 1 man missing would appear to be the 3 men of the 1st North Staffs recorded as killed on 31st August. They are Private Clark, Sergeant Schofield and Tipton man Private Rowland Fellows. None of the 3 has a known grave, and they are commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 3rd October 1918
North Staffords, Fellows, 40098, R., (Tipton).