Biography of Private Herbert Rowe (241661)
2nd/5th Bn Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment
Died 3rd May 1917


  • Name: Harry Herbert Rowe
    Date of birth: 1888
    Place of Birth: Thurlby, Lincolnshire, England
    Date of Birth Registration: July – September 1888
    Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England

  • Name: Henry Rowe
  • DOB: 1847
  • Place of Birth: Thurlby, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Farm labourer

  • Name: Emily Kemp
  • DOB: 1856
  • Place Of Birth: Laxfield, Suffolk, England
  • Marriage: 1887 Bourne District

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • Harry Herbert Rowe, 1888, Thurlby
  • William Henry Richard Rowe, 1890, Thurlby
  • Mable Ellen Rowe, 1893, Thurlby
  • Unnamed Male, 1895, Thurlby (Died 1895)

  • 1891: Herbert is living with his parents in Station Street, Thurlby, Lincolnshire
  • 1901: Herbert is living with his parents in Station Road, Thurlby, Lincolnshire
  • 1911: Herbert is living with his parents in Station Street, Thurlby, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 22 and he is listed as a Waggoner on farm.

Relatives in services

  • Herbert’s cousin Walter Needham also fought and was killed in WW1. Walter can be found on our pages dedicated to the Bourne War Memorial and Thurlby War Memorial.

  • No marriage for Herbert has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.

Newspaper Mentions

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 18th November 1916
    This Tribunal met at the Board-room on Tuesday.
    Mr. K. R. Binns presiding, there being also present – Major Dove (Military representive), Mrs. Birch Reynardson, Mrs. Jones, Dr Galletly, The Rev. S. W. Skene. and Messrs. Plowright, Doggett, Deam, Knott, Bainbridge, Turner, and Clarke, with Mr. C. A. Hunt (Deputy Clerk).  In all, 66 cases came up for consideration, of which 23 appeals were refused 25 were granted temporary exemption, 10 conditional exemption, 5 abeplute exemption and 3 cases were withdraw.  In 23 of the cases, The military applied for them to be reconsidered, the result being that in several instances where the exemption it was now withdrawn and the military application allowed.  The following were the results:-
    Refused – Fredk. Coverley, Corby;  Fred Lupton, Little Bytham;  Edward Smith, Pointon Fen;  Wm. Haddon, Toft;  W. Beeby, Baston;  Jas. Smart, Billingborough Fen;  G. T. Tyler, Thurlby; and Hy. Rowe, Northorpe, all horsemen;  T. H. Coddington, Billingborough;  T. J. Peasgood, Irnham;  F. Geeves, Market Deeping; and C.G. Marshall, Kirkby Underwood, all. labourers;  T. Tilley, Thurlby, and T Rhodes, Thurlby, balers;  J. H. Lane, Deeping Gate;  J. W. Sentance, Billingborough; and G. H. Freeman, Deeping St. James, engine drivers;  John Modd, Smallholder, Pointon Fen;  T. H. Gilliatt, horseman, Counthorpe;  C. S. Cord, waggoner, Swayfield;  J. R. Wand, waggoner, Dunsby Fen;  E. E. Harris, cowman, Castle Bythem;  A. V. Knipe, butcher, Baston.
    Temporary Exemption – J. R. Oldfield, wheelwright, Castle Bytham;  W. Wyles, horseman, Folkingham;  T. Booth, horseman, Haconby Fen;  W. E. Hawkins, horseman, Swinstead;  Jno. Lane, engine driver, Deeping St.  James; C. H. Harris, engine driver, Pointon;  E. W Parsons, butcher, Corby;  G. B. Rowlett, baker, Northorpe;  T. H. Sharpe, coal carter, Little Bytham;  H. Bristow, gamekeeper, Grimsthorpe;  F. P. Franks, farmer, Rippingale;  Geo. Franks, farmer, Rippingale;  A. R. Marshall, farmer, Corby;  G. Barnard, farmer, Bulby;  W. Medwell, farmer Little Bytham;  W. Daffin, farmer, Billingborough Fen;  C. T. Collin, labourer, Langtoft;  W. S. Ladson, cowman, Carlby;  W. Gaunt, shepherd, Irnham Lodge;  Charles Smith, yardman, Pointon Fen;  Y. Goodacre, watchmaker, Billingborough;  F. Simpson, draper, Deeping St. James;  J. S. Simpson, horseman, Irnham;  R. Vickers, saddler, Billingborough;  Geo. Wyer, carter, Haconby.
    Withdrawn – C. R. Green, horseman, Aslackby Fen;  G. E. Willson, horseman, Langtoft;  C. Sculthorpe, horseman, Deeping St. James.
    Conditional Exemption – A. W. Harwood, bricklayer, Corby;  Jas. Scampion, waggoner, Corby;  J. Hudson, baker, Castle Bytham;  H. J. Taylor, miller, Deeping St. James;  F. Poll, farmer, Aunby;  A. Tomlin, hay presser, Market Deeping;  J. Chamberlain, gardener, Swinstead;  J. Harrison, baker, Swinstead;  J. Blessett, horseman, Market deeping;  W. H. Wilson, grocer, Billingborough.
    Absolute Exemption – W. Lambert, timber carter, Corby;  H. Adcock, engine driver, Corby;  J. W. Batterham, farmer, Rippingale;  W. parker, farmer, Rippingale.


  • Grantham Journal Saturday 9th June 1917
    REPORTED MISSING – The sad news has reached Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rowe, of Northorpe, that their son, Herbert, has been missing since May 3rd.  In the official intimation, the belief was expressed that he may be taken prisoner.  Pte. Herbert Rowe is a well known figure in the neighbourhood and has been a good worker at the Wesleyan Chapel, Thurlby in the Sunday School and Wesley Guild.  He also acted as poor steward, am office which has been held by members of the family for over twenty years.  Much sympathy is felt for the relatives in this trying time of anxiety and suspense.

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found
Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that Private Herbert Rowe, 241661, 2nd/5th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment was killed in action on 3rd May 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • Available

Effects left To

  • Father Henry

  • The British Medal
    The Victory Medal

  • UK:
  • Thurlby, Roll of Honour in St Firmin’s Church


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
  • In memory of Private Herbert Rowe, 241661, 2nd/5th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment who died on 3 May 1917
    Remembered with honour, Arras Memorial

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

  • Herbert enlisted into the army in Bourne but the exact date is not known although newspaper articles would suggest that he did not join up until the final weeks of 1916. His cousin Walter Needham also fought and was killed in WW1.
    Herbert’s military records have not been found and are most likely to have been destroyed in the London warehouse fire caused by the Blitz.
    As we are unsure of Herbert’s exact movements during the war we can only look at the movements of his Battalion during the final month of his life.
    2nd/5th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment
    62nd (2nd West Riding) Division.
    Battalion Diaries
    1st April 1917 – Behagnies
    Battalion moved from Achiet le Petit, Achiet Le Grand and Gomecourt into Behagnies.
    Battalion on working parties at R A ammunition dumps and roads
    2nd April 1917 – Behagnies
    Five men of C Company accidently wounded by explosion of bomb or hidden German device in billet.
    Battalion on working parties at R A ammunition dumps and roads
    3rd April 1917 – Behagnies
    German aeroplane destroyed two obversation balloons at Behagnies and though fired on escaped.
    Battalion on working parties at R A ammunition dumps and roads
    4th April 1917 – Behagnies
    Battalion on working parties at R A ammunition dumps and roads
    5th April 1917 – Behagnies
    Battalion on working parties at R A ammunition dumps and roads
    6th April 1917 – Behagnies
    Battalion on working parties at R A ammunition dumps and roads
    7th April 1917 – Behagnies
    Battalion on working parties at R A ammunition dumps and roads
    8th April 1917 – Behagnies
    Battalion on working parties at R A ammunition dumps and roads
    9th April 1917 – Behagnies
    Brigade practice attack for coming attack on Bullecourt
    10th April 1917 – Behagnies
    5am Battalion left for concentration of troops behind Ecoust ready to move through as advanced guard in the event of the Anzac corps, who were attacking, breaking through. Troops were ordered back at 7.15am as attack had been postponed.
    11th April 1917 – Behagnies
    5am Battalion again left for concentration behind Ecoust. Anzacs take both 1st and 2nd objectives but later in the day are driven out. Battalion with other units of brigade billet at Mory.
    13th April 1917 – Mory
    2ns Lieut Fisher and 12 other ranks along with similar parties from other units of the brigade, successfully fired BangaloreTorpedoes in the enemy wire West of Bullecourt. The Divisional Commander expressed his appreciation of this work.
    14th April 1917 – Mory
    Lieut L D Goldseller the battalion signal officer was mortally wounded whilst reconnoitring the German position South West of Bullecourt. He was accompanied by four battalion guides who were able to carry him back to Ecoust. As a result of this no 5036 Private E C Rust was awarded the Military Medal and no 5222 Pte C Crabtree and No 5100 Private C Chapman were mentioned in Divisional Orders.
    15th April 1917 – Mory
    Lieut L D Goldseller was buried by the Jewish Chaplain opposite Mory Abbye (B22a.6.8 – sheet 57c.N.W.
    17th April 1917 – Mory
    During the afternoon the emeny shelled the Eastern outskirts of Mory where the Battalion was bivouaced and caused casualties of 3 men killed and 9 men wounded in the Battalion. Camps were then moved into the open South of Mory.
    15th to 30th April 1917 – Mory
    Battalion was employed along with other units of the Brigade repaving Mory roads, the carrying of gas shells forward for special company Royal Engineers, digging in of cable between L’Homme Mort and Ecoust also on filling in craters in Mory and Ecoust.
    During this period special training was carried out in practicing the attack on the Hindenberg line at Bullecourt.
    1st May 1917 – Mory
    9am to 12.30pm Companies employed in making strong posts and specialist training
    2-4pm Companies went over miniature trench system of Bullecourt and studied the roads and trenches and barrage lines.
    2nd May 1917 – Mory
    9am to 12.30pm Interior economy and preparation for going into the line. Afternoon companies again went over miniature trench system of Bullecourt.
    9.15pm battalion marched to Ecoust (Embankment) where they drew mats for getting over wire, bridges for crossing trenches and bombs. They then formed up on tape line ref Map1:10000 Ecoust St Mein U26.d.9.9 to V26.b.7.1 all was completed by 1.30am and without casualties. Tanks followed the battalion down from L’Homme Mort to Ecoust.
    3rd May 1917 – Ecoust
    3.45am Zero hour, at Zero hour minus 8 minutes Battalion were moved forward to attack Hindenberg Line West of Bullecourt. A heavy barrage commenced at Zero. A company reached objective and held it until 4pm when they were counter attacked and bombed out, they returned on to embankment, B, C and D companies came under heavy shell fire, rifle and machine gun fire and were held up in front of Enemy front line trench, small parties holding out in shell holes until after dusk when they returned to embankment. Battalion suffered heavy casualties. The following officers were killed, Captain and Adj T Bentley, Lieut D Walker. Missing believed killed 2nd Lieut Jacobs. Missing Captain G Glover, Lieut G Ridley MC, 2nd Lieut E T Sykes, 2nd Lieut Heaton, 2nd Lieuts Darwent and Hutton. WoundedCaptain W Shaw, 2nd Lieuts Fisher A and Simmonds. Shell Shock Lieut K C Feathers and Captain Walker J.
    N.P Ot Men Killed 2, Missing 123, Wounded 275
    8pm Six posts were put out in W26C&D under Captain Goodall. Lieut Haigh went out with stretcher bearers to bring in wounded.
    4th April 1917 – Ecoust
    Battalion still holding the line, wounded dribbled in all day, shelling was heavy at night. Battalion were relieved by 2/6th and 2/7th Duke of Wellingtons and marched back by companies to Mory Cops into camp. During relief there were no casualties. Arrived Mory Cops about 2am next day.
    Herbert Rowe was presumed dead on the actions of the 3rd May 1917 when his Battalion attacked the Hindenberg Line at Ecoust in the same attack that cost the life of Baston man Ernest Turner.

  • WW1 Soldier’s Records (
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission