ROWE, Joseph Arthur

Private Joseph Arthur Rowe
19463 Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Joseph Arthur Rowe was born in 1895 at Totland Bay, Isle of Wight son of Joseph William Rowe born Somercotes, Derbys and his wife Elizabeth (nee Walters) born Plymouth. Joseph’s father served in the Royal Navy and in the Coastguard. In 1901 the family was living at 4, Coastguards Houses, Gosport, Hants. Young Joseph spent the early days of his life living by the sea but by 1909 his father had become a Naval pensioner and taken up civilian employment as a commercial traveller. The family moved to Market Place, Somercotes and then later to Sedgwick Street, Jacksdale.

Joseph attested on 6th January 1915 at Mansfield, aged 20, giving his occupation as collier. His height was noted as 5’8″ and next of kin as his father Joseph of Sedgwick Street. He served at home in the UK until September 1915 when he was part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force until April 1916. During his time in the Army Joseph suffered with bad health. In early 1916, whilst stationed at Mudros on the Greek Island of Lemnos he was admitted to hospital suffering with jaundice and on the 28th March 1916 he was invalided to India aboard HM Hospital Ship Formosa. 

Rowe JA HMHSFormosa Court rollofhonour dot com sml

Photo: Courtesy www.rollofhonour.com

In September 1916 Joseph went before an Army Medical Board and was found no longer physically fit for war service. He was suffering with chronic bronchitis and cardiac dilatation. The condition had originated in childhood when he had suffered from pneumonia and this had been aggravated by military service. The report tells that whilst in the Dardanelles, Joseph had been sent off duty with acute bronchitis. He had a chronic cough, enlarged thyroid gland and scars on both lungs. The condition was deemed to be permanent and he was discharged on 16th September 1916.

Joseph was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory Medals and Silver War Badge number 141638.

In 1917 Joseph married Florrie Jepson, born Ironville who had later moved to Albert Avenue, Jacksdale and in 1917 their son Joseph Arthur was christened at St. Mary’s, Westwood, parents’ address Sedgwick Street and father’s occupation noted as school caretaker. Despite his poor health Joseph continued to work but on 2nd December 1918  he died, aged only 23, cause of death influenza and pneumonia. His occupation at time of death was noted as coal miner dayman, not the best occupation for a man suffering with respiratory problems. On 7th December 1918 he was buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s. On the following day, 8th December, the burial of  his mother-in-law, Lydia Jepson took place.

Joseph’s  father and two of his brothers William and Albert Henry are also named on the Jacksdale War Memorial as having served.