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Rowland was born in Wolverhampton in 1899, the son of William and Sarah Hill. In 1901 they were living at 223 Trysull Road, Penn, Wolverhampton, along with Rowland’s sister, Elizabeth. They were at 12 Trysull Road in 1911, and Rowland had a brother, Clifford.

Rowland enlisted in the 17th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers (number 57363), but was killed in action on 10 September 1918 in France or Belgium. He is buried at Perth Cemetery (China Wall) in Belgium, and is remembered on the memorial at St Phillip’s, Penn.