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John Douglas Rowe was born in Wolverhampton on 5 November 1897, the youngest of the four children of William Rowe and Agnes Annie Nevitt. His siblings were William Henry in 1891, Thomas Sidney in 1893 and Gladys May in 1894. William Rowe was a vaccination officer. In 1901 the family were living at 99 Waterloo Road and in 1911 at 88 Waterloo Road. John Douglas was still a scholar on the 1911 census. His brother William was not at home on the census, Thomas Sidney was a paint grinder in varnish works and Gladys a typist for an iron and steel merchants.

John Douglas is on the Queen Street Congregational Church 1914-15 roll of honour. I have not been able to establish his link with the church, although a number of people from Waterloo Road attended. John Douglas joined up on 31 December 1914 (service number 81033) with the Royal Field Artillery 6th Brigade as a gunner. He was just 17. He went to France on 2 October 1915, and was discharged on 6 February 1919. He was awarded a Silver War Badge, having been discharged for illness. He received a pension the same day, and his illness was judged to have been aggravated by the war. He also claimed bad teeth but this was not accepted.

Between 1919 and 1923 he moved to 121 Cambridge Road, Smethwick. In 1922 he married Hilda M Downing and they had a son and a daughter. On the 1939 National Register he is a Superintendent School Engineering Officer living at 3 Benton Road, Middlesborough. John died in Wolverhampton in 1953.

The research for this blog post has been done by volunteer, Susan Martin.

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