According to the Midland Counties Express of 30 October 1915, Mrs Rowley, of 1 Bankfield Cottages, Bradley, Bilston, had four sons serving in the Army:
- William, aged 26, who had enlisted in the R.F.A. in January and was now in France
- John, aged 28, serving with the 7th South Staffords in the Dardanelles
- Samuel, aged 24 and serving in France with the 1/6th South Staffords
- Thomas, aged 20, who enlisted in September 1914 with the Northumberland Fusiliers.
These were the sons of John and Emily Rowley, living at Canal Road, Lower Bradley, in 1901, along with their sisters Emily and Susan.
William was born in Middlesborough in 1889. He married Martha Short in Dudley in 1910. In 1911, he was living with his wife at 36 Hill Road, Bradley. He was a Strip Mill Worker. I have not been able to confirm details of his military service or his death, but he appears to have survived the war.
John was born in Bilston in around 1888. I have been unable to confirm further details about his life or military service.
Samuel was born in Middlesborough in 1892. On 12 October 1914, he enlisted at Bilston with the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 3247). His trade was given as steel sheet mill worker. He served in France and Egypt. On 10 August 1918, he was gassed from mustard gas. until he was demobilised on 23 June 1919, when his address was given as 50 Hatton Street, Bradley. I have not been able to confirm further details of Samuel’s life.
Thomas was born in Bradley in 1886. He was the only one of the four sons named in the article to still be living with his mother in 1911, at No 6 Slater Street, Back Salop Street, Bradley. He was a Bolter Down at an iron works. On 15 September 1914, he enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers (number 20185), when his trade was given as iron worker. He served in France and was promoted to Corporal and then Lance Sergeant. On 12 May 1917, he contracted trench fever, and spent some months in hospital before rejoining his unit. He later complained “of pain in left side and dizziness also pain all over body and that he cant march”. He was discharged as being “no longer physically fit for war service” on 25 December 1917. He was awarded the Silver War Badge (number 313765) on 5 January 1918. I have not been able to confirm further details of his life.