1914-18          Rayne War Memorial       1939-45

In Memory of
Lance Corporal
G/29951 16th Bn., Middlesex Regiment
who died on Saturday, 9th December 1916.
Age 32.

War Graves
            Casualty_Details :       264637
Personal Information

Son of John and Fanny Rowe, of Wormegay, King's Lynn, Norfolk.

George was born in Wormegay and lived in Rayne at 3 Wales Cottage in Dunmow Road. George was a bricklayer’s labourer. Enlisted at Warley.

Married Constance Vale on 24 April 1908. They had five children, Stanley born on 20th June 1908, Percy,born on 30 January 1911, Cyril George born on 2nd September 1913, and twins Harold and Ronald born on 31st December 1915.. All attended Rayne School.

Also living with the Rowe family was Ernest French, the son of Constance’s sister who died in childbirth, and John Rowe, George’s brother.

In 2010, a grand-daughter of George Rowe was still living in Rayne.

Memorial: Grave
Reference/Panel Number:

A.I.F. BURIAL GROUND, FLERS, Somme, France V. C. 3.

A.I.F. Burial Ground is 2 kilometres north of the village of Flers, in the Department of the Somme. Travel south-west of Bapaume on the D929 in the direction of Albert for 6 kilometres to the village of Le Sars. Turn left eastwards on the D11 in the direction of Geudecourt for 3.5 kilometres to the D74/D197 junction. Continue along the D74 in the direction of Geudecourt for 500 metres when a CWGC signpost will be seen indicating the A.I.F. Burial Ground along a track to the right.

Flers was captured on the 15th September, 1916, in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette; it was entered by the New Zealand and 41st Divisions, following the newly-revealed Tanks. It was lost in March, 1918, and retaken at the end of the following August. The cemetery

was begun by Australian medical units, posted in the neighbouring caves, in November, 1916-February, 1917; and these original graves are in Plot I, Rows A and B. It was very greatly enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of 3,842 British and French graves from the battlefields of the Somme, and afterwards from a wider area; the great majority of these graves date from the autumn of 1916, but one is of 1914, and others of the spring of 1917 and the spring and summer of 1918.

There are nearly 3,500,1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these nearly two-thirds are unidentified and special memorials are erected to 15 Australian soldiers, five from the United Kingdom and three from New Zealand, known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials record the names of three soldiers from the United Kingdom, buried by the Germans in 1915-16 in a cemetery at Flers, who graves could not be found. The cemetery covers an area of 9,826 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall.

The following were among the burial grounds from which British graves were taken to this cemetery:-

FACTORY CORNER, FLERS, a little West of the crossing of the roads from Eaucourt-L'Abbaye to Gueudecourt and from Flers to Ligny-Thilloy. This place, which had been a German Headquarters for Artillery and Engineers and had a German Cemetery, was taken by the 1st Canterbury Infantry Regiment on the 25th September, 1916, and again by the 7th East Yorks on the 27th August, 1918. Fifteen soldiers from the United Kingdom and 13 from Australia were buried here in October, 1916-March, 1917, and in August, 1918.

NORTH ROAD CEMETERY, FLERS, North-West of the village, at the crossing of the Eaucourt-L'Abbaye road with "North Road" (to Factory Corner). Here were buried, in the winter of 1916-17, 13 Australian soldiers and seven from the United Kingdom.

Theatre of War

By December 1916 the Battle of the Somme was over, and George Rowe was a member of the Middlesex Regiment that was holding the trenches near the village of Flers. Although both the British and German Armies were now dug in for the winter, there were still an appreciable number of casualties each day.