Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
The list of The Fallen includes Private Frederick Rawlings of the 2/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment who lived at 10 Church Street and who died on 16th April, 1918, in France. This information is only partly accurate, reflecting the fact that he had left the area before the start of the war.
Frederick ROLLINGS was baptised at St Mary Magdalene, Bridgnorth on 5th December, 1880. He had been born on October 1st. He was the son of Edward Rollings, a miner, and his wife Mary Ann (Minshall) who had been married at St Leonards in 1861.
The family lived at 9 Ebenezer Row/Steps. They appear there in the censuses from 1871 to 1901. Edward's occupation is described variously as labourer, miner, well-sinker, well and pump sinker. By 1901 Mary Ann was a widow and it seems to be from about this time that the family begin to use the spelling 'Rawlings'. By 1911 Mary Ann had moved to the almshouses in Church Street. She may have been the Mary Rawlings who died in Bridgnorth in 1913.
Frederick Rawlings had left home by 1901. In 1911 he was working as a quarryman in Cleobury North. A short while later he moved to West Croydon, Surrey, where he married Daisy Whetter in June 1915. He was still living in West Croydon when he enlisted at Newport, Monmouthshire. He may have enlisted in the 2/7 Warwicks (as suggested in The Fallen), but by the time of his death he was serving with the 5th Battalion South Wales Borderers. He went to France in September, 1915, and was killed in action on 28th July, 1917 (not 16th April, 1918) when his division was in the Ypres salient – shortly before the start of the Battle of Paschendaele. He is buried in Oosttaverne Wood Cemetery.
Sergeant Rawlings, 16113, (rank and number from CWGC and Soldiers Died) was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1915 Star.
BRIDGNORTH SOLDIER KILLED [Bridgnorth Journal, 11th August, 1917] Official confirmation has been received of the death of Private Fred Rawlings, 5th Batt. South Wales Borderers (son of Mrs. Rawlings, of 10, Church Street, Bridgnorth), which occurred in the early dawn of the 28th ult. He and his companions had been working in the trenches all night, and when returning towards camp the party was shelled on the road, Private Rawlings being killed instantaneously, whilst several others of the party were wounded. The Rev. H. H. Noble, chaplain to the battalion writes to the widow a very sympathetic letter, in which he says:- “We are all very sorry for you in your grief. Your husband was a good soldier, and earned the esteem and affection of his comrades. We buried him soon after seven o’clock that morning in a cemetery near the place where he was hit, together with a number of soldiers of another regiment who were also killed during the same night or at dawn. These men who give their lives are heroes indeed, for they are paying the price of Britain’s liberty and of the freedom of the world. ‘Underneath are the everlasting arms’ of God. May this thought help you in these bitterly sad days.”
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.