South Staffordshire War Memorials

Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.

Private John Stephen Rowley

John Stephen Rowley was born at Griffith Green, Claverley, in 1885 and was baptised at Claverley Church on 26th April. He was the son of John Rowley, labourer (later 'corn miller') and his wife, Sarah Ann. By 1911 the Rowleys were living in Pattingham.

John worked as a farm labourer until he was called up in March 1916. He joined the 9th Service Battalion (Pioneers), South Staffordshire Regiment. The pioneers were responsible for maintaining the battlefield infrastructure. It was a dangerous job and casualties were high. On 14th July, 1917, the 9th (Pioneers) were working in trenches at Dickebush when John Stephen was killed in action. The battalion war diary just reads: 'Night was quiet and all succeeded in doing good work.' John is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Private John Stephen Rowley, 241695, 9th (Pioneers) South Staffs Regt. was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. His brother Frank Rowley is also commemorated on the Pattingham War Memorial. Another Brother, Albert, is not on the memorial but is buried in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Grave in Pattingham Churchyard. Frank's youngest brother, Jesse, is named on the Roll of Honour in Pattingham Church. Jesse's military record has survived and shows that he attested 11 Dec 1915, was mobilised 6 Apr 1916 and served in the home theatre in various labour battalions, ending in the 423 Agricultural Company, Labour Corps. He was demobilized on the 4th March, 1919.

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.