Friday, 26 July 2013

R G Rawle

Reginald Garland Rawle
Born 1896 in Newquay, Cornwall, Killed in Action 23 November 1917 at Cambrai
Lance Corporal 202010 7th Battalion DCLI
Commemorated at Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France

Reginald was the eldest son of Lewis Garland Rawle and Mary Brenton Trembath.  The couple had married on 23 December 1893.  Lewis was a carpenter living in Newquay, Mary was a spinster living at Shop.  Both were 23 years old.  

By 1901 the Rawles were living at 8 Belmont Place.  A few doors away lived John Jacka, another carpenter, whose son Sydney was the same age as Reginald.  Both boys would lose their lives during the Great War.

The couple had seven children:

Reginald Garland
Florence Mabel  (17 Jan 1897 - 1979)
Gwendoline Violet  (1899 - 1935)
Robert Garland  (1901 - 1953)
Lewis Edgar  (7 Feb1902 - 1971)
Edna Mary  (15 Sept 1907 - 1972)
Dorothy May  (5 Dec 1908 - 1985)

In 1911, the Census recorded that Reginald was working as a Golf Caddy.  His sister Florence was a shop girl.

I can't find when Reginald joined the Cornwalls.  However, by 1917 he was with them in the front line at Cambrai.  The Battle of Cambrai was a British offensive, designed to surprise the enemy.  The 7th Cornwalls  relieved the 13th Green Howards in the front line trenches on 4 October 1917.  They were relieved on 16 October and then moved back to Bray a week or so later, possibly for training with the tanks which were to be used in the upcoming offensive.  On 18 November, the Battalion was again in the front line and endured a few days of heavy rain awaiting the onset of the Battle of Cambrai.

The Battle of Cambrai was a British offensive, which began at dawn on 20 November.  The Cornwalls would have left the trenches behind the wire-cutting tanks and alongside the fighting tanks.  A and B companies were successful in capturing their objectives, but C and D companies were hindered by problems with the tanks.  Despite this, the Cornwalls managed to capture around 150 Germans and kill another 50.  Their own losses were 61 wounded, 10 killed and 8 missing.  Following the first day of battle, the Cornwalls were dispersed in support.

By the 23 November, the weather was fine.  There was shell-fire from the Germans, but apparently no one was hit.  However, a barn in which some of the men were occupying was hit by three shells causing an evacuation.  There is no mention of anyone being killed, but perhaps this was where Reginald died.

No comments:

Post a Comment