Private Edmund ROWATT – Gresford War Memorial

Edmund Rowatt was born circa 1898 in Waterloo, Liverpool, the son of David Crawford Rowatt, a Tobacco Merchant born Scotland and his wife Eleanor, born in Liverpool, Lancashire. This is also  the census that David first appeared, age 11 months,  living at Kenilworth, Waterloo, Lancashire with his parents who were both age 26 years. There were 2 servants in the household.

By the 1901 census , the family had grown somewhat, but living at Waterloo Park, Waterloo, Lancashire.    Head of the household  and still a Tobacco Merchant was David Crawford Rowatt, now 36 years old as was  his wife Eleanor. Their family had grown with David, 10, Robert, 9, Marion, 7, James, 5, Edmund, 3, Eleanor, 2 and Crawford 9 months and there were now 4 servants.

The 1911 census shows the family at a different address, now 23, Esplanade, Waterloo.    David Crawford Rowatt, 46 and his wife Eleanor, 46 tell us that they had been married 21 years and 11 children had been born to them and all were still living. David, 20 and Robert, 19, both single and both Clerks to a Tobacco Merchant.   Marion, 17 and single, James, 15, Edmund, 13, Eleanor, 12 and Crawford, 10  were at School.   A new baby had joined them, a sister Jean age 1.   5 servants were in the household.

The family must have bought The Beeches, Gresford, which had been lived in on the 1901 census by the JAMES family, who’s son Alyn Reginald also died and is on the memorial and the gap of no children shown on the 1911 census between Crawford & Jean is explained by the fact that 3 children, Stewart*, Agnes, twins of 9 years and Allison, age 7 were being looked after at The Beeches, Gresford, by the the Coachman/Gardener William Holland and his wife Katherine, Housekeeper  and the Nursery Governess, Ada, age 40 and who also wrote out and signed the census.

*Stewart was to die age 17 in the December Quarter of 1918 (W.Derby  Vol. 8b Page 495)

His Attestation Papers tell us Edmund enlisted on the 31st August 1914 at Liverpool, he was 19 years and 130 days old. and was appointed to L/ Cpl, 23rd June 1915, and at own request reverted to Pte. on the 23rd August 1915,

He also had an attack of German Measles :-

Next paper – Casualty Form (Folder)

Sick from 12th April 1916 admitted to Highland C.C.S. then to the Isolation Hospital, Havre on the 14th April with German Measles – discharged to Duty 28th April 1916.   Joined Ex Isol. Hosp. 30th April , Estaples 30th April 1916, rejoined ex. 30 I.B.D. In the Field, 21st May 1916.   Killed in Action 30th July 1916. (See Folder)

Next Paper – List of Personal possessions:-

1 Compass, 3 Coins, Wallet, Pkt?, Motor Driving Licence, 1 Silver Wristlet Watch Broken, Protector, Note Book, Photos, 1 Silver Cig. Case.

Next Paper  – Description of Recruit.

Height – 5 feet  8and ½ inches

Weight – 140lbs

Chest Measurement when fully expanded – 38 and ½ inches, Range of expansion – 2 and ½ inches.

Complexion – Fresh

Eyes – Brown

Hair – Brown

Religion – C. of E.

Form signed on the 31st August 1914.

Next Paper – Conduct Sheet (Sheet destroyed 28th February 1918 – very faded, guessed at the date)

Place – Lark Hill Camp 7th September 1915, Pte. Missing Stables Parade at 2.30pm 7th September 1915 – Punishment – 3 days C.B. – date of award 8th September 1915.   There are more papers they can be seen on

Edmund Rowatt in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 tells us that his birth, residence and enlistment place was Liverpool, he was in the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment,

17th Battalion, Regimental Number: 15578 and he was killed in Action on the 1st July 1916.

Edmund Rowatt in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee and Administrator was his father David Crawford ROWATT who received £8 7s 5d on the 16th January 1917 and his War Gratuity of £8 10s on the 18th September 1919.

Edmund Rowatt in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995  (On the same page as his brother David who died on the 1st July 1916, 29 days between them!)

ROWATT, Edmund of 23, Esplanade, Waterloo, near Liverpool Private 17th K.L.R. died 30th July 1916 in France.   Administration Liverpool, 23 December to David Crawford ROWATT Tobacco Merchant.   Effects £727 15s 8d.

Sadly both brothers, David & Edmund died in July 1916, only 29 days between them, David dying first on the 1st July and then Edmund on the 30th July, so it must have been so hard of the parents and siblings of these 2 men when the dreaded news came through so close together.  Another son Robert had been in the war and been badly wounded, but survived and lived a long life after.

Looking at the censuses and the Attestation Papers, where he states he was 19 years and 130 days old, I believe that Edmund enlisted when he was much younger, probably 16 years old, Bless him.

However, sadly, by the end of 1918, David Crawford and Eleanor Rowatt had lost 3 sons.

Researched and compiled by Mavis Williams. Jan 2018.

Gresford War Memorial

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