Francis Edwin John Rowles
Francis Edwin John Rowles, known as Frank, was the second son of Edwin John Rowles and Ellen Mary née Coole, his elder brother being Richard William. The Rowles had been a sea-faring family for generations but Edwin was unfortunately drowned when his ketch went down in December 1910 during a gale. In February 1913, at the age of 16, Frank sailed from Liverpool to Canada on the RMS Victorian with the intention of being a farm labourer. His initial destination was Winnipeg, Manitoba, but family members believe that he lived rough and moved from place to place finding work scrub-clearing, on sheep farms and killing the rabbits that were decimating the crops there.
On 29 January 1916 Frank attested for the 129th (Wentworth) Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Dundas, Ontario, declaring that he was in farming and resident in Sheffield, in the same province. Frank gave his place of birth as Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland, which is at variance with other records, and a date of birth some two years earlier. His battalion sailed to England in August 1916, but Frank did not proceed directly from training to France; he served at units in Kent before joining the 1st Canadian Labour Battalion in the field in May 1917 with the temporary rank of sergeant. However, on 29 July he was hospitalised at Boulogne with trench fever, followed after treatment by some 7 weeks convalescence at Trouville. His return to duty was then short-lived, as by mid November he was diagnosed with tonsillitis and sent back to Birmingham for an operation. Frank did not return to France after being discharged in February 1918 - he served on at the huge Canadian training camp at Witley in Surrey, earning one 'Good Conduct' stripe, until his return to Canada in January 1919 prior to final discharge on 5 February. Frank was awarded a special 'Separation Allowance' of $20 per month, paid directly to his widowed mother, until her remarriage on 20 February 1917 to Oliver Camm. Frank’s service is commemorated on the plaque in Frampton Village Hall.
His future wife, Kathleen Doris Latty, emigrated to Canada in June 1920 and they were married at Galt, Waterloo, Ontario, on 25 March 1921; Frank was working as a machinist. They had two daughters, Diana Kathleen and Betty Joyce and the family visited Frampton in March 1932, sailing from New Brunswick to Liverpool on the SS Montclare. Francis Edwin John Rowles died in 1979, and was buried on 20th April at the Veterans' Cremation Lot of Woodland Cemetery in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.