Thomas Rowlandson (1882 – 1956) hailed from Willington and served with the 50th Northumbrian Division throughout the war. He’d served in the Boer War and thereafter continued his military service with his local Territorial Force, the 6th Battalion, the Durham Light Infantry (6/DLI), 309 Serjeant T. Rowlandson, 6th DLI (TA). He was mobilized 5 August 1914 when aged 32 and the following month was transferred to the Royal Engineers Signals and given the regimental number 1801 (later 463163). He entered France 18 April 1915 and served on the Western Front throughout the war. Whilst he did not come from one of the Gaunless Valley villages and was not in an infantry unit, he will have served with men from our district and his experiences will have been similar.
I thank Alan Stoker (Evenwood) for allowing me to reproduce his grandfather’s diary.
This section will take a similar format to the individual details of servicemen throughout this work then diary extracts will be provided in full. Some entries are difficult to decipher so please bear with us. Entries will be written out as close to the centenary anniversary as possible. Click on the section or month of interest.