Rowley, Charles Pelham


He was the elder son of Admiral Charles John Rowley of Botley, Hampshire and Alice, daughter of George Carey Elwes, of All Souls College, Oxford. He came to Winchester from the Reverend R.S. Tabor’s school at Cheam and became a Commoner Prefect and a member of Sixth Book. He went up to Magdalen College, Oxford in 1896, graduating in 1900 with Honours in Mathematics. He rowed for four years in the Magdalen boat and in his last year stroked for the Oxford crew.

In 1900, he entered the Royal Garrison Artillery direct from the University and served for twelve years in India, where he became known as an excellent shot and a skilful photographer. At the outbreak of war he was at Tynemouth, and remained there for some months training detachments of the New Army. Early in 1915 he went to France and served through the Second Battle of Ypres; he acted for eleven months as Adjutant to the 13th Brigade, R.G.A., and returned home later to assist in the training of heavy artillery near Winchester.

By October 1916, Rowley was preparing for his return to the front. However, on October 29th 1916, the day before he was due to depart, he was accidentally killed at Botley whilst home on leave. An elm tree had been damaged in a gale, and some of its branches broken. Rowley, watched by his sister, was cutting the damaged boughs away when one fell on him and fractured his skull, killing him instantly. He was thirty-nine years old. He lies in the south-west part of All Saint’s churchyard, Botley, Hampshire. Inside the church, the last window on the south side (designed by S. Meteyard and executed by Messrs. Martyn) is in memory of Rowley and his father. It shows St. Michael with children, and was installed in 1920.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Rowley
  • Forenames or initials: Charles Pelham
  • House: C
  • Years in School: 1890-1896
  • Rank: Major
  • Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery
  • Date of Birth: 26th April 1877
  • Date of Death: 29th October 1916
  • How Died: Accidentally Killed
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer H6
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, BOTLEY, HAMPSHIRE