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Penzance war memorial names error to be corrected

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

  • Major Bob Harrison.

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THE names of four Penzance brothers – all lost during the First World War – are set to be correctly inscribed on the Penzance war memorial beside the Jubilee Pool.

The names of Bertie, Charles, Fred and Sidney Rowe had been written as Row, an error spotted by Valerie Mallett, of Camborne, a niece of the brothers.

She contacted local radio who called Penzance Town Council and in turn, they approached Major Bob Harrison, a retired Army officer from Mousehole, who has spent several years researching the names in the Penzance Roll of Honour.

"I have compiled a new, more detailed roll which is due to be presented, along with biographical details, including those of the Rowe brothers, on August 4 in Penlee Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary since war was declared," he said.

"It can be quite laborious finding things but it is really a question of knowing where to look."

The work to chisel in the 'E' at the end of the brothers' names will be carried out by Victor Cowley, from Long Rock Memorials before August 4.

The four who died in the service of their country were from a family of six brothers, their parents being Robert Steven and Elizabeth Rowe, whose family home was in St James Street.

Bertie served with the Mercantile Marine and was on board the SS Coath (Penzance) which was lost at sea through enemy action with the loss of 13 crew on December 13, 1916; he was aged 28.

The SS Coath was originally presumed sunk by a mine in the English Channel but is now believed to have been torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB-38 off Beachy Head, East Sussex, en route from Eastbourne to Le Havre, France with a cargo of arms and ammunition.

Charles was a Leading Seaman serving with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He died of wounds on November 18, 1916, aged 18 at BEF Casualty Clearing Station, France.

He had been wounded a few days earlier, fighting with the Royal Naval Division (RND) at the Battle of the Ancre, on the Somme. During that November the RND lost 100 officers and 1,600 men killed and 160 officers and 2,377 men wounded.

Fred was a Private in the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 82nd Brigade, 27th Division. He died from pneumonia at 82nd General Hospital, Constantinople, Turkey on January 13, 1919, aged 27.

Sidney was also a Private, serving 2/6th Battalion (Territorial Force) of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

He was killed in action on December 6, 1917 aged 23.

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