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Rowland Charles Mason was born at Chesleigh, Edgbaston on 23rd December 1882 and was the only son of Rowland Mason, J.P. and Mrs Clara L. Mason. He was baptised at St. Asaph’s church in Birmingham on 22nd June 1883.

Rowland was 8 years old when the 1891 census was taken; he is found with his parents and two older sisters (Edith M. and Clara L.) at 52 Charlotte Road, Edgbaston with two domestic servants (one of whom, also called Clara, remained in service with the family for at least the next ten years).

He was educated at Edgbaston Preparatory School and at Malvern College (Lyon, 1897-99), where he was a House Prefect and was a member of the Public Schools’ Alpine Club, the Auxiliary Forces, the Red Rose, and the Junior Army and Navy Club.

By the time the 1901 census was taken he was head of the household living with his sisters and two servants at 13a Vicarage Road, Edgbaston. He was now employed as a commercial clerk.

At School he had been a keen member of the Artillery Corps, and upon leaving it to join his father’s business he took a commission in the Warwickshire Artillery Volunteers. After becoming an efficient officer in that corps he gave up business, and left the Corps for the Special Reserve, as it was his ambition to belong to the Regular Army. Ile joined the 3rd Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment as 2nd Lieutenant in February, 1911, being promoted Lieutenant in January, 1912, and went abroad with the 1st Battalion of the Regiment on 12th August 1914, with the 1st Division of the Expeditionary Force. He is found on the 1911 census at Bhurtpore Military Barracks at Tidworth.

For some years Lieutenant Mason had been Military Critic of the “Birmingham Daily Post,” and was the author of a handbook entitled “Hints on Battery Drill.”

Lieutenant Mason was present at the Battle of Mons and then was wounded at the Battle of the Aisne on the 14th September, 1914 where he was brought home but died at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley on the 30th of the same month. It was found that the force of the piece of shrapnel which wounded him had driven a portion of his identity disc into his lung.

The 1st Battalion War Diary for the action on 14-15 September is shown below;

His Commanding Officer in France, writing to express to Lieutenant Mason’s parents the sympathy of the surviving officers, said;

“Your son received his mortal wound at the head of his men in the thickest of the fighting on the 14th September. More can be said of no one. We honour him.”

His father wouldn’t have received this letter as he had died eight days earlier. Rowland Charles Mason left unsettled property of the gross value of £28,351 with his net personalty amounting to £15,125.

Rowland Charles Mason was buried at St. Bartholomew Church in Edgbaston on Monday 5th October 1915 with several thousand people reportedly attending his funeral. The Union Jack covered his coffin and the lid bore his helmet and sword.

Rank: Lieutenant
Date of Death: 30/09/1914
Age: 31
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 3rd Bn. attd. 1st Bn.
Cemetery: EDGBASTON (ST. BARTHOLOMEW) CHURCHYARD

Sources: 

  • “The Malvernian,” – Malvern College magazine
  • THE BOND OF SACRIFICE VOLUME I – August to December 1914 – page 258
  • Birmingham Mail, 5 Oct 14
Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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