|Place of birth||Homebush, Victoria|
|Place of birth||Lower Homebush, Maryborough, Victoria|
|Address||Lower Homebush, Victoria|
|Age at embarkation||23|
|Next of kin||Father, John Rowlands, Lower Homebush, Victoria|
|Previous military service||Nil|
|Place of enlistment||Broadmeadows, Victoria|
|Rank on enlistment||Private|
|Unit name||31st Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement|
|AWM Embarkation Roll number||23/48/3|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Private|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||31st Battalion|
|Fate||Killed in Action
|Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)||*Stated to be Wesley Richard Rowlands on NR|
|Age at death from cemetery records||24|
|Place of burial||No known grave|
|Commemoration details||Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France
Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.
The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.
On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.
After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.
|Panel number, Roll of Honour,|
Australian War Memorial
|Miscellaneous information from|
|Parents: John and Jane ROWLANDS, 1 Pine Avenue, Mildura, Victoria|
War service: Egypt, Western Front
Embarked Brisbane, 3 January 1916; disembarked Suez, 31 January 1916.
Admitted to No 1 Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 7 February 1916 (enteric, serious); transferred to No 4 Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 19 February 1916 (mumps and influenza); discharged from No 4 Auxiliary Hospital, 4 March 1916.
Posted to 8th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 7 March 1916.
Taken on strength of 31st Bn, Duntroon Plateau, 1 April 1916.
Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 25 June 1916.
Reported missing, 21 July 1916.
Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 1 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 21 July 1916'.
Handwritten note on B.103: 'Buried in vicinity of Fleurbaix, Sh.36 N.W.'Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
|Miscellaneous details||Name entered incorrectly on Embarkation Roll as Richard Westley ROWLANDS.|
|Sources||NAA: B2455, ROWLANDS Richard Wesley
Red Cross file 2370602