Alan Percy ROSLING


ROSLING, Alan Percy

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Second Lieutenant
Last Unit: Unspecified British Units
Born: Ilkley, West Yorkshire England, 1897
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Wesley College Melbourne, Melbourne Grammar School, St Lawrence College Ramsgate England and Sandhurst
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in action, Bouchevines, near Peronne France, 4 March 1917
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France at Pier and Face 5 A and 6 C.
Memorials: Melbourne Grammar School WW1 Fallen Honour Roll, Thiepval Memorial
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World War 1 Service

4 Mar 1917: Wounded Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, Unspecified British Units, Killed in action.

Served in the British Army - Worcestershire Regiment, 1st and 5th Battalions.

Help us honour Alan Percy Rosling's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Daryl Jones


Who was killed in action in France on 4th March 1917 was the son of Mr. Percy Rosling. He was born in 1897 and was at the Melbourne Grammar School in 1913, and when his parents went to England at the end of 1913 he accompanied them. He left St. Lawrence College early in 1915, passing into Sandhurst by examination. He obtained his commission in September 1915 and joined the 5th Battalion the Worcestershire Regiment, at Devonport, where he became bombing officer. As he only reached 19 years of age in December 1916 he was not sent to the front until January 1917, when he joined the 1st Battalion. He was made bombing officer to his battalion, and was killed at Bouchevines, near Peronne, in the first serious action in which he was engaged. His Colonel wrote as follows: " Your son was killed in action on 4th March in an attack on the German position which was completely successful. Your son's conduct throughout until he fell was of the most gallant and inspiring description, and he fell whilst leading on his men in some hand-to-hand fighting with the enemy. Though your son had only been a short time with us, he had made himself universally liked, and assured his standing as a competent and efficient officer above the ordinary."

Source : War Services Old Melburnians 1914 – 1918

2ND LIEUTENANT ALAN PERCY ROSLING, 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment

At 5.30am on the morning of 4th March 1917 the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment rose from the trenches near to Bouchavesnes, just north of Peronne in the Somme area, to attack the German lines. The Worcesters advanced steadily behind a curtain of British shell fire called a 'creeping barrage' designed to protect the advancing troops. On this day the tactic was successful and the Worcesters reached the enemy positions relatively unscathed. As the British jumped into the German trenches bombing fights and hand to hand fighting broke out amongst the dugouts. One of the Worcesters platoons was led by a 19 year old 'rookie' officer Alan Rosling who had only been with the battalion for a couple of months and this was first taste of front line action. The battle was brief and vicious but the Germans were beaten and retreated. But the action was not without casualties to the Worcesters including young Alan Rosling who was killed.

Alan Percy Rosling was born in Ilkley in December 1897 and baptised in All Saints Parish Church. His parents Percy and Amy lived in a large house called Woodlands on Clifton Road with Alan and his two sisters.

In 1907 Percy Rosling, an electrical engineer decided to move his family to Australia where they took up residence in Melbourne. Alan was sent first to Wesley College in the city and then to the prestigious Melbourne Grammar School. His mother Amy died in 1913 and this may have influenced the families decision to return to England where they took a large house in the London suburb of Ealing. Alan continued his education as a boarder at St Lawrence College, Ramsgate and at the age of 17 became a cadet at the Royal Military School, Sandhurst. In April 1915 he was gazetted into the 1st Worcesters and arrived on the Western Front in January 1917.
Although buried near to where he fell, today 2nd Lieutenant Alan Percy Rosling has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. He is remembered on the war memorials in Ealing and at Melbourne Grammar School

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