Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
15 Jan 1916
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte George William Rolph, 18924, 2nd Bedfordshire Regiment, is officially listed as killed in action in France on January 15th, 1916. A letter from the battlefield said he was killed by a shell while on sentry duty on January 13th.
An old boy of Queen Square School, he was the son of George and Maria Rolph, of 51 Beech Road, Luton. On leaving school he worked for the British Gelatine Co Ltd in New Bedford Road as a labourer and stayed with them until January 1915, when he enlisted. He was aged 28 and had served for four years in the Territorials.
The news of his death was received by his brother Gerald, who was training at Ampthill Camp. The writer, L-Cpl Thorogood, said: "It is with the deepest sympathy that I write to inform you of the death of your brother, who was killed in action on January 13th. He was on duty as a sentry at the time of his death, which was instantaneous, being hit by part of a shell which fell a few feet from him. His comrades of No. 14 Section, to which he had belonged since joining, wish me to convey their deepest sympathy."
Mrs Rolph subsequently wrote to L-Cpl Thorogood for more information about her son's death. In his reply he said it seemed that fragments of the shell had hit Pte Rolph of the side of the head and also on the shoulder, killing him instantly. He was taken back the same evening and buried in a little cemetery set aside for English soldiers. On his grave had been placed a cross bearing his name, number and regiment and the words "killed in action".