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 One Family at War

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Individual Stories – WW1

Douglas Woodville Rowntree

World War I & II

Enlisted at the age of 28 

born 6 May 1888,

died 26 October 1966

More of the life of  Douglas Rowntree

Details from Richenda George  

This section is now part of an article about One Branch of the Rowntree Family in the WW1 Era.

At this stage little is known of Douglas’s activities in WW1, however what is known at present is given on this page. Information is thanks to his granddaughter - Richenda 

Older than Colin, he married a couple of years before the war to Winifred Hickman ( Winkie.).

Ann, their first, was born in Feb 1914 just before the war.

I think he joined up in 1916. The family (Douglas, Winifred and Ann) were still in the rented house on Strand-on-the Green when Nicholas was born on Boxing Day 1915. {However there is reference to them sharing a room or two in the Rowntree Office in Hammersmith Terrace during the War period.}

Ann told me that a number of the Quakers and others, who had not previously fought, had joined up after Terence Hickman (Cambridge friend of Malcolm Rowntree and brother-in-law of Douglas) was killed (late June, the "missing" process ending in early August).

Douglas may have started the war in the Artists' Rifles, which took catastrophic losses so he was absorbed into another regiment.

Link to Artists Rifles

Temporary Commission issued 9.1.1917. 2nd Lieutenant, Land Forces, from 19 Dec 1916

Field Postcard - very worn "I am well" March or Nov 1917

There is a Map of Passchendaele with line of approx. British Front 6.11.17 printed on it, pencil marks to the south of P'daele town, some mud stains and DWR in pencil on the back.

The photograph is reasonably characteristic of him, unlike some other unsmiling formal portraits of him in uniform which I guess were taken perhaps when he was commissioned. He looks a bit thinner in this one, if jollier, so it may have been more recent when sent as a postcard to Ann Rowntree at 11 Hammersmith Terrace on 6th Feb. 1918 . Uniform badge is that of the Middlesex Regt.

Letter to Winifred, page 2 only, no date, written with left hand in pencil.

He asks for news of Willy Crook (Cruickshank) and Harry (Gray, I suppose) "I hope they are alright". Reports on wound dressing and splint adjustment.

Hopes that the move to a new house will buck his mother-in-law up bodily and mentally (Fanny Hickman, mother of Terence and Violet who both died in 1916).

"Lady Hatfield whose hospital this is has just been through. She had an awfully nice hat on made of a string coloured velure [ sic!] (but very fluffy) an awfully nice shape though".


A telegram dated 7 April 1918 reported that Douglas was severely injured in the arm with gunshot. No visitors.

Invalided from the Service 4th November 1919

There is a Certificate (very beautiful, if somewhat imperial, design) Lieut. D W Rowntree

The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment) served with honour 
and was disabled in the Great War. 

Invalided from the Service 4th November 1,919.

In World War II Douglas was in the Home Guard in Gerrards Cross or environs.

George R I

More of the life of  Douglas Rowntree