Topic: Corporal Rowland Francis Mulholland

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War killed in action near Bancourt during the battle around Bapaume.

Corporal Rowland Francis Mulholland - 30968      Rowland Francis Mulholland            

Rowland was born at Darfield on 29 May 1889, second son of Daniel and Frances Mulholland, Darfield. He was educated at Darfield School and after leaving school was farming for himself at Darfield and Hororata. He was 5ft 8in tall with a dark complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. He also had a scar on his left thumb.

Rowland enlisted at Featherston on 22nd August 1916 and was assigned to New Zealand Rifle Brigade Reinforcements, G Company. He embarked from Wellington on 30th December 1916 on board the Athenic and arrived in Devonport and marched into Sling camp on 3rd March 1917. A month later he marched out to Codford on 3rd April and was taken on the strength of 3rd Battalion Auckland Regiment on 15th April. He left with them for France on 28th May and on 1st January 1918 was appointed Lance Corporal. Two weeks later he was detached to the School of Instruction, re-joining the battalion on 1st February. He was then sent on ten days leave to Paris returning on 13th February. Upon his return he was attached to the XXII CRC on 8th February. In January 1918, II Anzac Corps had been renamed XXII Corps to reflect the changing composition of the force.  Then he was posted to D Company of the 1st Battalion, 3rd NZ Rifle Brigade in the field on 23rd February. The following month he was once again granted leave this time to England from 13 March to 4th April. Three months later on 10th July he was promoted to corporal. He was killed in action on 30th August during the fighting in the Bancourt part of the battle to gain control of the Bapaume area. The 1st Battalion came under heavy rifle and machinegun fire, suffering many casualties.  He was buried in Bancourt British Cemetery along with David McGill. In New Zealand Rowland is remembered on the Malvern County War Memorial.

Researched and written by L M Seaton 

CWGC Cemetery locale history: Bancourt was occupied by Commonwealth forces in March 1917. It was lost a year later during the German offensive in the spring of 1918, but recaptured by the New Zealand Division (in particular, the 2nd Auckland Battalion) on 30 August 1918. The cemetery was begun by the New Zealand Division in September 1918; the original cemetery is now Plot I, Rows A and B. The remainder of the cemetery was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields east and south of Bancourt and from certain Allied and German cemeteries, including:- BAPAUME RESERVOIR GERMAN CEMETERY, on the Bapaume Beaulencourt road, containing the graves of twelve soldiers from the United Kingdom buried by a German Field Ambulance in March and April, 1918, and of seven others and three from New Zealand who fell at the end of August, 1918. BAPAUME ROAD CEMETERY, BEAULENCOURT, a500 metres South of the Beaulencourt-Gueudecourt road, containing the graves of 20 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October, 1916. BEAULENCOURT ROAD CEMETERIES, three in number, on the North-East side of Gueudecourt, containing the graves of 88 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in the autumn of 1916 or in April, 1917. CLOUDY TRENCH CEMETERY, GUEUDECOURT, containing the graves of 40 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in October or November, 1916. The five cemeteries last named were made by the 5th Australian Division in April, 1917. FREMICOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION. This Extension was begun by the Germans, who buried in it 1,346 of their own soldiers and 136 officers and men from the United Kingdom who fell in March, 1918. It was taken over in September, 1918, by British and Dominion units, who used it for clearing the battlefields and for fresh burials, and added 94 graves. All the graves have now been removed to other cemeteries. SUNKEN ROAD CEMETERY, LESBOEUFS, between Gueudecourt and Le Transloy, made by the 5th Australian Division in April, 1917. It contained the graves of 49 soldiers from the United Kingdom and one from Australia who fell in October, 1916. The great majority of these graves dated from the winter of 1916-1917, the retreat of March 1918, or the advance of August-September 1918. Bancourt British Cemetery now contains 2,480 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 1,462 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 43 casualties known or believed to be buried among them, and to one soldier buried in Bapaume Reservoir German Cemetery, whose grave could not be found on concentration. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

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Corporal Rowland Francis Mulholland


First Names:Rowland Francis
Last Name:Mulholland
Date of Birth:29 May 1889
Place of Birth:Darfield
Date of Death:30 August 1918
Place of Death:Bapaume, France
Memorial or Cemetery:Bancourt British Cemetery
Age at death:29
User Name:L M Seaton
Other names known by:Name spelt Rowland or Roland
Occupation before enlisting:Farmer
Marital Status:Single
Regiment or Service:New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 1st Battalion
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:22nd August 1916
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of Daniel and Frances Mulholland, "Churchlea", Darfield, Canterbury
Service Number:30968
Rank last held:Corporal
Embarkation:30 December 1916
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Transport:Athenic
Theatres of War:France
Cause of Death:Killed in action
Other biographical information:2nd son to serve
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
Corporal Rowland Francis Mulholland by Selwyn Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License