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  • Christina Drummond

Lieutenant James Erle Radcliff Rosier, "A" Battery, 245th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Lieutenant James Erle Radcliff Rosier, "A" Battery, 245th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (Territorial Force), was killed in action on the Somme.

His parents’ only son, he was educated at Weymouth College, St Paul's School in Hammersmith, and Alleyn's School in Dulwich. He gained an open exhibition to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and began his studies in October of 1912. He took the History College Exams in 1913 and was allowed a B.A. by Special Grace of the Senate in 1916 (the university’s governing body), as he was at the time serving on the Western Front. Lieutenant Rosier was also a candidate for Holy Orders and would have been ordained on the day he was killed.

It was noted that he “joined up enthusiastically” at the outbreak of the Great War, and received his commission on the 28th of August, 1914. He was promoted to lieutenant in March of 1915 and went to France four months later, finding himself immediately on the front line; on the first day of the Battle of the Somme he was in the northern sector of the Somme advance, which saw the greatest slaughter. It was several weeks later during the Battle of Flers-Coucelette that he lost his life. His colonel wrote of him: “A very valuable and good officer. I have always found him a keen gunner and a good fellow. He had any amount of pluck and did lots of first-class work as an observer. He did not know the meaning of fear, hard work never troubled him, and he was always cheerful.”

Lieutenant Rosier is commemorated on the war memorials of Alleyn's School and Sidney Sussex College, the memorial in the St Alban The Martyr Church in Westcliffe-on-sea, and the Loughton War Memorial. He is buried in the Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery, Department de la Somme, in France. On his gravestone is inscribed: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

James, from Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire, was 23 years old.

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