Second Lieutenant Eric deWolf Rounsefell

Second Lieutenant Eric deWolf Rounsefell

Birth
Death 3 Sep 1918 (aged 19)
Burial Heuvelland, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium
Plot X. 1.
Memorial ID 11151197 · View Source
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Eric deWolf Rounsefell was born on the 14th of November, 1898 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was the only son of Francis William (Frank) and Elizabeth deWolf (Vaughan) Rounsefell.

He graduated from the Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, in April of 1918, where he was appointed as a Second Lieutenant. He traveled directly to London following his commissioning, and reported to the War Office on the 20th of April.

On the 8th of July, he was posted to the British Expeditionery Force, (for record purposes) and was immediately sent to Calais, France. On the 15th he became a part of the 12th Irish Rifles, 108th Brigade, 36th (Ulster) Division.

The night of the 30th of August, 1918, found the 108th Brigade, on the road to Neuve Eglise (modern Nieuwkerke). By the morning of the 1st, the 108th had moved up to Haagedoorne, and were awaiting artillery that was being brought forward over the very bad roads. The Brigade was expected to pass through the 109th that night and resume the advance, with artillery support. The attack was carried out with the 12th Rifles on the right and the 1st Irish Fusiliers on the left.

Machine gun fire from the village of Neuve Eglise was at first galling, but, after it had been heavily shelled by the artillery, a company of the 12th Rifles were able to take it, while two other companies progressed to the south of the town. By four o'clock, the line was east of the town.

On the third of September, the 108th's new objective was from White Gates, at the western foot of Hill 63, to South Midland Farm. At 9:30 a.m. the 12th Rifles and the 1st Irish Fusiliers went forward. In the early stages they had artillery support. Thereafter, owing to constant movement and the difficulty of ascertaining the position of the front line, the artillery was unable to render much assistance. The attack resolved itself into individual assaults upon German machine-gun positions, which were taken in flank by Lewis guns worked forward, and then rushed with the bayonet. Three were thus taken, and their detachments killed or captured, while none of the latter, which ran before the infantry came upon them, escaped without loss from the Rifle's fire. By evening the line ran from L'Alouette, a mile east of Neuve Eglise, to La Plus Douve farm, a famous old battalion headquarters of the 36th Division, south-east of Wulverghem.

Some time during the fighting that day, 2nd Lieutenant Eric Rounsefell was killed. He was buried near where he fell, at Nieuwkerke Churchyard. He was commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (http://www.cwgc.org­) and is listed in the 1918 Canadian Book of Remembrance. He is the only Canadian buried at Nieuwkerke.

Eric deWolf Rounsefell was posthumously awarded the Military Cross on 1 October 1918. The recommendation for his award reads as follows:

For very great gallantry during recent operations in front of NEUVE EGLISE on 3rd September, 1918. He led attacks on six different machine gun positions, each time succeeding in dislodging the enemy and on one occasion capturing a gun.

On the night of the 3rd, his Company lost touch with the Unit on his right, and five times he took out patrols to locate position of Unit on right, each time encountering strong enemy resistance and finally establishing touch and joining up the line. He was afterwards killed.

The services of this officer were brought to my notice during the lifetime of the officer, but owing to the stress of military operations there was no earlier opportunity of bringing forward the recommendation.

(sd) GEO. THOMSON, Maj., O.E. 12th R. Ir. Rif. 6 Sep 1918 (sd) E. VAUGHAN, BRIG-GEN., COMMDG: 108th INF. BDE. 6 Sep 1918 (sd) H.J. BROCK, BRIGADIER GENERAL, COMMANDING 36th (ULSTER) DIVISION 12 Sep 1918 (sd) R.B. STEPHENS, LIEUTENANT GENERAL, COMMANDING XTH CORPS. 14 Sep 1918 (sd) HERBERT PLUMER, GENERAL, COMMANDING SECOND ARMY 16 September 1918.


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  • Maintained by: Katrina Lawson
  • Originally Created by: International Wargraves Photography Project
  • Added: 12 Jun 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11151197
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Second Lieutenant Eric deWolf Rounsefell (14 Nov 1898–3 Sep 1918), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11151197, citing Nieuwkerke Churchyard, Heuvelland, Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), Belgium ; Maintained by Katrina Lawson (contributor 47059177) .