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Herbert Greaves Rowsell, Private, Royal Fusiliers, Captain, Hampshire Regiment

Herbert Greaves Rowsell matriculated in October 1907, after attending Fauconberg School, Beccles.

Born: Beccles, Suffolk on 20 March 1888

Fell in action: 3 September 1916

Lawn tennis at Jesus

He was active at sports while here, in particular hockey, football and tennis. At the latter he was one of the beneficiaries of a new asphalt tennis court which was installed, at the cost of £50, in 1909.

At this time the tennis courts were where the car park near the football pitch is now. Chanticlere reported that “performers are on view there almost every afternoon and it is hoped that the practice thus afforded would bear fruit next term” (Lent Term 1909, p8).

Sadly the Lawn Tennis team were hit by “illness and examinations” and they did not perform particularly well in Easter Term.

Rowsell was not given a very good report: “has some good strokes, but back-hand work rather weak, and inclined to fall off in a losing game” (Chanticlere, Easter Term 1909, p48). He fared rather better in 1910 when he had “often played excellently”. 

He graduated with a BA in 1910, having taken papers, but not the Tripos, in Theology.

Suffolk County footballer

He played at full back in the College football team, in goal for the hockey team and jumped both the high jump and the “broad” jump, as well as running the 120 yards hurdle race, winning the latter in 20⅘ seconds in November 1909. According to a newspaper clipping he also played football for Suffolk County on several occasions.

Missionary

After he left College he read Theology at the Bishop’s Hostel in Farnham, Surrey before joining the Archbishop’s Mission to Western Canada where he stayed for two years as a layman.

He enlisted at the outbreak of war and after receiving his commission was quickly promoted to Captain. In December 1915 he married Marjorie Helen Montford, just three months before he went to the front in March 1916. He was killed in action in September 1916 (Jesus College Society Annual Report 1917, p35).

You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War.

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