25-year-old Lance Corporal Abraham Rose died on 15th February 1915 whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He was born in Langley Green, Oldbury in 1889, to parents John (born in Derby, a labourer at a brewery) and his second wife, Emma (née Salt). His first wife, also called Emma (née Jackson) died in Burton-on-Trent in 1875, seven years after her marriage to John at Marston on Dove in 1868. With three young children, John remarried soon after his wife’s death in 1875, and had moved with his family to Oldbury by 1881.
By 1901, Abraham was aged 12, recorded on the census as “adopted” and living in Oldbury with a John and Phoebe Rose. John was a 24-year-old bricklayer, born in Burton-on-Trent, and appears actually to have been Abraham’s brother. By 1911, John and Phoebe were living in Church Hill, Solihull but Abraham is not with them, and doesn’t appear to have been recorded on census returns elsewhere. It’s possible that he was a regular soldier and was away serving with the Army.
The assumption is that Abraham’s parents died between 1891 and 1901, hence his living with his brother in 1901. There is a possible death for his mother, Emma, registered in West Bromwich in 1899, although there is a slight discrepancy in age. Although Abraham was described on the census as “adopted”, this would appear to be incorrect, as legal adoption was not introduced until 1927. Any arrangement is likely to have been an informal adoption, or fostering, as it would be termed today.
It’s known from Abraham’s medal index card that he first entered a Theatre of War on 19th December 1914, less than two months before he died. It appears that his service record is one of those destroyed by bombing in the Second World War, so we don’t have any further information about his Army record.
He is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial, and locally on the Solihull war memorial in the Square, which lists his rank as Captain, rather than Lance Corporal.
If you know any more about Abraham or the Rose family from Church Hill, Solihull, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6934