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Oliver Allen Rosier

16524 Private Oliver Allen Rosier, 7th Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment

Oliver was born in 1879 the 4th son of Isaac Rosier, a woodman, and his wife Avis née Fisher. For over forty years the family lived in Hailey Cottage, Peasemore, with eight children (and two more who died as infants) it must have been a busy, and a hard life. By 1911, George, Avis, Oliver and the youngest child, Louis, had moved to Hill Green, a mile or so south west of Peasemore and in the neighbouring parish of Leckhampstead. By this time George and Avis were in their late 60s, but George was still working as a thatcher for a local farmer. Oliver had followed his father's previous trade and was working as a woodman.

Following the outbreak of war he enlisted in the Royal Berkshire Regiment, at Newbury on the 11th January, 1915, aged 36. He was posted to the 9th Battalion - a training and reserve battalion from which troops were posted to active battalions as required.

He evidently managed to get some leave, on 9th October 1915 he married Edith Ellen (Nellie) Mason daughter of William Mason of Chapel Farm Cottage, Leckhampstead.

On the 26th August 1916 Oliver was posted to the 3rd Battalion, another reserve battalion; but he wasn't with them for long, on the 8th September he was posted again, to the 7th Battalion. This time he was to go overseas, the 7th Battalion formed a part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, fighting on an almost forgotten front in Salonika.

Disease was a major problem amongst the British troops in Salonika, and it didn't take long for Oliver to fall victim, in his case, to tuberculosis. By December he was back in England, and, on the 2nd January 1917 he was passed unfit for service - his record stamped TOTAL DISABLEMENT. On the 23rd January he was discharged from the Army, his war was over.


A report in the local paper told the story of his illness and subsequent decease:


Newbury Weekly News 19 Apr 1917 – Leckhampstead


Family graves

The graves of Oliver's parents (Avis & George) and elder brother Hugh in Leckhampstead churchyard.

The late O A Rosier. The death took place at Peasemore on Sunday 1st April of Oliver Alan, fifth son of Mr and Mrs George Rosier of Hill Green, Leckhampstead. The deceased joined the army in the early months of the war. After being stationed at Wool for more than a year and a half he was drafted to Salonica in September of last year, but only saw a few weeks service there, being sent back to St John’s Hospital, Malta, with slight bronchitis. He was sent back to England, landing 23rd December. He went first to a military hospital in London, then on to the Royal Chest Hospital. On January 23rd he was discharged from the army and went to a Sanatorium at Peppard Common, from which he was sent home on March 16th, and passed away on April 1st from consumption of the throat. He married Miss Mason, daughter of Mr William Mason of Chapel Farm Cottage, Leckhampstead in October 1915. Much sympathy is felt for his widow and relatives. The funeral took place at Leckhampstead on Thursday 5th April, where the remains were laid to rest in a grave by the side of his brother Hugh, who died nine years ago. The coffin was inscribed “Oliver Alan Rosier, died April 1st, 1917, aged 39 years.” Wreaths and crosses were sent by relatives and friends. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr Deacon of Leckhampstead.

Despite his death being clearly as a result of his war service, Oliver is not commemorated on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's Roll of Honour, nor is his grave tended by that excellent organisation. Steps will be taken to, at the very least, add his name to their lost of the fallen; hopefully a stone can be erected to mark his grave.

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 Died this day:
15 November 1916
William N Fishlock

British Legion

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