James Erle Radcliff Rosier
Lieutenant, Royal Field Artillery
James Erle Radcliff Rosier was the only son of James Henry Edmund Rosier, gentleman, and Rose Maria Anna Rosier nee Scott, of 41 Meteor Road, Westcliffe-on-Sea. He was born in Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire, UK on 1 Aug 1893, first educated at Weymouth College, then at St. Paul’s School in Hammersmith and later attended Alleyn’s from 1904-1905. After leaving school, James continued his studies at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge from October 1912. He took the History College exams in 1913 and was allowed a B.A by Special Grace of the Senate. His degree was awarded on 12 February 1916. He was also a candidate for Holy Orders and had it not been for the war he would have been ordained on the day he was killed.
When the First World War broke out in August 1914, James decided to put his academic and spiritual formation on hold in order to join the British Expeditionary Force and carry out his duty. He was granted a commission and after completing his officer training, he joined the Royal Field Artillery, 245th Brigade, on 28 August 1914. During his time with the RFA, James served overseas on the Western Front as a Lieutenant and saw action in France and Flanders. In 1916, he took part in the Somme Offensive and was serving at the front during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15-22 September. Unfortunately, it was during this battle that James was killed in action on September 20th 1916 aged 23. He is buried at Bouzincourt Cemetery. His grave number is I.F.13 and the inscription, which was chosen by his mother, reads "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. St Matthew Chapter 5 v8". His name appears on the war memorials of Alleyn's School, Sidney Sussex College and of St Alban The Martyr Church, St John's Road, Westcliffe-on-sea, Essex.
His Commanding Officer wrote "A valuable Officer I have always found him. He was 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 worried him, and he was always cheerful." (Sidney Sussex College Annual, 1916).
With thanks to James' family for providing some of this information, 2017 and to Pierre Vandervelden of the website http://www.inmemories.com/index.htm for allowing use of the photo of Rosier's grave.