George William Rowley was born on 12th October 1876 in Wolverhampton, the son of William Benjamin Nicholls Rowley, and his wife Emma, nee Jackson. By profession he was a photographer, and he then moved to South Africa and settled in Cape Town where he continued to work as a photographer.
Having enlisted into the South African Colonial Forces, he saw service as a Private (No.435) with the Cape Town Highlanders, and was present during the Bechuanaland operations from 24th December 1896 to 30th July 1897.
In April 1896, a severe cattle disease broke out in Bechuanland which necessitated the slaughter of cattle in the area. This policy caused resentment among the local population who rose in protest. The first engagement took place at Pokwani, where a force under Chief Galishwe attacked a detachment of the Cape Mounted Police on the 24th December. In January 1897m the Batlaros rose in revolt to be followed shortly by practically all the other local tribes. It became obvious that a considerable force would be necessary, so units were raised, equipped and placed under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dalgety, Cape Mounted Rifles. The main actions were the attacks on Gamasep Kloof and Riet Kloof, but in neither of these actions were the tribesmen completely defeated thus enforcing a pause in operations whilst more reinforcements were raised for the Bechuanaland Field Force. In July, when all was ready, a 'drive' started which ended with an action at Langberg, 30th July to 1st August 1897 as a result of which the native leaders were either killed or surrendered.
Rowley was one of 111 men from the Cape Town Highlanders to receive the Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal 1880-1897 with clasp for Bechuanaland.
Rowley was then commissioned as a Lieutenant into the Cape Town Highlanders, and saw service during the Boer War on operations in the Cape Colony. Finally he once again answered the call, and saw service during the Great War. Enlisting on 20th December 1915 as a Private (No.7383) with the 9th Regiment (Sportsmans) Battalion, South African Infantry, he saw service with ‘A’ Company, and was promoted to Corporal on 30th December 1915, before being embarked for operations in German East Africa on 7th February 1916. After a period of leave back in South Africa from February to March 1917, Rowley was discharged to a commission on 28th May 1917.
Commissioned as a temporary 2nd Lieutenant into the Cape Corps, he saw service with the 2nd Battalion, Cape Corps from 30th July 1917, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 1st August 1917, on which date he entrained at Woltimade for operations in Central Africa. Appointed Acting Quartermaster of the 2nd Battalion Cape Corps on 10th February 1918, he was then appointed Press Photographer to the 2nd Battalion Cape Corps on 23rd May 1918. Having travelled via Beira in Portuguese East Africa to Kimberley on 16th August 1918, he was appointed as a Lieutenant to the Cape Cyclist Corps on 12th October 1918, and then posted to the No.1 General Depot on 18th December 1918.
Having relinquished his commission with the Union Imperial Service back on 12th October 1918, he was officially demobilised from the General Depot at Wynberg on 14th March 1919, his addressed being then given as Upper Arthurs Road, Seapoint, Cape Town.
A South Africa Wars to WWI Casualty Gallantry Set of Seven Medals, comprising Distinguished Conduct Medal, Queens South Africa Medal with Cape Colony Bar, Kings South Africa Medal with 1901 and 1902 Bars, Army Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, 1914 Mons Star, WWI War and Victory Medals together with WWI Death Plaque to 3864 Conductor D. Murray, Army Ordnance Corp. WWI medals with boxes of issue.
*Records indicate that Daniel Murray was born in 1881 in Leeds, the son of John and Ellen Murray. A career soldier within the AOC, he rose from Private to the highest NCO rank of WOC1, Conductor. He was gazetted for a mention in despatches on 22nd June 1915 and gazetted on 21st June 1916 for his Distinguished Conduct medal for 'Consistent Good Works and Devotion To Duty'. He was killed on the 12th June 1917 aged 36 and is buried at Faubourg D'Amiens cemetery.