Orlando was born in Church Pulverbatch, Shropshire, 1865, the son of Thomas, a farmer, and Ellen.
In 1871 Orlando was 5 and was living in Church Pulverbatch Village with his parents – Thomas is 38 and Ellen is 48. Ellen had an older daughter, Sarah, who was listed as Thomas’ step-daughter, and they had six children together – Elizabeth, Jane, Thomas, John, Orlando and George, aged 13, 11, 9, 8, 5 and 2.
In 1881 Orlando was 16 and was living at the home of Arthur H. Bather – Principal Clerk at the Admiralty – at ‘Redhouse’, in Roehampton, Putney. Orlando was the ‘under gardener’.
In 1900 Orlando married Annie Maria Morris, also from Shropshire, and in 1901 they were living at Cefn Bwll, in Llaneilian, Caernarvonshire. Orlando was working as a gamekeeper and they had a daughter, Miriam, who was one month old.
By 1911 they had moved to Keeper’s Cottage in Rhydymwyn. Orlando was still working as a gamekeeper, on the Coed Du Estate, Rhydymwyn. Miriam was now 10 and they also had a son, George Edward, who was 7.
On 12 March 1915 Orlando enlisted at Llandudno with the 17th Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. In his service records he stated that he had previously served twelve years with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. He gave his age as 45, although he was actually 49. He gave his next of kin as his wife, Annie, of Tyddyn Cottage, Chester Road, Mold.
On 3 April he was appointed to Lance Corporal, then to Corporal on 1 May 1915, before being promoted to Sergeant on 29 May 1915.
His Medal Index Card states that he entered France on 4 December 1915. He was killed in action on 22 January 1916, aged 50. He had served for a total of 318 days – at home for 268 days, and in France for 50 days. The additional information shown on CWGC.org states ‘Husband of Annie Rowson of ‘Wrexlea’, Broncoed Park, Mold, Flintshire’.
Orlando is also commemorated on the Mold Memorial
An online memorial to Orlando can be found here.
–1871: Class: RG10; Piece: 2762; Folio: 33; Page: 2
–1881: Class: RG11; Piece: 663; Folio: 113; Page: 14
–1901: Class: RG13; Piece: 5288; Folio: 8; Page: 7
–1911: Class: RG14; Piece: 33951; Schedule Number: 65
-Flintshire WW1 records: Ref: D/DM/181 MOLD (URBAN) F82, available from Flintshire.gov.uk
-Casualty details available from cwgc.org
-MIC, SDGW and Service Record available from Ancestry.co.uk or Findmypast.co.uk
-Parish marriage, baptism and burial records available at Flintshire Records Office, Hawarden, or original images are available to view at Findmypast.co.uk
-Many record indexes can be found for free at freebmd.org.uk or familysearch.org