Thomas Cappur Rolfe

Canadian Expeditionary Force

Personal Details

Born: 2 August 1887 in Halghton, Hanmer, Flintshire and baptised on 28 August 1887 at Hanmer Parish Church.

Family: He was the sixth of seven children born to Samuel Gardiner Rolfe, a joiner and his wife Mary Ann, nee Gardner. He married Blanche Closson on 15 December 1920 in Indian Head, Saskatchewan, Canada. The couple had three children, Thomas John, George Edward and Margaret.

Residence: From the time of his baptism in 1887 until at least 1901 his family were living at Tarts Hill, Halghton, Hanmer. It is possible that he emigrated to Canada in 1906. In 1921 and now married, he was living  at Indian Head, Qu`Appelle, Saskatchewan. His family was still there in 1926.

Employment: When he enlisted in 1915 he gave his occupation as a gardener. In 1921 he was a farmer.

Died: 9 October 1952, aged 65 and buried in the Veterans Garden, Regina Cemetery, Regina, Saskatchewan.

Military Details

Regiment: Canadian Expeditionary Force (Canadian Machine Gun Corps.)

Rank: Sergeant

Service Number: 104941

Date of Enlistment: 22 September 1915

Date of Discharge: 26 March 1919

Reason for Discharge: Demobilisation

Medals and Awards

Thomas was awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette 2 April 1918) and Campaign medals (1915 Star, Victory and British War Medals)

His Military Medal citation read: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on January 22nd 1918. Under an intense bombardment the enemy attempted to raid our lines. L/Cpl Rolfe’s number 1 on his machine gun opened up, and maintained a heavy fire on the two parties of the enemy, breaking up their attack and forcing them to retire. Throughout the action he displayed great coolness and courage and set a splendid example to his men.“

Military Medal

Until 1993, the Military Medal (MM) was a military decoration awarded to personnel of the British Army and other services, and formerly also to personnel of other Commonwealth countries, below commissioned rank, for bravery in battle on land.
The medal was established on 25 March 1916. It was the other ranks' equivalent to the Military Cross (MC), which was awarded to commissioned officers and, rarely, to warrant officers, although WOs could also be awarded the MM. The MM ranked below the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), which was also awarded to non-commissioned members of the Army.
Click on the tags below to see details of each recipient.

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The 1914 Star (also known as 'Pip') was authorised under Special Army Order no. 350 in November 1917 and by an Admiralty Fleet Order in 1918, for award to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight of 22–23 November 1914. The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

The 1914–15 Star (also known as 'Pip') was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.


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