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Service Number 1208565 Rolfe help please


Shots Dave
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Good evening Gentlemen

I recently acquired a couple of RAF related diaries for 1943/1944(only a few personal entries) with what appears to be the name  LAC R S J Rolfe 1208565 with addresses for home in the Isle of Wight and also a Station Workshop address in Debert, Nova Scotia. The first diary appears to have been bought for Ron, so it seems likely he is Ronald Rolfe. With the diary came 3 medals, a War Medal(silver Canadian version I believe), a Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas bar and a Polish Armed Forces in the West Military Action Cross with Narvik bar. Now I am not sure the medals belong to the diaries and whether a Canadian could even be awarded this Polish medal is I guess unlikely but they came together and the seller mentioned Fleet Air Arm.

I realise he was a Leading Aircraftman(LAC) and that Debert was a major training centre during WW2.

Was he Canadian stationed on the Isle of Wight or English sent to Canada and the medals are a red herring?

I have done general internet searches on his name with nothing helpful arising to date. Any suggestions or help gladly accepted.

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According to the 1939 register, Ronald SJ Rolfe was an apprentice plumber living at 6 Manor Villas, Totland, Isle of Wight. He was born 12/12/20 and living with Ernest J (bricklayer) and Eliza Jane Rolfe (parents?).

There was an Ernest James Rolfe (bricklayer), married to Eliza J Rolfe who transferred from the infantry to the Royal Engineers in 1917, his home address was 9 Manor Villas, Totland Bay, Isle of Wight so although he had moved from number 9 to number 6 by 1939, it's probably safe to assume that Ronald SJ Rolfe was born in England.

Ernest FJ (Ronald's brother? b 1909) and Hilda Rolfe were living in number 9 Manor Villas in 1939.

Edit: just seen the eldest son is Ernest Frederick Frank Rolfe rather than Ernest FJ Rolfe.

Ronald Sidney J Rolfe married Dorothy Penfold on the Isle of Wight in 1951 and died on the Isle of Wight in 2003.

In 2002 he was living 7 Broadway, Totland Bay with Philip Rolfe which I assume is Ronald's son.

Edited by Tony
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The Commonwealth Air Training Plan was, of course, one of Canada's major contributions to WWII in the air, as we trained members of all the Commonwealth nations, as well as Norwegians and others, as pilots and air crew and, perhaps, air craftsmen too.  So, perhaps your man did make it to Nova Scotia, but that would not have qualified him for the CVSM if he were not Canadian or at least serving in the RCAF, I don't think..

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Peter, I think he must have just simply trained in Debert in the workshop and as it appears he was born in the UK it is highly unlikely he would have earned any of the medals I received with the diaries (as the War medal is silver). It's a shame, I was hoping for something exciting to come to light. Maybe next time.

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