Date of birth: 1920
Date of death: 30.7.1941
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Family information: Son of William and Alice Haley nee Bruce
Service number: 1002012
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have Rowland Haley as Sergeant 1002012 in the RAFVR 139 Squadron. He died on 30th July 1941 and was the son of William and Alice Haley of Wakefield.
On 11th April 1942 the Wakefield Express carried the following obituary:
“PRESUMED DEAD – Notification from the Air Ministry has been received by Mr and Mrs William Haley, 231, Bradford Road, Wakefield, that their son Sergeant Air Gunner-Wireless Operator Roland Haley, who was reported missing on July 31st last, is presumed dead. Sergeant Haley, who was 20 years of age at the time he was reported missing, formerly attended Ings Road Central School and before joining the Royal Air Force he was employed by the Wakefield Building Society.”
On 1st August the family put memorials in the Wakefield Express from his parents and Billy (brother William) and another from Tom and Celia (his brother Thomas and his wife).
Rowland was on an anti-shipping operation in a Blenheim IV V6266 XD when he was shot down by Me 110s from ZG76 and crashed 180 km north of Texel. He died together with Sergeant G R Menish and P/O P Brown.
Rowland is remembered on the Runneymede Memorial Part VII in Surrey.
In 1943 the family put a memorial in the Wakefield Express. It reveals that his brother Tom was in the Royal Navy and his brother Bill was in the RAF.
William and Alice were living at 231, Bradford Road in 1938 and 1939 according to the electoral register and Alice was registered at the same address in 1945 but not William who reappears in 1946. William Haley and Alice Bruce had been married at St Helen’s Church, Sandal in 1917 and went on to have four children, Thomas in 1917, Roland (spelt differently to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) in 1920, William in 1924 and Dennis in 1927, although sadly the death of Dennis is registered in the same quarter as his birth.
In the 1939 Register the family were living at 231, Bradford Road, Wrenthorpe, with Rowland’s father William a painter and decorator. Thomas was also a painter and decorator who had been born on 22nd December 1917. The next record is closed – presumably that of Rowland – and then William who was born on 27th June 1924 was an apprentice book binder.