William Rowland Thomas

My father, William Rowland Thomas (always called ‘Rowland’) photographed in Cairo in April 1944 when he was commissioned as  War Substantive Second Lieutenant, Royal Fusiliers. He is wearing the ribbon of the Africa Star for previous service in North Africa. He was wounded in the left hip by a German machine-gun bullet near Rimini, eastern Italy, in July 1944, but made it home to London to his wife Mary. He also returned to his teaching career and in 1946 his first son, Nigel - that’s me - was born.

I was always proud of my father’s service in the Second World War and I think that it was this photograph that first got me interested in military uniforms  and insignia.

Updated: 13 January 2018