Hamilton County

 

Pvt. Roland J. Silvers

 

 

PVT. SILVERS FIRST CASUALTY

LOCAL YOUTH DIED SEPT. 22.

Mother Here Receives Telegram From War Department

Pvt. Roland Silvers, 22, son of Mrs. Nellie Silvers, of this city, was listed Monday as the first Webster City casualty in World War II following receipt of word here by the youth’s mother that he had died, Sept. 22 in the British Isles, “cause unknown.”

No further information was available other than a telegram from the war department which notified the mother of his death, but Mrs. Silvers is expecting a letter with full particulars to be sent by the war department. The youth was a member of Company E and left Webster City with that organization in February, 1941.

In Dieppe Raid

In notices to other members of the family, it has been verified that Private Silvers participated in the Dieppe commando raid, Aug. 19 and that he was wounded in that action. He was reportedly removed to a place in Scotland where he apparently was t treated for his wounds. Mrs. Silvers received a letter from a friend of her son which intimated that he had fully recovered.

The death notice was, therefore, a great shock to the soldier’s mother not only because of the suddenness of the announcement, but because Mrs. Silvers’ birthday is this week and she was anticipating a birthday greeting from her son.

Home in December

Private Silvers was home on furlough last December before Company E was transferred to Northern Ireland. At that time he indicated he was taking special training in commando-like tactics. Shortly after reaching the new post in Ireland, Roland was transferred to the anti-tank division. In a letter written Aug. 18 the day before the Dieppe raid, the youth sent his mother a picture and Mrs. Silvers is sure he was trying to tell her he would participate in the action the next day.

Roland attended the local schools and regularly attended the Methodist church. He worked in this community at the Conoco service station shortly before leaving for service. He had been itching to get into the battle, according to his mother, a fact which was demonstrated when he hitch-hiked twice to Canada to try and get into the Royal Canadian air force. His eyesight, however, disqualified him for service in that division and might have kept him out of Company E if he had not been so determined to go that he purchased a special pair of glasses in order to leave with the home company.

The notice of his death was made public at the Methodist church Sunday by the Rev. J. J. Share.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Oct. 5, 1942

Silvers Rites To Be Held Wednesday

Memorial services for Roland J. Silvers, who died in Scotland during the war, will be held Wednesday a 2:30 p.m. at the Methodist church. The Rev. Thomas B Collins and the Rev. J. A. Farnham will conduct the services.

Roland J. Silvers was born in Webster City March 19, 1920, and grew to manhood here. In February, 1941, he left for Camp Claiborne, La., with Company E of the local National Guard.

Home for a few days at Christmas time, he was called back to camp with the advent to Pearl Harbor. His unit was sent to Ireland shortly afterwards.

At the time of his death, Sept. 22, 1942, he was with another company taking special training in Scotland. Temporary internment was at a cemetery near Cambridge, England.

He was preceded in death by his father, who served in World War I, and a sister, Vesta. Both his father and sister died in Aug., 1926, and another sister, Thelma passed away last March.

Surviving are his mother, Mrs. Nellie Silvers of Webster City; a brother Cleese, of Fort Des Moines, and five sisters, Helen Silvers, Woodward, Mrs. Don Burnett and Mrs. F. E. Pierce both of Gilroy, Calif.; Mrs. William Stevens of Des Moines and Mrs. L. H. Millard of Chicago.

Also surviving are his grandmother, Mrs. W. D. Silvers, of Webster City and 11 nieces and nephews.

Military services will be held.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - July 27, 1948

NOTE: Roland J. Silvers was born Mar. 19, 1920 to Ward J. and Nellie Mable Crosby Silvers. He died Sept. 22, 1942.