Roland BATES
Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: M2/033337
Date of Death: 24 December 1918
Age: 26
Cemetery: Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria, Greece

Nothing is known of Roland’s personal life, other than his parents are recorded as being Joseph and Kate Bates, 66 Warren Road, Adswood, Stockport.

The “M2” in the prefix to Roland’s service number indicates he must have enlisted before the end of 1916 (the use of the numeral ceased after then). 1071st Company was a Mechanical Transport unit, using 3-ton and and 30-cwt lorries to transport goods and ammunition.

British troops were in Greece to contain the Bulgarian army which was an ally of the Germans. In 1915, at the invitation of the Greek Government, troops landed at Salonika (now Thessalonika) in northern Greece. The conflict is almost forgotten in the history of the War. Perhaps it’s because for every death in battle, there were three from disease. Malaria was rife and, in 1918, the worldwide epidemic of influenza claimed many lives. It’s not known how Roland died but his death several weeks after the Armistice suggests he was a victim of disease.

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