Harold Stephen Rolland

“He was considered something of a ‘rascal'... He loved a good joke and was merciless in his teasing of children.”

Harold Stephen Rolland ran away from his home in Montreal and lied about his age to enlist on September 11, 1916.

Born in 1898, Rolland was only fifteen, but he told a recruiter he was born in 1899. He was assigned to the 79th Depot Battery, but that’s all his family knows of his service.

“He was considered something of a ‘rascal,’” said great-granddaughter Jane Nylander. “He drank a lot and had a series of mistresses. He also loved a good joke and was merciless in his teasing of children.”

Maud Anna Coffman, his first wife, died in 1950 after more than twenty years of marriage. “I remember that by 1950 he had frequent automobile accidents and my parents were afraid he would kill himself while driving drunk.”

He was known for having many close “lady friends,” whom he brought on golfing trips around the United States with his sister Louise Rolland Cayford and brother-in-law James Herbert Cayford. They all lived in Steubenville, Ohio, where Rolland worked in a paper mill and he later owned Colonial Paper Company, a paper products company.

He later married Eleanor Luby.

“He had many friends in Steubenville and the surrounding towns … He was the kind of person who could be described as ‘hail fellow,’ ‘well met’ or ‘the life of the party,’” said Nylander.

Rolland’s family was always proud of his determination to serve, despite his young age. “When Louise spoke of his running away from home and lying about his age to enter the army, she spoke with a kind of indulgent pride,” said Nylander.

Rolland died December 6, 1988 in Steubenville, Ohio of cirrhosis of the liver.

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