Sunday, 22 February 2015

J L Rogers

John Lewis Rogers
Born 1890 Truro  Died 15 November 1918 Cairo
Captain 1/4 Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Buried Cairo War Cemetery

John was the son of china clay merchant Joseph Rogers and his wife Elizabeth Webber Salmon.  Joseph was born in Ireland, though he had moved to Cornwall at an early age.  The couple lived in Kenwyn, Truro.  

The couple had five children, of whom four survived:

Ruby Lillian (did not marry) (born 16 October 1883 - 1981)
Hazel  Salmon (married George Darel Senhouse Le Messurier) (born c 1885 - 1947)
Olive Mary (born c 1887)
John (born 1890 - 1918)

On the 1911 census, John is listed as a shipping clerk, boarding at a house in Blackheath.  His parents had by this time moved to Newquay, living at Bolowthas with two of their daughters and a couple of domestic servants.  

I can't find the date on which John joined up, but I have found a report in the West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser from 18 July 1912 in which he is mentioned.  The annual training of the Cornwall Territorials took place in Newquay and J L Rogers is listed among the Lieutenants of the 5th DCLI.

After war was declared, John's battalion was stationed during the war. The 1/4 left Truro in 1914 and sailed for India on 9 October 1914, arriving at Bombay on 10 November.  They remained in India for over a year, leaving early in 1916 and landing at Aden on 28 January.  After a year with the Aden Brigade, they travelled to Egypt, arriving on 13 February 1917.  John is mentioned in the DCLI History on 9 April 1918.  He was taking part in an action against the Turks in Palestine, near Ballut Village, commanding A Company.  Along with another company, his men were occupying a ridge and came under heavy fire with the result of 17 men losing their lives and 46 being wounded.  

The 1/4 DCLI were last in action on 31 October 1918.  Sadly, having safely come through several battles, John lost his life due to pneumonia on 15 November 1918. 

John's parents erected a memorial to him at St Columb Minor Church, which also lists the other men who fell during the Great War.  

During his war service John kept a personal war diary, which is kept at the Imperial War Museum.  


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