Sunday, October 19, 2014

239384 Driver Henry Rogers, Royal Field Artillery

Henry Rogers is almost certainly the Harry Rogers who appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a 16 year old stable helper boarding at the home of Mr and Mrs George Chantler at Skippetts Cottage (The Grove), Basingstoke.  Skippetts House was owned by Robert Campion Blencowe.  George Chantler was Robert Blencowe’s coachman and it seems quite likely that the latter took Harry Rogers with him to Basingstoke. 

Henry’s family lived at Pound House, Chailey.  The house was owned by the Blencowe family and William Rogers, the head of the household, appears on the 1901 census as a 48 year old farm bailiff.  With him were his wife Janet Helen (aged 52), and their two daughters: Maud Rogers (aged 18, working as a room maid) and Edith Rogers (aged 12). 

Harry first appears in Chailey’s parish magazine in the June 1917 edition where he is listed as Driver H Rogers, Royal Field Artillery.  It can be reasonably assumed that he was still in England as on the 22nd of that month, The East Sussex News reported his wedding to “Miss Kate King, only daughter of Mr and Mrs A King of Westland Cottage, North Common.  The Rector (The Rev T H L Jellicoe) officiated.”  The newspaper report mentions that Harry was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs W Rogers of Pound House but I cannot find an older brother (or brothers) noted on census returns.  There was certainly at least one older sister however, Olive Rogers born about 1879. 

In April 1918, Chailey Parish Magazine reported that Driver H Rogers has been wounded.  The following month it is recorded that he has been invalided.  This information then appears up to and including the final roll call published in July 1919.
Henry Rogers has extensive papers which survive in WO 364. His service record, in brief, is as follows:
4th December 1915: attests under the Derby Scheme
17th May 1917: joins with the RFA at Chichester and is given the regimental number 239384
5th January 1918: posted to 25th Divisional Ammunition Column
27th March 1918: Hospitalised with "inflamed Corn Tissue, Foot, Thigh, left"
31st March 1918: invalided to England
14th December 1918: compulsorily transferred to the Labour Corps and given new number 683184
Serves with no 696 Agricultural Labour Coy
22nd July 1919: discharged
Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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