David Thomson ROGERS DSO, MiD

Poppy

ROGERS, David Thomson

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 17 August 1914, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Bendigo, Victoria, 26 September 1885
Home Town: Perth, Western Australia
Schooling: St Andrews College, Bendigo
Occupation: Bank official
Died: Died of wounds, Belgium, 16 September 1917, aged 31 years
Cemetery: Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Belgium
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Fremantle Fallen Sailors & Soldiers Memorial
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World War 1 Service

17 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
3 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
3 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Medic, Fremantle
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
12 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Major, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
23 Aug 1916: Honoured Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Pozières, Recommendation: DSO 'Meritorious service and devotion to duty while in command of the 8th Battery from 1/3/16 to 1/9/16, while the Division was holding the line at SAILLY 20/4/16 to 2/7/16, and during the operations on the SOMME including the capture of POZIERRES from 20th July to 23rd August. C.R.A 1st Aust Division. Awarded Distinguished Service Order, 1 January 1917.
29 Jun 1917: Honoured Mention in Dispatches, Mention in Despatches Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 29 June 1917 on page 1391 at position 102
16 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , Third Ypres

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Biography contributed by Jack Coyne

David Thomson ROGERS

Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
& Mention in Despatches. 

Recommendation: DSO 

'Meritorious service and devotion to duty while in command of the 8th Battery from 1/3/16 to 1/9/16, while the Division was holding the line at SAILLY 20/4/16 to 2/7/16, and during the operations on the SOMME including the capture of POZIERRES from 20th July to 23rd August.

C.R.A 1st Aust Division.                                                                 Awarded Distinguished Service Order, 1 January 1917.

 Under the heading, ‘BRAVE BENDIGO BOYS’, the Advertiser proudly reported in January 1917: -                                                         ‘Major. David T. Rogers, who has been decorated with the D.S.O., is a native of Bendigo, being the youngest son of the late Mr. D. T. Rogers, secretary of the Bendigo Mechanics' Institute and Free Library in its balmy days in the eighties. Major Rogers served in the Elmore branch of the Union Bank before being transferred to Perth, where he enlisted with the first Australian division. His brother is Mr. B. R. Rogers, manager for M'Culloch and Co., the well-known carrying firm of this city’.[1]

Just nine months later more sobering news would be reported to the citizens of Bendigo:- THE SUPREME SACRIFICE.THE SUPREME SACRIFICE. MAJOR DAVID T. ROGERS, D.S.O.

‘A private cable message received in Bendigo Tuesday stated that Major David T. Rogers, D.S.O., was killed in action in France on 17th September. Major Rogers is a native of Bendigo, and is a son of Mrs. and the late Mr. D. T. Rogers, who formerly resided in Arnold-street. Major Rogers's eldest brother is Mr. B. R. Rogers, manager in Bendigo for McCulloch and Co., and another brother is Mr. Arthur Rogers, barrister, of Elmore. His mother came to Bendigo recently to spend a holiday with Mr. and Mrs. Cyril James, at Quarry Hill, and the sad news was conveyed to her yesterday by Mr. B. Rogers and Mrs. F. Walter, of Geelong, who is a daughter. Major Rogers was educated in Bendigo, and after leaving school entered the service of the Union Bank. About 10 years ago he left Bendigo, and later proceeded to Western Australia, and at the outbreak of the war occupied the position of accountant in the Union Bank, Perth. He enlisted from that State, and when he embarked held the rank of lieutenant. His wife, who was a trained nurse, also went on active service with the Army Medical Corps. Lieutenant Rogers took part in the Gallipoli campaign, and he rose quickly to the rank of major. After the evacuation he proceeded to France, accompanied by his wife, who worked strenuously in the hospitals behind the firing lines. Major Rogers's services were recognised, and he was amongst the officers selected for the Distinguished Service Order on New Year's Day last. While in France Major Rogers met his brothers, Lance-corporal J. Rogers and Private Oscar Rogers. It was a happy re-union of the brothers, as 16 years had elapsed since Major Rogers had met his brother, Lance-corporal Rogers. The cable was sent by Major Rogers's wife, and his aged mother and the other members of the family are naturally much distressed at the sad news. Major Rogers, had he not been killed, would have celebrated his 32nd birthday today.[2]

David Rogers was wounded in action, Belgium, 16 September 1917 (shrapnel wound, compound fracture, skull and thigh, shattered arm); admitted to 6th London Field Ambulance; died of wounds, 16 September 1917.                 

 SERVICE DETAILS: 

Place of birth: Bendigo, Victoria

Religion: Church of England

Occupation: Bank official

Address: Arnold Street Bendigo & c/oUnion Bank, Perth, Western Australia

Marital status: Married

Age at embarkation: 29

Height: 5' 11.25"

Next of kin: Wife, Mrs Tessa Rogers, Suburban Road, South Perth, Western Australia

Enlistment date: 18 August 1914

Place of enlistment: Blackboy Hill, Western Australia

Appointed Major, 12 March 1916.

Final Rank: Lieutenant

Unit name: Field Artillery Brigade 3, Battery 8

Embarkation: From Fremantle, Transport A7 Medic on 2 November 1914                  

Date of death: 16 September 1917 Age 32

Place of burial: Reininghelst New Military Cemetery, Belgium

 

Mention in Despatches:                                                             Source Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 29 June 1917 on page 1391 at position 102

Distinguished Service Order                                                       Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 103 Date: 29 June 1917

 

Capture of POZIERRES from 20th July to 23rd August: -          This series of actions elicited the greatest quantum of Australian sacrifice of any single campaign in our military history.  In five weeks of fighting in mid 1916, the Australian First, Second and Fourth Divisions sustained 23,000 casualties, 5,000 of whom were killed.

A sobering account of the state of the Australian soldiers after this battle: -

"We are lousy, stinking, ragged, unshaven and sleepless. Even when we’re back a bit we can’t sleep for our own guns. I have one puttee, a dead man’s helmet, another dead man’s gas protector, a dead man’s bayonet. My tunic is rotten with other men’s blood, and partly splattered with a comrade’s brains. It is horrible, but why should you people at home not know? Several of my friends are raving mad. I met three officers out in No Man’s Land the other night, all rambling and mad. Poor Devils!."                                                             Lieutenant John Raws, 23rd Battalion, 4 August 1916[3]



[1] Bendigonian (Bendigo, Vic. : 1914 - 1918)  Thu 4 Jan 1917  Page 22  BRAVE BENDIGO BOYS.
[2] Bendigonian (Bendigo, Vic. : 1914 - 1918)  Thu 27 Sep 1917  Page 8  THE SUPREME SACRIFICE.THE SUPREME SACRIFICE. MAJOR DAVID T. ROGERS, D.S.O.
[3] Virtual War Memorial Australia on line – Pozieres  https://vwma.org.au/explore/campaigns/5

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