Frank Rogers

Frank Rogers was the seventh child of William James Rogers and his wife Maria, and appears to have been born in late 1884, in Lawford.  The family had moved to Lawford in the mid 1870’s, from their original home in Dedham, which was Maria’s home village.

Frank’s father - who was originally from Charsfield in North Suffolk - was the Driver (or operator) of a steam-driven Threshing Machine, which was used to separate seeds from the stalks and husks. 

After he left school, Frank became a Groom, looking after horses.  In 1907, just over 2 years after his father’s death, he married 22 year old Florence Alice Cant, who was from Ipswich.  They made their home in Lawford, and it was there, that their first two children were born, both of whom were sons.

Frank and Florence would have five children together, three boys and two girls.  They moved away from Lawford, and by April of 1911 they were living at Foxboro, near Woodbridge in Suffolk, where Frank was a Coachman.  They stayed in that locality for another four years, before moving to Great Bromley shortly before Frank joined the British Army.

It is not clear at this point whether Frank volunteered to join the British Army in late 1915, or whether he was conscripted into the Army in early 1916.  However, it is almost certain that he arrived in France on 22 December 1916.  Five days later Frank was part of a reinforcement draft of 151 men who joined the 8th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment, at the town of Bethune.

At various times over the next four months the Battalion took its turn manning the trenches in what was called the Loos Salient, near the mining town of Lens.  The Salient was a bulge two miles deep jutting into the German line, and had initially been created by the British gains at the Battle of Loos in 1915.

On the night of 30th April 1917 - after five days in the reserve trenches - the 8th Bedfords relieved another battalion who were manning the front line trenches.  The very next day Frank was killed. 

Frank and the two other men from his Battalion who were killed on the same day, were buried side by side in a small military cemetery approximately 3 miles behind the front line, in the village of Mazingarbe.  They rest there still, in what is now called the Philosophe British Cemetery.