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Lieutenant Leonard Castell Campbell Rogers, M.C., 1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles

December 25, 2019


Remembering the Fallen:  on Christmas Day in 1914, Lieutenant Leonard Castell Campbell Rogers, M.C., 1st Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles, died from wounds received the previous day as he attempted to rescue a wounded soldier while under heavy fire.

The son of an engineer with the Public Works Department in India, he was educated at Blundell’s School, Tiverton, and went on to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.  He was commissioned into the Bedfordshire Regiment in 1906, at the age of nineteen, then joined the Indian Army two years later, being made Quartermaster to the 7th Gurkha Rifles in 1913.  Known for his personal courage, he was noted as one who had a promising career before him.

On Christmas Eve in 1914, his actions at Festubert earned him the award of the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry.  A severely wounded man had been lying in front of the German trenches for two days, so Lieutenant Rogers chose to make the attempt to rescue him.  A fellow officer gave this account of that day:  “" We had one poor fellow killed called Rogers.  He joined us from the 7th Gurkhas not long ago. I must say he died a magnificent death. The Loyal North Lancashires had done a counter-attack two nights before, and a number of their dead were lying out in the open between our lines and the Germans. Rogers noticed that one of them was wounded. He ran into the open towards the man, picked him up. and started back towards the trenches. The wounded man was, however, too heavy, and he was obliged to stop and lie down. Another man in our battalion ran out to help him, and between them they put him onto his back and started again. Poor Rogers was hit through the back, the bullet coming out where his ribs curved away. The man, however, carried on, and got back to a shallow ditch. The poor wounded fellow was again hit in the leg, and the other man of ours who carried him in had a bullet through his coat. Poor Rogers managed to crawl back to the ditch, where our men pulled him in.  He was very badly hit, and died the next morning. It was a rash but very gallant act, and I hope both will be rewarded as they deserve."  Lieutenant Rogers lies buried in the Le Touret Military Cemetery at Richebourg-L’avoue in France.

Leonard, born in India, was 27 years old.




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