Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Second Lieutenant Alan Evison Rodgers, 5th Battalion, the East Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action at Gallipoli.
His parents’ eldest son, he was educated at Arnold House School in Blackpool and then Marlborough College, where he joined the Officers’ Training Corps. At the outbreak of the Great War he joined his father’s regiment. (In the group photo he is on the far left in the back row, and his father is third from the right in the front row). His battalion was sent to Egypt the following month and he was given the command of a platoon, a superior officer remarking that although he was only seventeen years old, he could “hold his own with anyone”.
From Egypt they were sent to the Dardanelles, where they were put into immediate action. On the 18th of May Second Lieutenant Rodgers received orders to advance and dig himself in, to be relieved the following day. A cloudburst filled the holes with water, and nobody arrived to relieve him and his men. He decided to lead his platoon back to safety, to find that they had been reported missing and thought to be dead.
On the 4th of June his platoon was sent to reinforce the Lancashire Fusiliers, who had suffered great losses. He and his men found themselves between the enemy’s and their own shell-fire in their efforts to reach the most advanced position that day. Second Lieutenant Rodgers was wounded but refused to be treated, and later was reported missing - his body was not found until three months later, close to the enemy’s trenches. He was buried where he was found but the site of his grave is now unknown. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli.
Alan, from Barley in Lancashire, had just turned 18 years old.