Facts and Events
The War Memorial at Maiden Newton, Dorset was build to comemorate the men of Maiden Newton and Frome Vauchurch who gave their lives during the First World War, so why was one of the names, W.J. Rogers of the 10th Canadians included?
The Commonwealth War Graves Commision records that Private William Rogers was the son of Henry E. Rogers and Mary S. Rogers of Frampton, which if true means he should have been recorded on the Frampton memorial, but other evidence reveals that the Rogers lived in the hamlet of Crockways where Henry was employed as a carter. Whilst physically closer to the village of Frampton, Crockway lies in the parish of Maiden Newton.
William Joseph Rogers was born on January 1, 1893 at Mappowder, Dorset, England where his parents had moved in about 1890 from Cheselbourne, where three of his elder siblings had been born. By 1901 the family had again moved, this time to Whitcombe where Henry is employed as a carter on the farm.
We don’t know when the Rogers family moved to Crockway or if William was with them but he did give it as his fathers place of residence when, aged 21, he arrived at Quebec, Canada on May 10, 1914 aboard the Andania enroute to Regina, Saskatchewan. Against his name was stamped British Bonus Allowed.
The British Bonus was a commission paid by the Canadian government’s Immigration Branch to steamship booking agents in the United Kingdom and in European countries for each suitable immigrant who purchased a ticket to sail to Canada. The immigrants themselves did not receive the bonus, although those who settled on western homesteads did receive a separate monetary bonus upon proof of settlement.
Following the outbreak of War, William volunteered for the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force and signed his attestation papers at Arcola, Saskatchewan on February 17th, 1915. At the time he was employed as a teamster and described as 5ft 5in tall, of dark complexion with grey eyes and black hair.
William was posted to the 10th Battalion which was part of the 2nd Brigade in the 1st Canadian Division that had moved to France on 7th February 1915. Having survived the horrors of the trenches for over two years, William Joseph Rogers died on Monday, 9th April 1917, the first day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.