The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3698) Private Albert Charles Rogers, 48th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.317
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 13 November 2019
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Tom Rodgers, the story for this day was on (3698) Private Albert Charles Rogers, 48th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

3698 Private Albert Charles Rogers, 48th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF
DOW 4 May 1918

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Albert Charles Rogers.

Albert Rogers was born to Joseph and Eliza Rogers in Wateringbury, Kent, England in December 1894. As a young man, he served for a year in the 4th Battalion, Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), his local reserve unit. At the age of 19, Rogers migrated to South Australia, finding work as a farm labourer near Adelaide.

With the outbreak of war, Rogers enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in June 1915. Sailing on the transport ship Star of England in September, he arrived at the training camps in Egypt in November and joined the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion. In early April, Rogers developed bronchitis and was unable to keep up with his unit’s training or marching. He was declared medically unfit and discharged from the army, returning to Australia.

A year later, in May 1917, Rogers re-enlisted. In July, he sailed on the transport ship Port Melbourne and arrived in England in September. His lungs had recovered so well that he was able to act as his unit’s bugler for the duration of the voyage. He undertook training at the camps on the Salisbury Plain for six months, before sailing for France in March 1918. In France, he joined his new unit, the 48th Australian Infantry Battalion.

During April, the 48th Battalion was stationed in and around the town of Albert in the Somme sector of the Western Front. In March 1918, the Germans had launched what was to be their final assault of the war, known as the German Spring Offensive. Their objective in the Somme sector was to capture the railway centre of Amiens, but their attack was halted at the town of Villers-Bretonneux. Australian and British forces defended the town in two separate battles during April.

In May, Rogers and the men of the 48th Battalion were stationed in the front line at Villers-Bretonneux. In the early hours of the morning of 3 May, the battalion assaulted a German position at Monument Wood, east of the town. The attacking forces faced strong German resistance, and failed to take their objective. During the fighting, Rogers was shot and wounded. He died of his wounds at a nearby casualty clearing station the next day, 4 May 1918. He was 23 years old.

Albert Rogers is buried at Vignacourt British Cemetery in France, alongside more than 500 Commonwealth soldiers of the First World War. After the war, the village of Vignacourt erected a statue of a French soldier with the inscription, “Brothers in arms of the British Army, fallen on the field of honour, sleep in peace; we are watching over you”.

Private Albert Charles Rogers is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among almost 62,000 Australians who died while serving in the First World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Albert Charles Rogers, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Thomas Rogers
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3698) Private Albert Charles Rogers, 48th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)