Second Lieutenant C. E. Rogers
SAC 1902-1909

Second Lieutenant Clarence Elias Rogers was the son of Elias Rogers and attended St. Andrew's College from 1902 to 1909.

He was serving with the Royal Flying Corps when he was killed in action on June 18th, 1916 at the age of 24 years. More detailed descriptions of his death are in the letters quoted below.

He is buried in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, France (Grave Reference: XVI. D. 6.)

  • Canadian Virtual War Memorial Page for Clarence Rogers which includes a link to his commemoration on Page 573 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

From News Clipping: From Toronto Star, December 28, 1918

Light Lieut. Rogers Kept Control of Machine Though Sorely Wounded
Then Was Shot Through Head While Manoeuvring for Fighting Position
OBSERVER CLIMBED INTO PILOT'S PLACE

Details of the heroic manner in which Flight Lieut. Clarence E. Rogers, son of Mr Elias Rogers, met his death in a fight with a Fokker machine three thousand feet in the air, are given in a letter Mr. Alfred Rogers has received from Sergt. M. Taylor, who was the lieutenant's observer and who is now a prisoner in Germany....

...This letter is the simple story of the death of a brave man, who despite the fact that he was shot in the back and through the legs, managed to keep control of his machine and manoeuvre for a fighting position until shot through the head. None the less heroic was the actions of the observer, who although wounded through the arm, climbed over to the pilot's place, sat on the dead man's lap and endeavoured to bring the machine to the British lines. The letter is as follows:

Attached Fokker Machine

On June 14th, about 4 o'clock, we were flying over Loos proceeding north, when we sighted a Fokker about two or three miles over the other side. At this time the Fokker was about three thousand feet below us, we being at 8[?[,000 feet. Mr. Rogers immediately turned toward the other machine and dived. However when we met her, she was still too far below to get in a proper shot. We then went down in a steep spiral at the same time the Fokker climbed but always kept behind us. At last she got a position behind our tail and you yourself will know what that means. Mr. Rogers tried various methods of securing a position for getting a decent shot in such as tail sliding, sharp banking, etc. but never with any success.

I could see by now he was wounded, apparently in the back. he was also shot in the legs but he stuck to it like the man we all knew him to be. About this time a bullet striking the spring group put the rear gun out of action. About the next thing I knew was that I had been hit in the arm, that the engine was stopped and the machine commencing to slide-slip to the right. I then looked at Mr. Rogers and saw him leaning against the right hand side of the nacelle with the clutch still clutched in his hands and shot through the head. I imagine we were then about 3,000 feet.

I then climbed over, sat on his lap and took control. I first put down the nose to get out of the side slip and turned towards our lines. However as the engine was stopped I could only depend upon the glide and as it happened we were not quite high enough to get over. We landed in the trenches only 100 yards from our own (so I was told by a German officer). The machine struck a trench and as I was landing too steeply there was a bit of a smash. I can remember very little that happened after that for I was thrown out of the machine and stunned. I was taken into a trench and there I enquired after Mr. Rogers and was told he was dead. I think that is all the information I can give you but if you write to the Red Cross in Geneva, they will tell you where and how he was buried. If you could let me people know these particulars, I should be very much obliged to you.

From News Clipping: From the Toronto Evening Telegram, July 18, 1918

Foe Honored Lt. Rogers - Details Send of the Death and Burial of Toronto Officer

Lieut. Otto Urith, a German aviation officer, now a prisoner in England, has written to Elias Rogers telling him of the burial of his son, Lieut. Clarence Rogers. He says:

At the request of a gallant officer who died in my presence, I beg to give the following information: It was on June 18, 1916, approximately 5:30 pm, when one of our Fokker detachments brought down a British Vickers airplane in the vicinity of Roclincourt (about three miles from Arras). Ten minutes after the drop I saw him lying in his airplane and at once noticed that he was in critical position: the NCO who was within, luckily escaped injury and was made a prisoner. When four of our men succeeded in carrying him away he had been mortally wounded, and the doctor could not save his life. The latter told me he could only live about an hour longer, a bullet right through his head sealing his fate.

The poor, dying officer spoke to me in English, and handed over to me the following articles: a silver cigarette case, a note case containing photos, and another empty leather case. I gave him some water and other refreshments to drink and he ate a bit of chocolate; he did not suffer much pain, fortunately, and he passed away at about 6:20 pm. The body was taken to the Arlense mortuary, from where, three days later, he was buried with full military honours, amongst the German officers present being General von Albrecht, commanding the 1st Prussian Guards Reserve Division.

His tomb lies close to Arlense in the beautiful castle ground and on the cross which we erected to this gallant officer stand written: English translation: "Here sleeps a gallant English officer, Lieut. Clarence Rogers, from the British Flying Corps. Erected from the 3rd German battle squadron."

Permit me to express my deepest sympathy to you and may in your bereavement the fact of his gallantry, fully acknowledged by his enemies, be a somewhat redeeming feature.

Yours in sympathy,