Airborne Engineers Association

Ewart James (Jim) Rogers

 

 

Ewart James (Jim) Rogers. 19th October 1923 - 26th July 2018

 

In 1937, aged 13 yrs 8mths Jim, sat the Royal Engineers apprentice exam in the Ravelin Building (now the home of the RE Museum in Brompton). On the 20th January 1938 he took the 'King's Shilling' and enlisted into the Army. At the time, Jim, was 14 yrs old, 4' 11" tall, weighed 7 stone and was still wearing short trousers. At Beachley Camp, Jim was posted into `D' Company where he learned the trade of stone mason.

In 1941 to commence his Sapper career he was posted from Beachley to 3 Battalion Royal Engineers, Newark. On completing his RE training he was posted to 244 Field Company RE stationed in Doddington. In 1944 Jim, was selected for Parachute Training at Ringway, Manchester, later joining 3 Para Sqn RE. During May 1944, prior to D Day the Sqn were moved to a place called Blake Hill Farm in Leigh; a village between Swindon and Cricklade. The Sappers were moved to Purton near Swindon. Jim was involved with Airborne Forces Development Team prior to Operation Market Garden.

1939 - 1945 Star, Africa Star with Clasp (1st Army), Italy Star, France & Germany Star The Defence Medal, 1939 - 1945 War Medal, Pre-1962 General Service Medal with Clasp (Palestine 1945 - 48 & S.E. Asia 1945 - 46) Chevalier in the Order National de la Legion d'Honneur

His Military service tours included Algiers, Tunisia, Italy, Germany, Holland, South East Asia & Palestine. He was involved in the Battle of the Ardennes and 'jumped' on Operation Varsity - the crossing of the River Rhine. After spending time in West Africa Jim was discharged from the Regular Army in September 1949. He went onto the Reserve List and his final discharge was 18th October 1953.

Jim applied and was successful for the position of an Inspector of Works in Nigeria. He left for Lagos on 4th November 1954 to be followed by wife Mary and son Tony in January 1955. They left Nigeria in 1960 when the country gained its independence. Returning home, Jim continued to work within the building trade. He secured a career with R J Coleman, who dealt with BP as a client. Jim stayed with the business for 25 years. Jim, became a member of the Parachute Regiment Association and served as Chairman of the Sittingbourne Branch, until its closure in 2010. He later became secretary of the PRA Thanet Branch.

He and Mary loved to travel, visiting many countries plus many parts of the UK caravanning with their dear friends Bob & Pamela Seaman.
They attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace, reporting back that 'Madge' makes great sandwiches. Commemorative visits to Normandy, the Ardennes, anniversaries of D Day and Operation Varsity in 2004 and 2010 were made by both Jim and Mary.

Jim's, most recent award was in January 2017, when he was appointed the rank of Chevalier in the Order National de la Legion d'Honneur. Which in Jim's words, "Allows me to ride a horse through Paris". In his last months he was reunited with his dear friend Maj (Retd) Alan Graham MiD, who he served with in WWII. Jim was a valued and much-loved member of the Chatham Branch AEA, and will be greatly missed.



 

 

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