My great uncle: John 'Jack' Rogerson

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Emmajanewatts, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

  2. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    The 2nd Bn Warwickshire Regiment, 185th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, landed on Sword Beach on D-Day as a follow-up unit and I believe had something to do with linking up with the 6th Airborne Division; see links to the Sword Orbat: and the War Diary in the Pegasus Archive:

    I have provided another link to a thread on this forum that I was involved with concerning RN personnel landing on Gold Beach: They were part of a COBU (Combined Operations Bombardment Unit) - Army and Navy - that called in RN firepower in support of the Army. You will note that very few of the COBU personnel KIA were actually listed as such, rather they were listed under the last Army or RN unit they were attached to in the main.

    Lebisay is pre-fixed St-Aubin i.e. St-Aubin Lebisay. The St Aubin area (you will see a few villages/towns by this name pre-fix) is near the coast, west of Ouistreham.

    I hope this assists.


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  3. Emmajanewatts

    Emmajanewatts Member

    Hi, my great uncle Alan his brother told me that he was stood next to a tank and it blew up in lebisay village
  4. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Would he have been more likely to wear battledress or RN uniform?
    If RN might it have been confused with a tank crew?
    That might help with a potential identification for Known Unto Death graves....

    Any potential identity for the tank unit?
  5. Emmajanewatts

    Emmajanewatts Member

    Hi, the letter from the cwgc reads he maybe buried in one of there cemetaries or even possibly one of 5 unknown royal navy graves buried in La Deliverande War Cemetery, Douvres, where members of the 2nd battalion, Royal Warkwickshire Regiment to which he was attached.
    They just havent a clue xxx
  6. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    It appears no one has a clue EJ.
    Don't blame the CWGC - they didn't kill him, nor were they there when he was buried.
    That was often done by the wayside by whomever could spare the time from fighting and details passed on for proper burial as time and fighting allowed.

    The GRU would then get involved and ultimately the CWGC when gathering isolated burials for the Normandy cemeteries.

    I think you've come a long way in a short space of time compared to what you had previously.
    I think you are blaming the CWGC when it's simply down to the fog of war.
    Many of the 2nd Warwicks who he was no doubt friendly with and who also died that day, also have no known graves.
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  7. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

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  8. Emmajanewatts

    Emmajanewatts Member

    morning everyone, if i ever go to portsmouth i will visit, i just thought he was on the one in town. I wish i knew where the photo is that i mentioned. Ive asked all family members and knowone seems to know which is a shame but i do have some of him.
    i think its amazing that you all have found all this info when ive been searching and found not much apart from you lovely people. It took alot to write about him as i normally keep things to myself and ive been made to feel so welcome.
    Can i ask is there anything about ww2 we cant talk about xxx
  9. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    EJ, that's what the forum does well, takes a few pieces of information and tries to fit the pieces together for you.
    That way we hope to spark an interest in helping others and I'll bet that many here do just that, because of the warmth of welcome.

    We may not even have finished yet!
    Don't forget your correspondence with CWGC was in 1962, since when they and many other things have moved on.

    We know that there are many unidentified bodies from the 2nd Warwicks (and other units) where they have to be commemorated by name on the Bayeux Memorial.
    In the main, these men are actually properly buried in cemeteries but their identification, like Jacks, has been lost.

    It's even possible that some of these men may be identified by rank or unit, but not by Name.
    The CWGC do keep records and once we have a few more facts for you it may well be possible to reapproach the CWGC to ask if they have records for burials recovered from this small village. You mention that he was standing next to a tank which blew up. From examining the units of the UK dead on that day, none seem to be tank crew. The possibility may be that he was attempting to direct fire from a US or Canadian etc tank which was then hit. There may be War Diary accounts from the nearby units that may help pinpoint his first burial place, from which the CWGC may be able to relate to a recovered body, which might be Jack.

    The Pals here may well be able to research the relevant War Diaries for the 7th and subsequent days to see if any relate to the incident in which Jack was killed.
  10. Emmajanewatts

    Emmajanewatts Member

    Thankyou babe, could you give me an idea to where war diaries are, im very new here and ive only have ahandful of photos letters from him and official letters and what ive been told by family. I really am amazed. If i was well enough id love to go to dachau or auchwitz, maybe one day. Sorry for my spelling lol xxx
  11. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Hello Emma

    Copies of war diaries are at the National Archives in Kew but there are a couple of members who can copy them for a fraction of the price; many members have used them. They are Lee (PsyWar.Org) and Andy (Drew5233)-see their posts above-just send one of them a private message and they will point you in the right direction. :)

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  12. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Hello Emma,

    As Lesley mentions at Message # 11, Jack was serving with RN Bombardment Unit 1A, which was probably part of a Combined Operations Bombardment Unit (COBU). There are War Diaries for the COBU's.

    Forum member 'DannyM' may have the War Diary for the applicable COBU, see his comments at Message # 22 in the third link in my Message # 22 in this thread (above). Also, forum member 'idler' has a source of information on this subject. I will send both a PM presently and ask them to look in on this thread to see if they can assist.

    The presence of a 'tank' does not necessarily mean that there was a tank unit present. A lot of the Artillery Regiments landed on D-Day were SP (self-propelled), rather than towed guns and for example, had Sherman OP tanks. FOB (Forward Observation Bombardment) personnel, which probably included Jack, would likely be operating in or near the OP tanks.

    Jack may have been operating/cooperating with the Artillery Regiment attached to the 2nd Bn Royal Warwickshire Regiment. However, before you/we take a step in that direction, I believe we should see what information we can ascertain from DannyM from the COBU War Diaries and any other applicable information we can obtain from him/idler.


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  13. The D Day Landing Table for SWORD includes a number of small parties from 'A' Bombardment Troop (Unit Mobilisation Number = 36119), two one of which are is specifically noted as attached to 2 WARWICK, plus one attached to the Battalion Headquarters. All three Both were scheduled to land on QUEEN WHITE Beach:

    LCI(L) LTIN 314 (2 WARWICK Bn HQ Craft, planned to beach H+150) : 3x Marching Parties
    LCT(4) LTIN 339 & 342 (both (planned to beach H+240) : 1x M3A1 White 15 cwt 4x4 with 2 Vehicle parties each (crew) - FOB for 2 WARWICK

    LCI(L) = Landing Craft Infantry (Large)
    LCT(4) = Landing Craft Tank Mark 4
    LTIN = Landing Table Index Number
    FOB = Forward Observer Bombardment:
    "A bombardment unit officer (captain or lieut RA) who is specially trained to observe naval gunfire on shore targets. He asks BCHQ [Bombardment Control Headquarters] for the allocation of a bombarding ship, calls for fire to meet the needs of the army formation or unit to which he is attached, and observes the fall of shot. He also reports frequently the tactical situation ashore, particularly the positions of our own forward troops."
    Source: Combined Operations Staff Notebook, 1945

    And from Trux' thread on Royal Navy here:
    Royal navy
    Combined Operations Bombardment Unit. [COBU]
    These were organised to provide control for naval gunfire in combined operations. Each unit was organised into troops which each provided seven parties which consisted of trained personnel as follows.
    1 X Observation Officer Royal Artillery
    1 X observation post assistant Royal Artillery
    3 X signaller Royal Navy
    1 X Liaison Officer Royal Navy who was stationed on the ship providing fire support.

    The Observation Officer and his assistant manned an observation post as in Royal Artillery field units. The signallers Royal Navy were provided to operate wireless sets on Royal navy or combined operations frequencies, and to use Royal Naval signal procedures to communicate with their ship.


    Ordinary Telegraphist John ROGERSON was apparently a signaller Royal Navy, member of one of the 'A' Bombardment Troop parties attached to 2 WARWICK.

    [Edited 2 Nov 2017: LCT LTIN 342 carried FOB for 2 KSLI, not 2 WARWICK]
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
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  14. idler

    idler GeneralList

    'Tank' may be 'carrier', as 2 Warwicks lost a lot of theirs durong the attack on Lebisey. This area remained in German hands which might help explain burial/ ID difficulties. There are photos of what I believe are 2 Warwicks carriers as they have been aasumed to be Villers Bocage in the past.
  15. idler

    idler GeneralList

    From Soldier, Sailor by Geoffrey Sanders, published by the Bombardment Units association:

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  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    'A forum member' has the transcribed 2 Warwicks war diary on his Flickr account.
    I used them back in 2010 when I went to Lebisey.
    notice for 7th June it says attack supported by a cruiser.
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  17. idler

    idler GeneralList

    2 R Warwicks had a different view of the proceedings. Their Commanding Officer actually called off the bombardment having decided to postpone the attack for an hour when one of the assault companies (A Coy) and the carriers were delayed. Unfortunately, the other two companies involved (B & C) did not get that order and set off for the wood, supported by only two self-propelled guns. At that stage, there was no panic as it was believed that the wood was only lightly held, as it had recently been vacated by a company of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Alas, a fresh unit of Panzer Grenadiers had moved into the wood behind them and prepared a strong defence which caught the Warwicks and set off the series of unfortunate events mentioned above.

    Their history mentions that the carriers could not follow B and C Coys because of the swampy ground. If a fully-tracked carrier couldn't get through, it's unlikely that the FOB's halftrack would, so I assume that it would have followed either the anti-tank or mortar platoons, both of which separately blundered into German lines and got shot up while trying to find routes into the wood. German war photographers did take a few close shots of the Mortar Platoon's carriers but no halftrack is visible. I have got a personal account by the Anti-Tank Platoon's commander somewhere, so I will see if I can dig it out, he might mention something...
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    If you are interested in any of the 2 Warwicks diaries I can give you a fairly accurate quote as I copied them all for a forum member a couple of years ago.

  19. Slowly (it's getting late...) putting 2 and 2 together, from what I understand of Danny's post mentioned by Steve:

    the designation "RN Bombardment Unit 1A" found by 4jonboy must be equivalent to "Combined Operations Bombardment Unit No.1, 'A' Troop", so Jack Rogerson's fate should be mentioned in the 1 COBU War Diary.

    'A' Troop had a total of 41 men scheduled for the first tide on SWORD, or just about the 7 Parties of 6 Men each as described by Trux. There seems to have been 3 Troops per Bombardment Unit.

    As an aside, 'C' Bombardment Troop on SWORD as assigned to 1 and 4 Special Service Brigades.

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  20. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Here you go - I suspect this is the unit although it's listed under Royal Artillery rather than RN.

    WO 171/962 1 Bombardment Unit Jan-Oct 1944

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