Roger Tom Juggins

Roger Tom Juggins

Born in Marston Moretaine in 1886, Roger was the third eldest of six sons and three daughters born to Thomas and Julia (née Brown). In 1891 the family lived at Woodend, Northamptonshire. Roger's father was a farm bailiff, the family well-off enough to employ a domestic servant.

By 1901 the family had moved to Moat Farm, Marston Moretaine. Roger was a butcher's apprentice. The family moved to Burleigh Hill Farm, St Ives, some time before 1906. Thomas was described as farmer of Burleigh Hill when giving evidence in court, as published in the Hunts Post of 28 November 1913.

Roger was living at 49 Balham HillBalham, London by 1911, lodging with his elder brother William and employed as a shop fitter. It's most likely they lived over the butcher's shop that William managed.

On 18 May 1912 Roger and his two younger brothers, Frederick and John, were aboard the SS Armadale, leaving the port of London for Fremantle, Australia. Roger's occupation was listed as agriculture. After two months at sea they arrived. Roger lived at 81 Pier Street, Perth, Australia, in 1914, employed as a carpenter.

Roger enlisted at Blackboy Hill for the Australian Imperial Force on 27 March 1916. At that time he was living in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. After almost six months training he embarked from Fremantle aboard the SS Clan MacGillivray in September 1916 for France as an Acting Lance Corporal to join the 11th Battalion, Australian Infantry.

SS Clan MacGillivray
Family and friends bid farewell to troops departing for WWI aboard the SS Clan MacGillivray
In early 1916 Roger's Battalion occupied the trenches around the village of Louverval. On Sunday 15 April, during the Battle of Lagnicourt, Roger and his comrades were manning a picket post, an exposed position forward of the main lines, it's aim being to give advance warning of an enemy advance. They numbered one officer, three NCOs and thirty men. Their orders were to hold the position at all costs.

The Germans attacked with overwhelming numbers and Roger's unit found themselves surrounded. Having used up all their ammunition, the Germans demanded their surrender. In a last desperate attempt to save the position the survivors fixed bayonets and charged into a superior enemy force. Although they inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, they were overpowered.

Lieutenant Charles Pope, in charge of Roger's unit, was killed and posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. His lifeless body, along with all of his men, was found amongst eighty enemy dead. Roger was one of those killed in the action, aged 31yrs. They Germans failed to capture the post.

Roger has no known grave and is commemorated at the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France. His death was reported in the Hunts Post of 11 May 1917.

The photo at the top of this page is the only known image of Roger. It was found in his daughter's purse after her death.

Four of Roger's brothers served in the War, as reported on 19 October 1917 when Albert appealed against call-up. Another brother, Donald, also appealed and made something of a fuss in the Appeals Tribunal, as reported on 8 June 1917. Brother Jack, awarded the Military Medal for bravery, was wounded as reported on 19 April 1918.

Do you have any additional information about Roger? If so, please get in touch via the make contact page.

Source materials
Click any of the links below to view original source materials.
1891 Census
1901 Census
1911 Census
1912 Outward Passenger List
1912 Immigration Register
1914 Australian Roll
1916 Attestation Form
1916 Embarkation Record
Commonwealth War Graves Register
Commemorative Certificate

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