I am grateful to Keith Morgan for the following newspaper cutting recording the death of my great-great-uncle, Private Jonah Rogers in 1915. I have transcribed the story below.
Private Jonah Rogers (1565), 2nd Monmouthshires, whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Rogers reside at Fernleigh Vila, Hafodyrynys, was killed in action on May 8th. From the Records Office, Shrewsbury, the official notification of the sad news of Private Rogers’s death has been received by Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. Several of the gallant sons of Hafodyrynys have now given their lives for their King and country. Private Rogers was one of that noble army of young men who prepared for danger; he had been in the 2nd Monmouthshires for three years prior to the war and on the 5th August last, when the mobilisation was ordered, Private Rogers was one of the most ready of the Hafodyrynys lads to answer the call. He was made of the stuff that real soldiers are proud to behold. With him there was no flinching in danger’s hour. His experiences can never be adequately recorded, but it shows his true grit to be able to say that three times he was in hospital in France suffering from sickness and frostbite, and yet did not take the “leave of absence” he might have had. He felt it his duty to be at the post of danger; he was a rare good solider. In the words of a lifelong friend “He was a good lad – one of the best.” When writing home of his life in the trenches – the strain of which sometimes he found very trying – he was always so buoyant in spirit, never complaining, and spoke so cheerfully of coming home again after the war was over. To his parents the sympathy of all goes out.
Private Rogers was born at Hafodyrynys nearly twenty-one years ago. From his childhood days he had attended the Hafodyrynys Congregational Sunday school, and to-day, as for many months past, his name is inscribed upon the “Roll of Honour” – the list of young men who from the little chapel at Hafodyrynys have gone to do what they can in the cause of right and justice. The little chapels and Sunday schools have given some of their brightest young men to the Army and Navy in this crisis, and it is a real pleasure to find young fellows who are used to the luxury of good homes, and who are now enduring hardships as good soldiers, writing to friends and saying, “You know I went for conscience sake.”
Of the “pals” who left Hafodyrynys with Private Rogers, three have written to the gallant lad’s parents offering their deepest sympathy. The parents are truly grateful for their thoughtfulness.
On Sunday last, at the close of the evening service, the Society Meeting was held, and references to the death of Private Rogers were made by several members of the Church. Private Rogers’s mother is one of the oldest members of the Church. The meeting passed a vote of condolence with the relatives, all present standing in silence.
Private Rogers was a finely-built young fellow. He was intelligent, and in the estimation of the Hafodyrynys people he was placed very high. His death is very sincerely lamented.