This is the third of three articles on Frederick Charles Rodgman. Prior to the First World War he served in the Canadian militia with the 10th Regiment “Royal Grenadiers” before enlisting with the 3rd Battalion (Toronto Regiment) CEF in September 1914. In early 1917 Frederick completed a 20-week Officers Training course at No. 1 Officer Cadet Battalion in Newton Ferrers, Devon and on March 1 he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Leicestershire Regiment. Frederick was promoted to Lieutenant in September 1918 but little else is known about his time with the Regiment.
The wonderful postcard displayed above shows Frederick surrounded by half a dozen British Sergeants, at least two of whom are wearing a wound stripe just above their left cuff. The location of the photo is unknown but several of the soldiers, including Frederick, are wearing service chevrons on the right sleeve which would date the photograph to after December 20, 1917. Frederick is still a 2nd Lieutenant so it has to have been taken prior to his promotion in September 1918. There is nothing written on the postcard to indicate the connection between these men but its possible they were involved in providing Lewis Gun training to other soldiers.
The postcard below is a bit of a mystery as Frederick is wearing a British 5-button tunic with no stripes. When he re-enlisted with the 23rd Reserve Battalion CEF in 1916 he did so as a Private however that doesn’t explain why is posing with a group of British soldiers from Territorial Battalions. The cap badge worn by the soldier lying on the right may be from one of the Devonshire Regiment Territorial Force Battalions and so one possibility is that Devon-born Frederick was visiting friends stationed in the same camp. I may be completely off the mark so if you have any theories please share them and leave a comment below.
Special thanks to Nancy Frey for allowing me to share these photos of her grandfather with you. Nancy is actively tracing her family history and would be happy to collaborate with anyone with similar interests. If you’d like to please contact me and I will put you in touch. I’d also like to thank Jonathan Capewell for his help and highly recommend that you check out his Leicestershire Regiment Soldiers of WW1 website.