James Rogers spent his boyhood at Moama, New South Wales where he was born on 2 June 1873.

At the age of eleven, he moved with his father to Heywood in Victoria and, as a young man, he joined the local company of the Victorian Mounted Rifles.

At the outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa in 1899, Rogers, who was by then an experienced soldier, enlisted in the C Victorian Mounted Infantry Company.

He arrived in South Africa in November 1899 and saw service in the Cape Colony and Orange River districts.

When the Victorian contingent returned to Australia, Rogers remained behind having joined the South African Constabulary where, in June 1901, he attained the rank of Sergeant.

On 15 June 1901, he was one of a small skirmishing party, led by Lieutenant Dickinson with six other men, whose function was to dispose of Boers who had infiltrated into British held territory.

Near Thaba'Nchu about sixty Boers attacked the party and Lieutenant Dickinson's horse was shot. Rogers returned to pick up Dickinson on his own horse and, under heavy enemy fire, he carried him half a mile to safety.

Rogers returned to within four hundred yards of the enemy on two other occasions to pick up comrades and was called upon by the Boers to surrender.

He continued firing and, after capturing two rider less horses, assisted another two men to ride to safety.

For his valour in the face of heavy enemy fire, James Rogers was awarded the Victoria Cross.

He arrived back in Australia in January 1902 and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion, Australian Commonwealth Horse. He was yearning for excitement so, on 19 May 1902, he again left for South Africa but the war came to an end shortly after his arrival. He returned to Melbourne in 1904 where he received his Victoria Cross from the acting Gove rno r ‑General, Bro. Lord Tennyson.

When the First World War broke out, Rogers was appointed a Lieutenant in the 3 d Light Horse Brigade.

He landed at Gallipoli with his brigade on 16 April and was wounded by a shell burst at Walker's Ridge on 4 August 1915.

After hospitalisation to treat shrapnel wounds to his leg, back and head, he served in the Anzac Provost Corps but he returned to Australia in June 1916 and was eventually transferred to the reserve of officers in June 1922.

Rogers ran a grazing property in Victoria's Mallee district and, after retirement, he lived at Kew, Victoria and at Roseville in Sydney.

He died at the Concord Repatriation Hospital in Sydney on 28 October 1961.

Bro. James Rogers was initiated in the Rabble Burns Lodge No. 88, United Grand Lodge of Victoria, meeting at Newport on 11 November 1913.

He was advanced to the Mark Degree in Admiral Collingwood Lodge No. 7, United Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Victoria on 6 October 1917.

The square and compasses mounted above the Master's chair in the Masonic Centre at Wauchope, N.S.W., originally belonged to Bro. James Rogers, V.C.


Information supplied from the book " Australian and New Zealand Freemasons and the Victoria Cros" by Grahame Cumminge PDGM UGL of NSW & ACT