Les Rogers was a wingman for the Bombers in the early 1900’s.

He came to the Club from Yarraville.

Lewis Blackmore also played for Essendon. 

While still a student at Melbourne Grammar, he kicked four goals for the Bombers in his debut match in 1905.

Both Blackmore and Rogers were fit, young and talented.

But their lives were short. 

Rogers fought on the Western Front with the 23rd Battalion in World War I. 

Blackmore was wounded in Gallipoli and evacuated in Malta. 

By 1916, both Essendon players had arrived in France to enter the Battle of Pozieres. 

“Pozieres was an absolute nightmare, it was hell,” Barry Gracey from the Pozieres Remembrance Association said.

“The artillery that was directed at the men at Pozieres is recorded a being the worst artillery barrage in history.

“Out of the 7,000 men that died there, 4,112 were destroyed by the artillery.

“That’s 65% and that’s never happened anywhere else. 

“It would have been non-stop shrieking of shells landing around you.  You’d be buried by dirt, your mates would dig you out, you’d get buried again – it just did not stop.”

A century on and the contribution of Australian soldiers to the battle of Pozieres have not been forgotten and neither has the sacrifice of two young Essendon footballers.

Mason Redman – the youngest player on the current Bombers list – was presented with a bayonet from the battle.

“The bayonet is being presented to the Club by the Mayor of Pozieres and the citizens of Pozieres in France in memory of the men like Lewis Blackmore and Les Rogers that died,” Gracey said,

“It actually got recovered off the battlefield there.

“What the Mayor wanted to do was let the people of Australia know that these men have not been forgotten.”