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Brothers break a war record

PUBLISHED: 17:22 10 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK pensioner is set to enter the record books as one of ten brothers who all served Britain in the Second World War. Jack Rogers will make his name in history as the youngest of ten siblings who set off one-by-one to join the war effort - aged just 17.

A SUFFOLK pensioner is set to enter the record books as one of ten brothers who all served Britain in the Second World War.

Jack Rogers will make his name in history as the youngest of ten siblings who set off one-by-one to join the war effort – aged just 17.

The Rogers' place in the record books comes after seven other brothers entered the Guinness Book of Records last month as the most siblings to serve in the Second World War. The Rogers realised they could go three better with a record breaking ten.

Barham man Mr Rogers, originally from Wembley, north London but resident in the Ipswich area for the past 45 years, said of his family's record breaking feat: "I'm proud of it or course but I'm not one for publicity."

The veteran, who has two sons of his own as well as four grandchildren, said he was pleased to be entering the record books but hoped the publicity generated by his story would not overwhelm him.

The 80-year-old said the eldest of his siblings to join war effort was brother George ("Jumbo"), 22 years Jack's senior, who was a First World War veteran and worked as a craftsman at the de Havilland aircraft factory in the Second World War.

His next eight brothers served in the Army, one of them seeing action at Dunkirk.

Mr Rogers, the last surviving brother, served as an RAF corporal in the Middle East for four-and-a-half years and had a series of miraculous escapes.

"Twenty-five times I nearly lost my life doing stupid things or due to bad luck. I was bombed, dive-bombed, torpedoed and machine-gunned," he said.

After the war, when all brothers had returned safely from war, the siblings got together with their parents and four sisters for a family reunion.

"We had a dinner with dad down at the local pub in 1945 which was the last time we were all together," he said.

Ironically, it was the war which brought the veteran to Suffolk, he said.

"Some chap in a tent kept getting mail and I said, 'you must have a large family to get so much post'." His fellow airman replied that most of his mail came from his sister back in Suffolk.

When Mr Rogers saw his tent-mate's sister Ruth in a photograph in his locker, he was struck by her beauty.

On return to England, his first mission was to look Ruth up and the two married and settled in Suffolk, raising a family together until she died in 1982 aged 59.

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