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David Jackson

William Frederick Rogers - railway employee 1920s - 50s

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His name was William Frederick Rogers. He fought in France during WW1, possibly with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. In 1920 he was married to Ethel Kirk and had two daughters. He was provided with a railway cottage adjacent to the Kimberley railway station. His first job with the railway around 1920 was as plate layer. Later he became an inspector and I believe station master by 1950. I believe his mates called him Canada Bill. He had moved to Canada in 1910 on Canada's first battleship the HMCS Niobe but returned to the UK in 1914 after joining the army. I have not been able to locate his Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) army records although I have found his previous British navy record of service from 1905-1910. He may have returned to Britain before volunteering for the British army.

 

Any information that could provide a lead for further research would be appreciated. Railway records should provide some information since he was a long-term employee. He was employed as a WW1 vet. He was born in February 1986.His daughters were Dorothy and Ethel. His son was Albert Rogers. 

CanadaBill.png

HCMS Niobe Bill 1910.png

 

 

Born February 1886 in Weymouth area. First married in York, Toronto, Canada. Later separated after returning to Britain and found a life partner with a lady named Ivey. His son Albert lost an eye as a young lad due to a BB-gun incident. His daughters Ethel and Dorothy worked in the garment industry in Nottingham. All are now deceased.

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I've made a couple of edits to this post and moved it to the Ancestry thread. 

 

And now bumped it, in case it was missed first time round.

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I did see this but not sure what we can add  .

 

This is a possible birth in Weymouth for William Frederick Rogers but its registered 1888 not 1886 plus a probable marriage for his parents in 1886 .

 

ROGERS, WILLIAM  FREDERICK   mothers maiden name  VINCENT  

GRO Reference: 1888  March Quarter in WEYMOUTH

 

 

 

Marriages Sep 1886   (>99%)


             
Rogers  William    Weymouth  5a 528  
             
VINCENT  Susan Ann    Weymouth  5a 528

 

 

On the 1901 Census :

 

 

6, Prince Wales Road Selway Terrace, Weymouth, Dorset

 

Susan Rogers Head Married Female 36 1865 Charwoman Charminster, Dorset, England
William Rogers Son - Male 13 1888 - Weymouth, Dorset, England
Henry Rogers Son - Male 11 1890 - Weymouth, Dorset, England
Beatrice Rogers Daughter - Female 9 1892 - Weymouth, Dorset, England
Sydney Rogers Son - Male 8 1893 - Weymouth, Dorset, England
Florence Rogers Daughter - Female 4 1897 - Weymouth, Dorset, England

 

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He appears on the 1939 Register, with a date of birth of 23 Nov 1887, living at 2 L N E R Cottages, Kimberley. He also transferred from the Royal Navy to the Canadian  Navy as per his RN records and there's a record for him here, but it's not online, you have to apply for it

https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/royal-canadian-navy-1910-1941-ledger-sheets/Pages/item.aspx?IdNumber=1051&T

 

You can perhaps get a free trial for the Ancestry website or you may be able to view at your local library, then you'll be able to search surviving British Army service records (other ranks, not Officers) and Railway records.  Bear in mind though, that lots of WW1 service records were destroyed in WW2 so they may not have survived and I don't think the Railway records are complete and they give very little information, anyway

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Thank you very much. I really appreciate your response.

 

I am particularly interested in his army record during WW1, but I realize many British Army records were destroyed during the Blitz. I was able to retrieve his navy record from 1905 through 1910 and learned that he was seconded to the Canadian Navy as crew on their first battleship the HMS Niobe renamed HMCS Niobe and redeployed out of Halifax, Canada.

 

I know that he married in York, Ontario, Canada to a recent arrival from the UK, Ethel Kirk, and had a daughter Dorothy there. I know that Ethel Kirk (Kirke) had numerous siblings.

 

I know that he returned to the UK in 1914 to fight in WW1. That's where I lose track of his record. The question arises: Did he return to England to join the British Army, or did he enlist in Canada with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces as seems would have been logical. Canadian records are available but I have not been able to locate him. There may have been a reason for that.

 

I believe the Canadian CEF would initially not take married men and he may have given false information on enlisting. He had only recently married and had a young child. Why did he enlist? It could have been that the marriage was not going so well, but I only know things were not perfect.  Your information has some new elements though. His date of birth varies on his records. You mention November 23, 1887. That is new to me. Also thank you for his Kimberley address!

 

My mother was born in Nottingham to Bill Rogers and Ethel Kirk who had by then also returned to the UK from Canada. Oral records claimed that initially she (his wife) would not let Bill in on his return from France in 1918. Nevertheless, my mother, Ethel Rogers, was born to Ethel in 1920. They later also had a son Albert Rogers. They are all now passed away. Bill and Ethel later separated and Bill found a new partner in Ivy. When I first met Bill he was with Ivy. It is said Ethel Kirk became very active in the Union movement in and around Nottingham.

 

I was born in Blackpool in March 1944 while my father, Joseph Kenneth Jackson was stationed there with the RAF. During WW2 he served in Northern France and Belgium. After the war our family joined him at RAF Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Bill and Ivy came to visit us there after WW2. He used to regularly send us copies if the Eagle comics by mail that my brother and I greatly appreciated.

 

What I am trying to find out is whether there are family or acquaintances that remember William Rogers (Bill Rogers) and know about his army service. I personally have very fond memories of him as my grandfather. I am also very impressed with his service in both the Royal Navy and in WW1 in the army.  He was reported to still have had issues with shrapnel wounds. One report was that he served as a linesman in France. Was that with the British Army or the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. Some record to confirm either would give me enough to better understand the battles he must have been in. I intend to pass this record of service on to my grandchildren.

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If you think he might have had a British Army pension, due to illness or injury, then, apart from the WW1 records on Ancestry, there are Pension record cards, also on Ancestry, but held by Fold3, which would be worth a search.  Only some are available at the moment, though - think there are lots more to come

 

I'd had a quick look at the Canadian Army records, as I know they are online, but nothing obvious

 

Might be worth tracing descendants of Ethel's and/or William's siblings to see if they know more

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Thanks. Yes, searching the Canadian records I came across quite a few with the name William Rogers. I did find one attestation document dated Sept. 23rd. 1914 for William Rogers with a father also named William Rogers and next of kin Dorset, England registration 30674, but the date of birth didn't match (23 August, 1880)

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