Private William Albert ROGERS
Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Date of birth: 1887
Date of death: 16 April 1917
Killed in action aged 30
William was born in Temple Cowley, Oxford, the son of Henry (Harry), a professional cricketer, and Elizabeth M Rogers. William was registered as William Albert, but on "30 Jan 1887 William Herbert Rogers was baptised son of Henry and Elizabeth Mary, cricketer"; this must be simply a mistake due to accent and interpretation between the family and the vicar.
William's grandfather Charles Rogers (1823-1877, was a cricket player, and the first in the family to take up ground keeping and cricket coaching around Oxford rather than the more traditional "agricultural labouring" which was common in the family. He was groundsman at Balliol. He had eight sons and five survived to adulthood.
Henry, William's father, was groundsman at Worcester College, and four of his brothers, William’s uncles, were professional cricketers, and employed as grounds men. Richard (Dick) (1853-1947) at Bedford Modern School, Joseph (1858-1930) for 37 years at Magdalen College, Alfred (Brusher) (1864-1938) for 40 years at Exeter College, and Peter (1866-1923) at St. John's College.
William’s brother Percival (born c 1893) was cricket coach and groundsman at
Radley College and Reginald (born c 1898) was groundsman for Hertford College.
William worked for some time as a groundsman Christ Church.
On 17 January 1910 William, aged 23, bachelor, professional cricketer, living at Red College, Radley, son of Henry Rogers, professional cricketer, married Lilian Sarah Silvester aged 22, a spinster of Radley. The witnesses were Lilian Sarah Silvester and Beatrice Mary Rogers (William’s sister).
In the 1911 census William’s employment is shown as ‘cricket grounds man’ and he was living in Abingdon with his wife, Lillian Sarah nee Silvester, and their 8 month old son, William Henry Jas. They had a daughter, Beatrice in 1912, and Percival J Rogers in 1914.
He joined up, fought in France and Flanders and was killed in action.
His brother John Henry b.1895, was also killed on the Somme and is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial.
(At the end of the World War 1 Memorial Wm Rogers’ name appears on a list of former choristers, college servants or men with other links to Christ Church)