Private, Middlesex Regiment, 1st Bn.
Service no. G/43526.
Died on 23 October 1918, aged 32.
Remembered at Remembered at Vis-En-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
Chris Burge writes:
Sydney (aka Sidney) Herbert Rogers was born in Lambeth in 1886 and baptised at All Saints, South Lambeth on 24 October 1886. His parents, William and Mary Rogers, were living at 5 Gladstone Street, off Wyvil Road, in Stockwell, at the time and his father worked as a porter for the London & South Western Railway, which employed many of Gladstone Street’s inhabitants.
The 1891 census shows Sydney was the second youngest of six siblings and the Rogers family lived in four rooms at the Gladstone Street property, which was shared with a family of three in two other rooms. The Rogers family were still living at the same address ten years later when Sydney’s father was 56 and his mother 51. Sydney worked as a printer’s messenger, his older sister Alice as a domestic servant and his younger brother Tom was still at school. Sydney’s widowed grandmother Mary lived with them.
Sydney’s mother died in 1911, leaving just his sister Alice and brother Tom living with their father at Gladstone Street. William Rogers was still working as a railway porter for the L&SWR and Alice, 26, was looking after the family. Tom, 21, was now an engine stoker for the L&SWR. The property also housed another railway porter’s family with three young children, living in two rooms.
In 1911, Sydney was one of Alice Swan’s three boarders at 72 Fulwell Road in Teddington, Middlesex. All three boarders worked as railway engine stokers for the L&SWR which had a locomotive shed at Fulwell Junction.
Sydney Herbert Rogers was conscripted in around March 1916. (Estimated from the £12 War Gratuity paid to William Rogers as recorded in the Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects.) He first served in the 1/7th Battalion, a Territorial Force unit, as private 6064 Rogers, but there are no surviving records to say exactly when and where he was transferred to the 1st Middlesex, and was renumbered. (The pages of Middlesex Regiment Medal Roll show a number of men transferred from the 1/7th to the 1st Middlesex in the service number range G/43440-G/43720, with the first casualty in this range on 16 January 1917.) Sydney Herbert Rogers’ service in the 1st Middlesex probably dates from the beginning of 1917. Their main actions in 1917 and 1918 are listed here.
Sydney was killed in action during the final advance in Picardy when the end of the war was in sight. His 74-year-old father William was the sole beneficiary of Sydney’s will which amounted to £133 2s 1d when probate was granted on 8 January 1919.
Alice married George Griffin in 1917 and by 1925 the couple had moved to 5 Gladstone Street to be with William, who died in 1926, aged 81. They were still in residence when the street was renamed Trenchold Street in the 1930s (it was redeveloped in 1948; its one remaining landmark is the Builders Arms pub).