John Vercoe Rogers 27 September 1918

John Vercoe Rogers was the second son of a family from Canonbury Park, London. He was born in Knightsbridge in March 1886 and arrived in Sidney House, accompanied by his older brother in January 1898, aged 11 and left in December 1900, after exactly three years, still only 14 years old. As an U14, Rogers ii, as he was known, won the 100 yards and the Quarter Mile on Sports Day 1898, competing against rather older boys and he was also one of a winning team in Association Sixes (presumably six-a-side rugby) in his first year. He played house cricket with some success. He was also a promising gymnast, competing in 1898 junior competition against Austin Baldwin, who would be killed the same day in the same battle. He won a French prize in his last year. 

At some stage he lived at Waterloo Farm in St.Mawes in Cornwall and later emigrated to Canada with his future wife in 1906, sailing from Falmouth. They lived out west in Birch River, Manitoba and he came over to France in the Winnipeg Grenadiers, rising to the rank of Lieutenant. 5 feet 9 inches tall with dark brown hair and brown eyes, he described himself as a lumberman when he joined the Canadian Army in May 1916. He was also a married man, detailing Susie Vercoe-Rogers as his next of kin, and he had at least one son, because his grandson, great-granddaughter and several great-great-grandchildren still remember him today. He fought first at Vimy Ridge on the Somme and fell in action on 27th September 1918 at Bourlon Wood, and was buried in Quarry Wood Cemetery in Sains-Les-Marquion, eight miles north-west of Cambrai.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow