Mr Reginald Harry Rogers was born in Tavistock, Devon, England on 17 July 1893.
He was the eldest child of John Giles Rogers (b. 1871) and Emma Jane Westlake (b. 1871), Tavistock natives who had married in early 1893.
He had four siblings: Francis John (1895-1966), Edna Emma (1899-1900), Hilda Emma (b. 1901) and Charles (b. 1903). The family appear on the 1901 census residing at 2 Taylor Square in Tavistock.
His father, a stonemason, was the son of John Stephen Rogers, also a mason who operated a monument business at 14-15 Ford Street in Tavistock. Harry's father died on 24 October 1903 and his mother was remarried two years later to Fred Jackman (b. 1877), a district council worker and native of Lamerton, Devon. Fred was also a recent widower and had a daughter from his first marriage, Edith Jane (b. 1902). Harry would gain a half-sibling from his mother's remarriage, Violet Maude (1906-1984, later Mrs Lawrence Henry Mock). By coincidence, Violet was born on 14 April 1906.
The family appear on the 1911 census living at 1 Crowndale Cottages in Tavistock but Harry was not listed with them, he instead appearing as a servant in the Angel Hotel at 16 Coinagehall Street in Helston, Cornwall, his occupation being described as a billiard maker. Prior to that, and at a young age, Harry had been in the service of the Reverend Maitland Kelly before he was employed at the Bedford Hotel in Tavistock. By 1912 he had been working at the Angel Hotel as an assistant waiter for some three years.
Harry was encouraged to emigrate to the USA by an uncle, Frederick Adams (the husband of his mother's sister Mary Jane Rogers) who was at the time living at 49 Oxford Street, Lee Park, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Initially scheduled to travel aboard another ship, the coal strike forced Harry to switch to travel on i. He embarked at Southampton travelling second class under ticket number 28004 which had cost £10, 10s.
Harry was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
Harry Rogers of Tavistock, a second class passenger, was the son of the late J G Rogers, stone mason, and grandson of Mr John Stephen Rogers who carried on business at Tavistock. The young man was 18 years of age and had been in the service of Rev Maitland Kelly of Kelly. Afterwards he was employed at the Bedford Hotel, Tavistock, and for about three years had been assistant waiter at the Angel Hotel, Helston. He was sailing for Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, where he had several uncles and aunts, and intended to turn his hand to anything that came along. He was a smart and steady young fellow. He had intended to travel by another liner, but the sailing was cancelled on account of the coal strike. His mother has been married again and is the wife of Mr Fred Jackman, who for many years has been in the employ of Tavistock Urban District Council. Both mother and grandmother are in much distress, fearing the worst.
Harry is remembered on his father's headstone in Tavistock Cemetery. His mother remained living in Devon where she died in 1955.
A. E. Mettler
Articles and Stories
Western Morning News (1912)
North American (1912)