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Memorable Manitobans: William Edgar Rogers (1889-1979)

Educator, businessman.

Born at Mithian, Cornwall, England on 2 August 1889, son of George Rogers and Philippa Code, he was educated at Redruth (Cornwall) and the South African College at Cape Town. He taught school at Treleigh, Cornwall, Trewirgie, and at the South African College High School at Cape Town. At the outbreak of the First World War, he joined the South African British Defence Force, serving under Colonel Gardener from 1914 to 1915. He then went to England and joined the Duke of Connaught’s Light Infantry (DCLI) under Colonel F. W. Parker and did instructional duty with the Artists’ Rifles (London). He rejoined the DCLI as a musketry instructor at Hayling Camp, going with the battalion to Ireland (Londonderry), Reading, England for an engineering course and France in March 1918. He served at Arras, Cambrai, Canal du Nord, and Meubage then went to Germany with the army of occupation, serving as an educational officer in the 2nd Division.

In 1919, he came to Canada with his family to serve as the Principal of the Hamiota School (1919-1921). He then taught piano and violin, music theory, singing, and elocution at nearby towns before buying a bookstore and stationery shop at Hamiota in early 1924. In 1927, he became an automobile salesman affiliated with Canadian Motors Limited of Brandon, and moved to Brandon around 1928. He moved to Winnipeg in 1930 where he worked as an automobile salesman (1931), a sales representative at the Ashdown hardware store (1935), and a civil servant (1940). He retired to British Columbia.

He and wife Gladys Irene Jewell (1893-1974) had three children: William Henry Rogers (b 1918), Elisabeth Jean Rogers (b 1921), and a second daughter. He was Secretary-Treasurer of the Hamiota Agricultural Society, a leader and choir organist of the Hamiota Presbyterian Church, and a member of the Masonic fraternity at Hamiota. His hobbies included tennis, football, and cricket.

He died at Williams Lake, British Columbia on 8 May 1979.

Sources:

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

Advertisement, Hamiota Echo, 3 November 1921, page 4.

“To the public!,” Hamiota Echo, 10 January 1924, page 8.

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“New motor firm opens here and may build later,” Brandon Sun, 23 February 1927, page 13.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

“Auction sale,” Brandon Sun, 1 November 1930, page 15.

“W. E. Rogers addresses Hard of Hearing League,” Winnipeg Tribune, 4 February 1935, page 5.

Death registrations, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 5 June 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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