James Rodgers (1892–1916)

Able Seaman

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Bristol Z/4322; hms Black Prince

Derbyshire Courier 10 June 1916

James Rodgers

Notes
The Fritchley-born Rodgers brothers, Amos, George, James plus Frederick Wragg, were the sons of William and Harriet Rodgers. Frederick Wragg was born to their mother, Harriett Wragg, in 1886 before she married William Rodgers in 1889. William and Harriett were to lose three of their sons.

James was born in 1892 and worked as a miner before joining the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He was killed at the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916, aged twenty-four, aboard HMS Black Prince along with the whole ship’s company. The ship exploded, killing thirty-seven officers, eight hundred and fifteen men and five civilians. As well as being on the Crich memorials he is remembered on the Sawmills Memorial and the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Crich Church Memorial Plaque

James is on the memorial plaque to the fallen in St Mary's Church, Crich

Crich war memorial

James is inscribed on the north face of Crich war memorial

 

Amos, James and Frederick Rodgers are remembered on the Sawmills Memorial

Saw Mills war memorial

Sawmills memorial in the Village Hall

RNVR Medal Roll
1914-15 Star, Victory and British War Medals ; killed in action at the Battle of Justland

Derbyshire Times
10 June 1916
CRICH MEN LOST
Anthony Bowmer of Crich Carr, who has been in the Navy for about five years, and whose age was 22, is reported as having gone down in the North Sea fight on the 31st of May; also Jim Rodgers, son of Mr William Rodgers of Bull Bridge, who joined the Navy since the war broke out, went down in the "Black Prince".

Derbyshire Courier
10 June 1916
FRITCHLEY SEAMEN LOST ON THE BLACK PRINCE
An official notification from the Admiralty received by his father on Wednesday states that Able Seaman James Rogers, of Bull Bridge, Crich was supposed to have gone down with HMS Black Prince when she was sunk in the naval battle. Seaman Rogers was 24 years of age. In civil life he was a miner and worked at Haslam’s Colliery, Hartsay, joining the Navy on 28 September last. His younger brother George is with the forces in France, and his brother Amos is at Salonica, while his half brother Fred Wragg is in a Guards regiment somewhere in France. Seaman Rogers was the next youngest son of Mr Wm Rogers.

HMS Black Prince

HMS Black Prince

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Name RODGERS JAMES
Initials J
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Able Seaman
Regiment/Service Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Unit H.M.S. "Black Prince."
Age 24
Date of Death 31/05/16
Service No Bristol Z/4322
Additional Information Son of William and Harriett Rodgers, of Bull Bridge, Ambergate, Derby
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference 19
Cemetery PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

War Graves Certificate for James Rodgers in WW1

The following sea shanty by Martyn Offord was sung at the November 2014 "Crich Front Lines" memorial event in the Glebe Field Centre in honour of James Rodgers.

THE JAMES RODGERS SHANTY

O the Baltic Seas are fierce and grey
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
And the sun sets late at the last of May
But no poppies grow upon the waters

The Grand Fleet’s turned through the smoke and black
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
The Black Prince left to cover her back
But no poppies grow upon the waters

With flares and flames the great guns did roar
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
And the seas afire off Jutland’s shore
But no poppies grow upon the waters.

The sun sank red on the bloody waves
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
And shrouds of smoke hid nine thousand graves
But no poppies grow upon the waters

 

Our ships ahead Captain Bonham cried
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
And through the ferment the Black Prince plied
But no poppies grow upon the waters

German ships they were that May midnight
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
The Thurigen shone its strong searchlight
But no poppies grow upon the waters

Five German ships and a mighty blast
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
The Black Prince ablaze from mast to mast
But no poppies grow upon the waters.

The decks tipped up and the waters boiled
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
And on the waves just a patch of oil
But no poppies grow upon the waters.

And June dawned grey with a sky of lead
Where we lost our lad James Rodgers
Eight hundred and fifty seven dead
But no poppies grow upon the waters.

 

CENSUS INFORMATION

1901: Fritchley

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Rodgers Head 39 General labourer Fritchley
Harriet Rodgers wife 36   Crich
Amos Rodgers son 11   Fritchley
James Rodgers son 8   Fritchley
Annie Rodgers daughter 7   Crich
Mary Rodgers daughter 5   Crich
George W Rodgers son 3   Fritchley
Emily Rodgers daughter 6 mo   Fritchley

RG13 piece 3231 folio 12 page 15

1911: Fritchley

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
William Rodgers Head 48 Lime burner Fritchley
Harriett Rodgers wife 46   Crich
Fred Rodgers son 25 Labourer in quarry Crich
Amos Rodgers son 22 Engine driver Fritchley
James Rodgers son 19 Miner underground Fritchley
Annie Rodgers daughter 17 Hosiery worker Crich
Polly Rodgers daughter 15 French polisher Crich
George Rodgers son 13   Fritchley
Emily Rodgers daughter 10   Fritchley

RG14PN20983 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED12 SN169