Amy Rosa Rogers (Mrs Rogers)

Mrs Rogers was my class teacher for two years, 1961/62 and 1962/63,  my second and third years at Eastwick school.  I remember her with great affection.  I met her again when she was a hundred years old and had just received a telegram from the Queen.  She was delighted to read my News Book – a daily diary –  from my years in her class and to see her red ink corrections of my atrocious spellings.

Here is an appreciation of Mrs Rogers written by her son Peter at my request :

My mother, Amy Rosa Rogers (nee Laskey) was the eldest of four sisters, and was born in Twyford, Berkshire on 27th September 1899.  She died in Dorset on 5th July 2002. Thus her life spanned 2 millenia, 3 Centuries and 6 Monarchs.

She and her parents moved to Canterbury in Kent soon after she was born, where her father established a market garden. In March 1912 her mother died of TB, and consequently she acted as ‘mother’ to her three younger sisters, and also ran the kitchen in the household. In the following year, 1913, the second eldest also succumbed to TB leaving her to look after the two youngest sisters. By the time The Great War started she was already half way through her Secondary schooling. She excelled at school, was very musical and developed into an accomplished pianist. She became Head Girl and stayed on during the last year of the War when staff were scarce, and took some of the singing classes. She left school in the autumn of 1918, and went to Goldsmiths College London, and particularly remembered the celebrations of the Armistice in the November that year.

After four years at University, she started her teaching career in Kent in 1922, and two years later her father died, again of TB. In June 1928 she married Victor Rogers, and in the autumn moved to Oxted in Surrey where they set up home. In early 1929 her youngest sister died of TB, and in 1930 her eldest son Michael was born. They then moved to Leatherhead in Surrey where in 1933 her younger son Peter was born. In 1937 she returned to teaching to do some supply work at the local Secondary school, and became accompanist for Leatherhead Choral Society. When War broke out in September 1939, she returned to full time teaching at All Saints Primary school in Leatherhead. The school population increased dramatically as evacuee children from London were billeted in the area. All Saints Hall adjacent to the school was used as an overspill, and she and one other teacher, each had a class of sixty children in the Hall – the classes were just divided by a curtain!

After the War ended, she reverted to part time teaching, and the family moved to Great Bookham in 1947. Just before Christmas 1947 her remaining sister died of TB, so she was her families’ sole survivor of this scourge. Apart from part time work, she led a full life within the community in these immediate Post War years, and continued to play for the Leatherhead Choral Society although she now lived in Bookham. She learnt to drive and had her own car, and after her husband died in 1960 she returned to full time teaching at Eastwick Primary school in the village, and continued there until July 1969, just 2 months before her 70th Birthday. At this stage, it was no surprise that Surrey County Education Committee confirmed that she was the oldest teacher on their books!

By this time she had six grandchildren, and loved to see them and hear about their latest exploits. Then in 1976, she moved for the last time, and “retired” to a bungalow Verwood in Dorset. She again led a very active life for many years, taking up both pottery and painting again, and playing the piano accompanying two string players. In 1999 she celebrated her 100th Birthday with the family, which by then included two great grandchildren, and she was very proud to show everyone her birthday card from the Queen! She continued to enjoy a very full life in her bungalow for a further 2 years and only went into care for the last 6 months of her very full life.

Peter Rogers

April 2015