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  • HMS Good Hope in which Valentine served at the Battle of Coronel, 1 November 1914
Person Details
14 Feb 1882
Valentine was born in 1882 in Leicester and was the son of George H. and Mary A Rogers. In 1891 George (42), a framework knitter, and his wife Mary (41) were living at 8 Carisbrook Terrace, Turner Street, Nottingham, with their two children, Emma (14) and Valentine (9). His parents and sister had been born in Nottingham. Valentine joined the Royal Navy in 1898 and in 1901 was serving in HMS Majestic and by 1911 in HMS Britannia. He left the Royal Navy on 13 February 1912 on completion of his continuous service engagement and joined the Post Office. Valentine married Ada Smith (b. abt 1877) on 10 April 1913 (A/M/J Basford) and their son William was born the following year on 6 May 1914 (A/M/J East Retford). Ada died five days later on 11 May 1914 (A/M/J East Retford) age 37. Valentine was mobilised shortly before the outbreak of war and was drafted to HMS Good Hope on 13 July 1914. The Royal Navy notified Valentine's mother-in-law, Mrs Elizabeth Dexter of 'The Nook', Mapperley Crescent, Nottingham, of his death the following November. A report of Valentine's death in the local paper recorded that Valentine's sister, who lived in Nottingham, had the care of the orphaned William. There is a record on the 1939 England & Wales Register of a William Rogers (b. 6 May 1914), a manager for a hosiery manufacturer living, at 34 Sandfield Road, Arnold, Nottingham, with his wife, Joyce M Rogers (b. 15 November 1916). Also in the household was the widowed Edgar C Hunt (b. 24 November 1882) who was a commercial traveller. William Rogers died in 1977 (Sep Basford) age 63 (death index gives his date of birth as 6 May 1914).
Valentine was a labourer when he joined the Royal Navy in 1898. On his discharge from the Navy in 1912 he worked for the Post Office and was the postman for Eaton, Gamston, Rockley and West Drayton.
01 Nov 1914
2871966 - CWGC Website
Able Seaman
HMS Good Hope Royal Navy
(RFR/PO/IC/541). Valentine joined the Royal Navy on 5 August 1898 as a Boy 2nd Class and entered on a 12 year continuous service engagement on his 18th birthday, 14 February 1900. He served in the following ships and shore establishments: HMS Impregnable, 5 August 1898-13 December 1899 (Boy 2nd Class, 5 August; Boy 1st Class, 18 May 1899); HMS Agincourt, 14 December 1899-9 January 1900; HMS Majestic, 10 January 1900-7 January 1902 (Ordinary Seaman, 14 February 1900); HMS Camperdown, 8 January 1902-10 February 1903 (Able Seaman, 26 November 1902); Duke of Wellington I, 11 February 1903-7 March 1903; HMS Vernon, 8 March 1903-12 September 1903; HMS Excellent, 13 September 1903-9 October 1904; HMS Hermione, 10 October 1904-25 November 1904; HMS Fox, 26 November 1904-23 January 1907; HMS Victory, 24 January 1907-9 March 1907; HMS Excellent, 10 March 1907-18 May 1907; HMS Victory 19 May 1907-15 July 1907; HMS Terrible, 16 July 1907-14 October 1907; HMS Renown, 15 October 1907-12 December 1907; HMS Terrible, 13 December 1907-4 May 1908; HMS Vengeance, 5 May 1908-12 October 1908; HMS Britannia, 13 October 1908-5 January 1912; Victory I, 6 January 1912-13 February 1912. He was discharged shore, continuous service expired, on 13 February 1912 and joined the Royal Fleet Reserve Portsmouth (B5002) on 14 February 1912. Valentine was mobilised before the outbreak of war and on 13 July 1914 was drafted to HMS Good Hope. His Royal Navy record was annotated, ‘NP2788/14 DD [Discharged Dead] 1 November 1914. Lost when HMS Good Hope was sunk in action off Chilean Coast.’ His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. HMS Good Hope was a Drake Class armoured cruiser built in 1901. By 1914 she was Rear Admiral Sir Christopher George Cradock’s flag ship which, along with HMS Monmouth and other British vessels of 4th Cruiser Squadron, encountered Vice Admiral Von Spee’s Scharnhorst and Gneisenau forty five miles off the Chilean port of Coronel. The German ships were faster and more heavily armed than Cradock’s fleet. The sun set at 18:50 on November 1st 1914, which silhouetted the British ships against the light sky while the German ships became indistinguishable from the shoreline behind them. Spee immediately turned to close and signalled his ships to open fire at 19:04 when the range closed to 12,300 yards. Spee's flagship, Scharnhorst, engaged Good Hope while Gneisenau fired at Monmouth. Cradock's flagship was hit on the Scharnhorst's third salvo, when shells knocked out her forward 9.2-inch turret and set her forecastle on fire. Cradock, knowing his only chance was to close the range, continued to do so despite the battering that Spee's ships inflicted. By 19:23 the range was almost half of that when the battle began and the British ships bore onwards. Spee tried to open the range, fearing a torpedo attack, but the British were only 5,500 yards away at 19:35. Seven minutes later, Good Hope charged directly at the German ships, although they dodged out of her way. Spee ordered his armoured cruisers to concentrate their fire on the British flagship which had drifted to a halt with her topsides ablaze. At 19:50 her forward magazine exploded, severing the bow from the rest of the ship, and she later sank in the darkness. Spee estimated that his flagship had made 35 hits on Good Hope, suffering only two hits in return that did no significant damage and failed even to wound one crewman. HMS Good Hope was sunk with all hands, a total of over 900 men.
The Retford Times 27th November 1914 article reads:- 'On The Good Hope - Victims from Retford and District. There were several men belonging to Retford and District who were on the HMS Good Hope when it foundered during action with a German Squadron off the Chilean coast. In the official list published last Monday (23rd November) of officers and men missing after the disaster appear the names mentioned below. "In the absence of evidence to the contrary it is feared " says an Admiralty communication, "That those enumerated in the list have lost their lives in the engagement" One of the men to perish was Able Seaman Valentine William Rogers, thirty-two, who was a postman for Eaton, Gamston, Rockley and West Drayton. Very sadly, Rogers's wife had died on 11th May 1914 and he had been left with a baby of two weeks. His sister in Nottingham, however took the baby. He was in the Reserve [Royal Fleet Reserve] and had been called up for the usual month's training in July 1914 never to return. Rogers was to die in the fateful action of 1st November 1914, off the coast of Chile, which was to become known as the Battle of Coronel. Another man to die in the Battle of Coronel was George William Gawtrey [Gautrey] aged thirty-four son of Mr and Mrs Gawtrey (sic) who lived at George Inn Yard, Retford. George who was a 1st class stoker, left a widow and two daughters [actually a son and daughter] who at the time of his death were living at 25 Howard Road, Mansfield. Like Valentine Rogers, George Gawtrey (sic) was called up in July, never to return home. Before the outbreak of the war he was employed at Langwith Pit. The sad news is distressing as Mrs Gawtrey (sic) was seriously ill, and that two of her brothers were also serving, George Keyworth with HMS Antrim and William Keyworth who is with the Notts and Derby Regiment.' Nottingham Evening Post, 'Roll of Honour' (abridged), 27 November 1914: 'Rogers on November 1st with HMS Good Hope, Valentine William Rogers, son of Mrs Bramley.'
Remembered on


  • HMS Good Hope in which Valentine served at the Battle of Coronel, 1 November 1914
    Valentine William Rogers - HMS Good Hope in which Valentine served at the Battle of Coronel, 1 November 1914