Roger’s parents, William and Jane are believed to have married at St Mary’s Church, Cheadle, in 1877. The 1901 Census would record them as having eight children of whom Roger was the youngest. The early years of marriage had been spent in Altrincham before they moved to Kendal in the early 1890s. Roger was born there around 1896. When the Census was taken, the family had moved back to the Stockport area and was living at Adshead Terrace, Hazel Grove. Nothing else is known of Roger’s life, except that he enlisted into the army at Stockport. This was probably at the beginning of 1915 and he was assigned to the newly formed 122nd Brigade. He probably went overseas on active service towards the end of that year.
He was lucky to have survived until 1918 and was most unlucky not to have survived another couple of weeks when the War ended. He was not killed outright but died at a field hospital of wounds he’d received. As such, it cannot be known with absolute certainty when he was injured but an examination of the Brigade’s War Diary, at the National Archives, suggests it was on the day he died.
On the 24th, Roger and his mates in “C” Battery moved their six guns up to within a few hundred yards of the front line. They were 800 yards north west of the village of Poix-du-Nord. Later in the day, “A” and “D” Batteries pushed forward to join them.
The Diary for the next day records “The village, HQ is in gets quite a lot of attention from the enemy artillery. Early this morning, an outhouse, in which were six horses and three men, was blown in; five horses and two men being killed.” Most probably, Roger was the third man in the outhouse and, badly injured, he was evacuated to one of the three field hospitals at Awoingt. There military surgeons would have done all they could for him, but without success.
When the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information in the early 1920s, William Bray was living at 4 Brothby Street, Great Moor.