Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Gilbert Rogers (1881 – 1956) – British artist

With thanks to Historian Debbie Cameron for finding some of the information about Gilbert and to War Art on Twitter for providing the inspiration - https://twitter.com/Artistwar

Gilbert was born in Freshfield, Lancashire (near Liverpool) on 9th November 1881. His parents were William Rogers, a watch and clock maker, and his wife, Sarah Jane Rogers, nee Searle. Gilbert had the following siblings: Harry, b. 1879, Wlliam, b.1881, Gladys N., b. 1884 and Guy, b. 1888.

Educated at the Liverpool Institute, Gilbert went on to study art at the Liverpool City School of Art.

During the First World War, Gilbert enlisted in the Royal Armyu Medical Corps of the British Army. After training in Eastbourne he became an instructor at the RAMC Officer Training School in Blackpool, ending his service with the rank of Temporary Lieutenant, No. 78529.

Among the paintings Gilbert did during WW1 were:  “Ypres 1915”, “RAMC at Messines”, “VAD Ambulance Driver” and “The Dead Stretcher Bearer”.

In 1918, Gilbert was appointed by the Committee for the Medical History of the War to lead a team of artists who were asked to depict the medical consequences of warfare.  He headed a group of artists commissioned to produce works for the medical section of the newly-created Imperial War Museum in London.

One of his works was more than 11 feet high and 15 feet wide, it was one of several large canvases displayed in Imperial War Museum’s first home at the Crystal Palace in Penge Peak, Sydenham Hill, south London.  From 1922 – 1923, Gilbert was President of the Artists’ Club in Liverpool.

After leaving the Army, Gilbert returned to Liverpool and became a Director of his younger brother's furniture manufacturing and upholstery business - Guy Rogers, Limited.

Gilbert married Gertrude Jane Iceton in 1924.  The couple lived in Beresford Road, Oxton, a suburb of Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula during the Second World War. Gilbert died in Birkenhead in 1956.

The portrait of Gilbert Roger as President of the Artists' Club, Liverpool, 1922-23 was painted by Frank Copnall (1870 – 1949).

Sources: Find my Past and