Delighted to share my review for the recently published biography by S. Bavey about her grandfather who led a very full and colourful life by the sound of it. Lucky Jack (1894-2000)
About the book
“One of the perils of being a sniper during the First World War was the likelihood of a grenade going off right next to you and burying you alive”.
Meet Jack Rogers. Born in 1894, he once locked eyes with Queen Victoria and was one of the first travellers on London’s ‘Tube’. An early car owner, he had many escapades on his days out to Brighton, including a time when his brakes failed and he had to drive through central London without them!
His skills as an entertainer earned him popularity throughout his life, and kept him out of the deadly mines while a prisoner during the First World War. At the tender age of 103 Jack earned the title of ‘The World’s Oldest Columnist’ as he began dictating his life’s exploits to a reporter from the local newspaper.
My review for Lucky Jack 16th April 2022
An inspiring story of 106 years of living life to its fullest by a compelling storyteller.
I felt I was sitting drinking a cup of tea and listening to Henry Jack Rogers (Jack) recounting his adventures. It is wonderful that at over 100 years old he was able to tell his story in newspaper columns and on radio as it is certainly a life worth sharing, as his granddaughter has done in this biography.
Jack was born in 1894 and shares stand out moments in his long and hard working life from being held aloft on his father’s shoulders and getting a special wave from Queen Victoria, to receiving the telegram for his 106th birthday from Queen Elizabeth II.
What came across from the first page to the last is that Jack was not just lucky, but also courageous, hard working, kind hearted and entertaining, especially when things were tough.
There were so many ‘firsts’ during Jack’s lifetime including cinemas, cars, radios, televisions, which he embraced as soon as he could with some hair raising escapades driving on excursions with family. What I found particularly entertaining was his recollections of travelling on the first tube trains in early 1900s, visiting travelling fairs including seeing Buffalo Bill Cody, and his life long love of entertaining others.
From 1914 to 1918 Jack was in the Sherwood Foresters and saw action in the major battles as a sniper and observer before being captured. As a prisoner of war Jack and his comrades faced untold hardships and this is when his spirit really shone through keeping him alive to enjoy the rest of his long life.
The book is easy to read, well written, and entertaining and I can highly recommend.
If you missed last week’s extract post.. here is Jack in person
Anthologies S. Bavey as contributed to.
About S. Bavey
Sue Bavey (writing as S. Bavey) is an English Mum of two, living in Massachusetts since 2003 with her husband, kids, a cat named Midnight, a bunny named Nutmeg, a leopard gecko named Ziggy Stardust and occasional frogs and salamanders.
“Lucky Jack is the first book I have written and is my grandfather, Henry John Rogers’ biography. Grandad lived with us when I was born, until we moved when I was six years old. Then he came back to live with us in my teenage years and we were very close.
He was my father’s father, but my Mum diligently collected the newspaper columns he dictated to a local reporter, and kept them in scrapbooks in her attic, where they gathered dust and yellowed over time. A few years ago I moved my Mum into an apartment and found all the scrapbooks in the process. I wanted to get all of those stories into a book for my kids to read. That was the germ of an idea which – thanks to my having time during Covid lockdown – has now resulted in the life story of my grandfather, Jack Rogers being written.”
Thanks for dropping by and I hope you will enjoy reading Lucky Jack as much as I did.. Sally.