Roger Joyce Bushell was the first child born to Benjamin Daniel Bushell and Dorothé Wingate White Bushell. He arrived in the world on 30 August 1910 in Springs, Transvaal*, just outside Johannesburg. Although his mother thought that he was a physically fragile baby, Roger quickly grew into a strong child, both in body and spirit. Baby sister Rosemary joined the family on 14 April 1912.
Roger and Rosemary enjoyed an exuberant childhood, full of travel, abundant free space to run around, playful imaginations, and loving parents. When Roger was eleven-and-a-half years old, his younger sister, Elizabeth completed the family with her birth on 26 May 1922.
Roger began his formal education at a boarding school in Johannesburg when he was eight-and-a-half years old. Then, when he was about fourteen years old, he sailed to England and became a pupil at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire. He spent a term at Grenoble University in France before matriculating to Pembroke College at Cambridge University in 1929. Roger was highly athletic during his educational years, excelling at rugger and skiing. And an enormous amount of partying.
He co-captained the combined Oxford-Cambridge ski team, and in January 1932, the team sailed to Canada for a skiing contest with McGill University. It was there, competing in a race, that Roger’s skis struck a hidden obstacle, which broke both skis and produced the infamous droop in his left eye.
Roger graduated from Cambridge University on 21 October 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law.
*Transvaal is a former province, and the city of Springs is now in the Gauteng province.