Roger Waters was born on September 6, 1943, the younger of two boys, to Mary (née Whyte; 1913–2009) and Eric Fletcher Waters (1914–1944), in Great Bookham, Surrey. His father, the son of a coal miner and Labour Party activist, was a schoolteacher, a devout Christian, and a Communist Party member. In the early years of the Second World War, Waters' father was a conscientious objector who drove an ambulance during the Blitz.
Waters' father later changed his stance on pacifism, joined the Territorial Army and was commissioned into the 8th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers as a Second Lieutenant on 11 September 1943. He was killed five months later on 18 February 1944 at Aprilia, during the Battle of Anzio, when Roger was five months old. Following her husband's death, Mary Waters, also a teacher, moved with her two sons to Cambridge and raised them there. Waters' earliest memory is of the V-J Day celebrations.