The Men

The Men

Sunday, 19 January 2014

* Major Reginald Trevor Roper

A colourized image of Major Reginald Trevor Roper
Reginald Roper attended The High School from 1883 to 1888.  He was born in Dublin on 16th February, 1872. the son of a barrister, William Roper and his wife, Georgina.  He was ,married on April 16th, 1901, at The Holy Trinity Church in Brompton, to Florence Alice Hawkins, the daughters of John Staples Hawkins, 'a gentleman' and magistrate, also born in Dublin.  (Records show that John Staples Hawkins died in 1909.)
Florence was 28 years old and Reg 34, when they wed, and by then a captain in the British army and living at 25 Royal Avenue, Chelsea.

By the time of the 1911 Census, they were living in  Frimley parish, address: 'Elmsleigh, Kingsbridge (Knightsbridge?) Rd Camberley, Surrey, 'with their two sons, Denis (age 4) and Kenneth (age 2).  Reg had gives his occupation as 'Lieut Colonel General Staff'.  
Their lifestyle was clearly a privileged one, as they had a a children's nurse, cook, parlour-maid, housemaid and groom, living in the house with them.

Curiously, Reginald's Medal Index Card gives his date of death at the 13th October and not the 12th, as he is officially listed elsewhere.  His wife's address at 46 Merrion Square Dublin, is crossed and another address: 6 Selwood Terrace, Onslow Gardens, SW7 (Kensington) is given.

Major Reginald Trevor Roper died 12th October 1914, age 42.
War Diary of the 1st Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment:


Bn marched with 15th Bde via GORRE towards FESTHUBERT. Bn halted on RUE DE BETHUNE owing to shell fire and then moved South to canal, thence along canal towpath to PONT FIXE. A & D Coys were ordered to occupy positions South & North of the bridge A Coy being on the South and D Coy on the north. One machine Gun was placed on the 1st floor of a big unfinished factory just North of the canal bank.
There was no immediate German advance but the machine gun in the factory opened on Germans debouching from brickfields near H of CUINCHY. The German firing line was checked by this fire. Later a movement of Germans was detected just S of U of CUINCHY but their advance presented a good target to the machine Gun and the Germans fell back.
General advance of Dorsets ordered [objective LA BASSEE] in conjunction with French on right and 1/Bedford Regt on the left, A Coy moving on South bank of the canal and D Coy on the North Bank forming the firing line B & C Coy being in reserve. The machine Gun was ordered to support the attack.
A Coy moved up the South bank under cover of high bank and did not come under fire from CUINCHY (although held by the enemy) and subsequently inflicted severe loss upon Germans North of CUINCHY. Meanwhile D.Coy. advancing from the factory towards a small farm about 200 yds East of it came under heavy crossfire from snipers on the high canal bank (southside) and suffered casualties - Major Roper was killed at this farm about 4.30pm.
Attack had made excellent progress and a line had been established from LA BASSEE Canal to large farm North of GIVENCHY.

Dispositions for night.
B and C Coys entrenched on rise upon which above mentioned Farm stood.
A Coy withdrawn to PONT FIXE and with D Coy and BnHdQrs billeted there.

11 killed
30 wounded
2 missing

Major Reginald Trevor Roper is buried in Brown's Road Military Cemetery, Festubert. (Taken from website:

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