William Victor Trevor ROOPER – Gresford War Memorial

By Mavis Williams

Captain ROOPER William Victor Trevor. Royal Flying Corps and Royal Welsh Fusiliers 24th Denbighshire Yeomanry Bn. Died 9 Oct 1917 Age 20. Born Chester, Cheshire, England. Son of Percy L & Alice Nancy Rooper, of Little Court, Speldhurst, Kent, England. Brother of Ralph Bonfoy Rooper

William and Ralph were two brothers who died in the war, William being the first to lose his life.   Click on the link to read Ralph’s story.

William Victor Trevor Rooper was born circa 1897 and his birth was registered in the June Quarter of that year at Chester, Cheshire, England, the third and youngest son of Percy Lens and Alice Nancy Rooper, (Bishop’s Transcripts).    Percy Lens Rooper and Alice Nancy Royden had married in the June Quarter of 1889 in West Derby, Liverpool (W. Derby Vol.  8b, Page 717).

William’s first appearance is on the 1901 census, where he is shown living with his parents at 3, Sandown Terrace, Chester Castle, Chester, Cheshire.    Head of the household was Percy Lens Rooper, 39, a Ship Owner & Manager (Nav. Shop) and Employer who had been born in Uppingham, Rutland.   His wife Alice N., 34 had been born in Liverpool, Lancashire.   Their children, at home were Ralph B., age 6 and younger brother William V. age 3, both born in Chester, Cheshire.   There were 4 servants in the household, including a Governess.

William had an older brother, John Royden Rooper, age 10 who had also been born in Chester on the 1901 census, but had been born in Kirkdale, Liverpool on the 1891 census.   He was a Boarder and Scholar at Bilton Grange, Rugby, Warwickshire.

I could not find William in the 1911 census, and as the De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour below tell us, he was also at Bilton, Grange, please read, however this states that his mother was Daisy Royden, but I believe this is a clerical error, which cannot be corrected or queried, but I have no proof to either prove or disprove this.

Any help would be appreciated  :-

ROOPER, William Victor Trevor, Capt., Denbighshire Yeomanry, Attd. Royal Flying Corps, youngest son of Percy Lens Rooper, of Poppy’s Corner, Redhill, Co. Surrey, formerly of The Elms, Gresford, Co. Denbighshire, by his wife, Daisy – dau. of Sir T.B. Royden, Bart.; b. Chester, 10th May 1897; educ. Bilton Grange, Rugby and Charterhouse; enlisted in the Yeomanry at the outbreak of war; was gazetted 2nd Lieut. In Dec. 1914; promoted Lieut. In May, 1917; became attached to the Royal Flying Corps in Sept.., 1916; served with the Expeditionary Force in France from April, 1917; was gazetted Captain and Flight Commander in August of the same year, and was killed in an aerial fight with several German machines near Ypres 9th Oct., 1917.   The Chaplain wrote: “I have never known anyone so universally liked, loved and admired as your boy, not only by his squadron, but by all who came across him,” and an officer of his flight: “We feel his loss enormously, but feel proud that he gave his life so gloriously to save a comrade.”   Unmarried.

W V T Rooper in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tells us that he was awarded the Victory & British War Medals and he was Killed in Action 8th October 1917.

William Victor Trevor Rooper in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995 – ROOPER, William Victor Trevor of Poppy’s Corner, Earlwood Common, Hedhill, Surrey died 9th October 1917 at Ypres, Flanders, Belgium.   Administration London 6th April to Percy Lens ROOPER, Shipowner.   Effects £283 10s.

Capt William Victor Trevor Rooper in the Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current shows a Bio again by “Sandra” and photographs.   https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=124518283&ref=acom

Captain William Victor Trevor Rooper, third son of Mr and Mrs P.L Rooper, of Little Court, Speldhurst, was born at Chester on May 10th 1897. He was educated at Bilton Grange (Rugby) and at Charterhouse. At the time of the declaration of war was a pupil at Rolls Royce Motors, Derby. He immediately enlisted in the Denbighshire Hussar Yeomanry as Motor-Cycle Despatch Rider and shortly obtained his Commission as 2nd Lieutenant in that Regiment. When the Denbighshire Hussar Yeomanry was converted to an Infantry Battalion he joined the Royal Flying Corps. After training as Pilot he went to France early in 1917. He took part in Aerial Offensive Patrol work on the Flanders front and was engaged in various actions at Messines and in the vicinity of Bailleul and Ypres and received promotion to the rank of Captain and Flight Commander. He was killed in an air fight on the night of October 9th. 1917, and is buried in the British Military Cemetery at Bailleul.

Note: Captain, Royal Flying Corps. Age: 20.

Photo by laurinlaurin espie

W  V T Rooper in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 – C.P. Base to charge Jan 3/2d Authy DS.G. Base to charge £14 10s 12th April 1918

Admn: Percy Lens ROOPER Esq. £183 12s 10d on the 12th June 1918

Researched and compiled by Mavis Williams

Gresford War Memorial