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Private William Roper

Civilian Occupation: Timber Man, Coal Minewilliam roper

William Roper was 36 when he died of fever in Deolali, India on 30th September 1916. His sacrifice is recalled at the DEOLALI GOVERNMENT CEMETERY and he is recorded in the Chorley Memorial Album in Astley Hall on page CMB/II/59a. He attended St Marie’s, Roman Catholic Church, Standish.

Notes of his life and service include:

The 1911 Census has him at 128 Standish Lower Ground, Standish: William Roper (45, Head, Timber Man, Below Surface, Coal Mine, Born in Standish), Sarah Ellen Roper (42, Wife, Married 20 years, 7 children, 5 living, 2 dead, Born in Wigan), William Roper (20, Son, Timber Man, Below Surface, Coal Mine, Born in Wigan), Richard Roper (18, Son, Timber Man, Below Surface, Coal Mine, Born in Wigan), Annie Roper (15, Daughter, Drying Glue, Chemical Works, Born in Wigan), Nellie Roper (10, Daughter, School, Born in Wigan), Mary Roper (3, Daughter, Born in Standish).

The 1901 Census has him at 27 Marsh Lane, Wigan: William Roper (35, Head, Coal Miner, Hewer, Born in Standish), Sarah E Roper (32, Wife, Born in Wigan), William Roper (10, Son, Born in Wigan), Richard Roper (8, Son, Born in Wigan), Annie Roper (5, Daughter, Born in Wigan), Nellie Roper (5 months, Daughter, Born in Wigan).

The 1891 Census has him at 55 Bottling Wood, Standish: John Taylor (47, Head), Mary A Taylor (49, Wife), Alice Taylor (19, Daughter), James Taylor (16, Son), William Taylor (14, Son), Annie Taylor (12, Daughter), William Roper (26, Son-in-Law, Coal Miner, Hewer, Born in Standish), Sarah E Roper (22, Daughter, Born in Wigan), William Roper (2 months, Grandson, Born in Wigan).

William Roper and Sarah Ellen Taylor were married at St George’s, Wigan, in 1890 [Lancashire BMD]. The marriage took place on 30th August 1890 between William Roper (26, Collier, Bachelor of Bottling Wood, son of Richard Roper, Collier) and Sarah Ellen Taylor (22, Spinster of Bottling Wood, daughter of John Taylor, Collier). The witnesses were Ford Myers and Alice Taylor. [Lancashire Online Clerks].

He enlisted in Bolton on 11th September 1914, and served in the Dardanelles, Egypt and Alexandria.

He gave his place of birth as Skelmersdale, Wigan. His medical form notes he had a fresh complexion, brown eyes and light brown hair. It says his religious denomination was Church of England. He was aged 34 years and 220 days old. He had a criminal record for Felony and Drunkness. His occupation is unclear, but may be “Haulier”, however his previous occupation on the 1911 census had been related to coal mining.

He was posted 11/9/1914 and transferred to the Training Reserve from this date. He rejoined the Regiment 2/10/1914 and was posted 31/10/1914. He was posted to India as part of the 6th Battalion on 25th June 1916 and died of chronic inflammation of the lung at Deolali 30/9/1916.

The Service Record notes his next of kin as Miss Mary J Lee of 16, Moss Street, Bolton (relationship unclear) and his father, James Roper, of Skelmersdale. A c/o address has been attached to his father’s name with the contact of Henry Ollerton 302 Coppull Moor Lane, Coppull, Chorley.

Rank: Private
Service No: 15047
Date of Death: 30/09/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Adam Cree
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