Laid to rest at the Field of Honour.


Born: 19th April 1899, Beer, Devon.

Died: 18th May 1919; age: 19; Drowned in a boating accident on the River Orwell.

Residence: Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset.

Left Winchester in 1917 for Woolwich. Went to France in August 1918 to join ‘Q’ Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery. George took part in the final Allied Advance in St. Quentin. He was invalided home in October 1918, suffering from the effects of gas-poisoning and influenza. He rejoined at Ipswich in April 1919, and was attached to the Royal Field Artillery, 29th Brigade.

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant.

Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery.


Grave Reference:


Ipswich Old Cemetery,





1901   24, Lexham Gardens, Kensington, Middlesex.


Sprott Boyd, 86, a Retired Doctor, born Scotland.

Freeman Roper, 38, a Solicitor, born Paddington, Middlesex.

Elizabeth Harriot Roper (nee Fitz-Gerald), 29, born Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia.

Geoffrey Desmond Roper, 1 month, born Kensington.


1911   Copthorne School, Crawley, West Sussex.


George was 11 years old, he and his brother were Resident Scholars at the independent school. Bernard Harry Rendall was Proprietor of School and Schoolmaster.


George attended Copthorpe School, before moving on to Winchester College, from 1912 – 1917. He was in House E.


Probate to Freeman Roper Esq.


18th May 1919   The Times reported that Second Lieutenants Knight and Roper, of 7th Brigade RFA, stationed near Ipswich, were sailing in an open boat, when a strong wind drove their boat against a buoy and it capsized.   Mr Knight managed to swim ashore but Mr Roper was drowned.”


FORDE ABBEY, Somerset.


Forde Abbey, was left to George’s mother, Elizabeth by her cousin, William Herbert. The Roper family moved in to Forde Abbey in 1905. In 1943, Elizabeth Roper died and the house passed into the care of George’s brother, Geoffrey. The beautiful house & gardens is now in the care and responsibility of George’s great niece and her husband.


Photograph and extra information courtesy of Suzanne Foster, Winchester College Archivist.

Posted in First World War

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