Submitted by Zoe Johnson at the Richmondshire Museum.
Geoffrey Stapleton Rowe Roper
2nd Lieutenant Alexandra Princess of Wales Own, Yorkshire Regiment.
His Canadian service records show that Geoffrey served as a private in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Imperial Army from which he was discharged on the 15th October 1915 to join the Yorkshire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant.
He was awarded a Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in action on the 25th of August 1916 when ‘he held his platoon with great dash in the assault, and afterwards crawled back to the trenches to make a report. He then returned to his platoon being under close and heavy fire’, this extract was taken from the London Gazette.
Serving with the 7th battalion during the Arras offensive of 1917 on May 9th, 2nd Lt Roper and his men were moved into the line in trenches north of the river Scarpe. The battalion were involved in a bitter fighting around Curly and Cupid trenches and had gone into the line with 18 Officers and 436 other ranks and when they came out on May 15th there were only 5 Officers and 228 men left.
2nd Lt G S R Roper MC was killed in this action on May 12th 1917 aged 27. He is remembered on the Cabaret-Rouge British cemetery, Souchez, 7 miles north of Arras.
He was the son of George and Elizabeth Roper of The Lodge, Gilling West, Richmond; his Father being a local magistrate and county Alderman, holding the position of Mayor of Richmond 1881-84 and 1890-91.
He had a sister Miss Ruth G Roper who was Mayor of Richmond 1935-38.
An exhibition about Geoffrey Roper is on display at the Richmondshire Museum.
This image shows the memorial plaque in Gilling West church
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