Frederick Arthur (Fred) ROPER

Poppy

ROPER, Frederick Arthur

Service Number: 1236
Enlisted: 24 January 1916, Armidale, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 33rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Walcha, New South Wales, 27 October 1896
Home Town: Walcha, Walcha, New South Wales
Schooling: Walcha Public School
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of Wounds (GSW - multiple), Died of wounds, Belgium, 7 June 1917, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Strand Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Wallonie, Belgium
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

24 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1236, Armidale, New South Wales
4 May 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1236, 33rd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
4 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1236, 33rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Marathon, Sydney
7 Jun 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1236, 33rd Infantry Battalion, Battle of Messines

Frederick (Fred) Arthur Roper - Walcha Boy

Brothers off for an adventure

Private Frederick (Fred) Arthur Roper S/n 1236 and William Edward Roper S/n 2197 children of William Henry & Eliza Roper Derby St, Walcha, of 13 children 4 were boys 2 enlisted William Edward returned home Fred died of multiple gunshot wounds Thursday 7th June 1917, age 20. Fred is buried at Strand Military Cemetery, Ploegsteert Wood, West Flanders. 4 miles N of Armentieres on the Ypres road.

Fred enlisted 8th Jan 1916 aged only 19 years & 2 months, his brother William who enlisted 27th May 1915. Embarked Sydney 5th May 1916 on A74 Marathon and Disembarked Devonport 9 July 1916. A Passage from his letter to a mate back home dated 1 August 1916 "I heard that you heard we had a lot of Thyphoid fever on board coming over but it was all balls we had one case of diptheria and a hell of a lot of mumps and measles but I managed to miss the lot. I was a bit sea sick when there was a rough sea on, but as soon as I got on land again I was right. After training for some months in England he was transferred to France on the Princess Victoria 19th Dec 1916. 33rd Bat 9th Brigade marched in Etaples 23rd Dec 1916 and saw action. Admitted to hospital with Mumps 2nd March 1917, rejoined unit and wounded and gave the supreme sacrifice for his country. So young, never to marry, be a father or have his future unfold. William's story can be seen on his page. Would like to share with you his youth before he sees his final months he has 4 days in London in his letter he expresses "I had a fine old time, they are very nice people and you can't go wrong for tarts there any amount of them there, they thought a lot of our fellows and this kid go right in for his cut." Hope this makes you smile to read this as it did me, thankfully he had a bit of life before it was taken.

Other family members made the commitment to serve from Walcha- Purcell Boys cousins of Fred & William- Thomas Purcell S/n 4765, William Purcell S/n 625, James Purcell 9th Rein 1st Batt , John Purcell enlisted 6th Jan 1916 S/n 11923, Martin Purcell S/N 2126 enlisted 13th Mar 1916 33rd Batt 2nd Div, Michael Purcell Enlisted 27th Aug 1915 and Herbert Purcell enlisted 3rd Jan 1918. All brothers enlisted having 1 sister home to worry. Fred mentioned in his letter home that he saw his cousin Tom Purcell and he was well so far (excerpt).

Cousin - Patrick Vincent O'Brien 3rd Div, 5th Rein, light trench mortar battery 16th (Bomber)

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Biography

"Major Harold P. White, D.S.O., writes from France to Mr. H. Roper, of Walcha, as follows:—

'It is sad news I have for you of your son, No. 1236, Private F. A. Roper. He was shot by a sniper while digging a new line of trenches he had gallantly helped to capture from the enemy. He died at his post, game to the last — a thorough soldier. Allow me to offer you my deepest sympathy in your sad loss'." - from the Guyra Argus 16 Aug 1917 (nla.gov.au)

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