William Victor Trevor Rooper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Victor Trevor Rooper
Born (1897-05-10)10 May 1897
Chester, Cheshire, England
Died 9 October 1917(1917-10-09) (aged 20)
Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium (KIA)
Buried at Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, Nord, France (50°44′17″N 2°44′35″E / 50.73806°N 2.74306°E / 50.73806; 2.74306Coordinates: 50°44′17″N 2°44′35″E / 50.73806°N 2.74306°E / 50.73806; 2.74306)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1914–1917
Rank Captain
Unit Denbighshire Hussars
No. 1 Squadron RFC
Battles/wars World War I
 • Western Front
Awards Croix de Guerre (Belgium)
Relations Sir Thomas Royden, 1st Baronet (grandfather)

Captain William Victor Trevor Rooper (10 May 1897 – 9 October 1917) was a British World War I flying ace credited with eight aerial victories, before becoming Xavier Dannhuber's seventh victim.[1]

Biography[edit]

Rooper was the third and youngest son of Percy Lens Rooper and Alice Nancy (née Royden), the daughter of Sir Thomas Royden, 1st Baronet, MP.[2] He was born in Chester, Cheshire, though the family later moved over the border into Wales, living at Gresford in Denbighshire. He was educated at Bilton Grange and Charterhouse schools, and on the outbreak of war in August 1914 enlisted into the Yeomanry, although still only 17.[3] He served as a motorcycle despatch rider[4] for five months, until on 23 December 1914 he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Denbighshire Hussars (Territorial Force).[5]

He was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps in September 1916,[3] and after completing his pilot training was posted to No. 1 Squadron RFC[6] in April 1917,[3] to fly the Nieuport 17 single-seat fighter. He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 July,[7] and gained his first victory on 28 July, driving down 'out of control' an Albatros D.V over Becelaere. Two further victories followed in early August,[1] and he was appointed a flight commander with the acting rank of captain on the 24th.[8] After upgrading to the Nieuport 27, he gained three more victories in September, and his final two in early October. His final tally was three enemy aircraft destroyed, four driven down out of control (two shared), and one captured (shared).[1]

On 9 October 1917 Rooper was shot down by Xavier Dannhuber of Jasta 26 over Polygon Wood and crashed near the British front lines, receiving fatal injuries.[9] He is buried at the Communal Cemetery Extension in Bailleul, Nord, France.[10]

Both Rooper and his older brother Ralph Bonfoy Rooper — killed in France on 29 May 1918 while serving in the French Red Cross[11] — are commemorated on the war memorial in All Saints Church, Gresford.[12] The oldest of the three brothers, Captain John Royden Rooper, served in the Denbighshire Hussars until ill-health forced him to relinquish his commission on 9 June 1916.[13] The actress Jemima Rooper is his great-granddaughter.[14]

List of aerial victories[edit]

Combat record[1]
No. Date/Time Aircraft/
Serial No.
Opponent Result Location Notes
1 28 July 1917
@ 1910
Nieuport 17
(B1675)[15]
Albatros D.V Out of control Becelaere
2 9 August 1917
@ 1050
Nieuport 17
(B1675)
C Captured Houthoulst Forest Shared with Captain Philip Fullard.
3 17 August 1917
@ 1015
Nieuport 17
(B1675)
DFW C Out of control Tenbrielen Shared with Lieutenant Charles Lavers.
4 11 September 1917
@ 1815
Nieuport 27
(B3632)[15]
Albatros D.V Out of control Houthoulst
5 19 September 1917
@ 1800
Nieuport 27
(B6767)[15]
Albatros D.V Destroyed in flames East of Poelcapelle
6 25 September 1917
@ 1830
Nieuport 27
(B6767)
Albatros D.V Destroyed East of Gheluvelt
7 1 October 1917
@ 1110
Nieuport 27
(B6767)
DFW C Out of control Houthoulst Shared with Captain Robert Birkbeck, and Second Lieutenants Francis George Baker & Lumsden Cummings.
8 5 October 1917
@ 0955
Nieuport 27
(B6767)
Albatros D.V Destroyed Zandvoorde

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d "William Victor Trevor Rooper". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  2. ^ Freer, Alan G. (2011). "Conqueror 168". The Descendants of William the Conqueror. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Personals: Casualties". Flight. IX (462): 1145. 1 November 1917. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Roll of Honour". St. Mary's Church, Speldhurst, Kent. 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 29015. p. 10933. 22 December 1914.
  6. ^ Franks (2000), p. 20.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30217. p. 7978. 3 August 1917.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30271. p. 9245. 4 September 1917.
  9. ^ "William Victor Trevor Rooper". Military History Forum. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "Casualty Details: Rooper, William Victor Trevor". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Casualty Details: Rooper, Ralph Bonfoy". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "Gresford War Memorial". Clwyd Family History Society. 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29617. p. 5724. 6 June 1916.
  14. ^ Royden, John (2015). "Royden family tree". Royden.com. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c "Royal Flying Corps – Nieuport serials". airhistory.org.uk. 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2015. 
Bibliography