Pte. C. Roper


UNIT: 6th Yorkshire Regiment

NUMBER: 202396

STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 29th September 1917


AGE: 25

Clarence Roper was born in Cotherstone, Yorkshire and was the third son of Mr. & Mrs. M. Roper of Victoria Terrace, Northallerton. His wife's name was Mary with whom he lived at No. 13 Gladstone Street Northallerton. Clarence and Mary had two children, called Harry and Clarence and a third (a daughter called Clarice May) died in infancy on 28th March 1915. His elder brother, Albert, was wounded in the shoulder and was captured on 21st April 1917, during the Battle of Arras.

Clarence enlisted in Northallerton and joined the 4th Yorkshires with whom he served in France until his time expired. He then returned to Northallerton and continued his work as a postman. Clarence could not leave his comrades in France, while he was safe at home, and so after a few months he re-enlisted and was attached to the 6th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment.

He had been back in France for 6 months when he was killed, aged 25, during a three day tour in the front line. This line was composed mainly of shell holes, as proper trenches could not be dug in the morass which the ground had become, to the West of the village of Poelcappelle during the Third Battle of Ypres, better known today as the Battle of Passchendaele. The posts were quiet until 6.30pm. when they were subjected to heavy German shelling and nine men were killed with another 13 wounded. Private Roper, together with four others, was buried by a shell exploding near them. All five men were dug out but Clarence Roper was found to be dead, having been struck in the head.

His body was clearly found and identified at the time he was killed, but his grave must have been lost in subsequent fighting and he is now commemorated on the Memorial to The Missing at Tyne Cot, near Passchendaele.