Albert Edward Jopling

Badge of The London Regiment

Badge of The London Regiment

Date of birth: 1888
Place of birth: Woolston, Southampton
Service No.: 3047
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: City of London
Battalion: 1st / 2nd Battalion – Royal Fusiliers
Died: 1st July 1916
Death location: The Somme


Before the War
Albert Edward Jopling was born in the summer of 1888 to Thomas William and Rebecca Jopling.  His parents had married in Southampton on 3rd April 1881.  Later that year they had a son, also called Albert Edward; sadly he died, aged 3, in 1884.  Their daughter Sarah Ella was born in 1886.  Thomas William was born in Dalton-le-Dale in Durham in 1845, the son of James Jopling an Engineer.  Rebecca was also born Durham, in Byers Green in 1856, to parents Edward and Sarah Jopling.  Edward was a Coal Merchant, born in Houghton-le-Spring in 1828 and Sarah was born in the same village in 1829.

The 1881 census shows Edward and Sarah Jopling living at Lanark House, Pear Tree Green, Southampton.  Living with them is their daughter Rebecca (25) and their son-in-law, Thomas William Jopling (36).  Rebecca is shown as a Dressmaker and Thomas is an Engineer – Steam Ship.

In the 1891 census Thomas and Rebecca are living at Maundi Villa, Woolston, Southampton with Albert Edward (2). Thomas is a Coal Merchant’s Manager, possibly for his father-in-law?  Sarah Ella (5) is not with her parents but with her maternal grandparents, Edward (63) and Sarah (62) and their son Thomas E., a Marine Engineer (28), all living at Palmyra Villa, Obelisk Road, Woolston, Southampton. Edward died the following year on 20 February 1892.

By the 1901 census Thomas and Rebecca with Albert Edward (12) are living in Bridge Road, Pear Tree Green, Southampton.  Thomas is a Coal Merchant – Employer.  Again Sarah (15) is living with her maternal grandmother, Sarah, now a widow (72) who is shown as Retired Coal Merchant, they are still living in Palmyra Villa.  Sarah died 23rd April 1904 and left her estate to her eldest son, George Thomas Jopling, also a Coal Merchant.

Thomas William died on 27th September 1907, aged 62, leaving Rebecca £1054 1s 6d which equals £114,570 in 2015.  On the 1911 census it is only mother Rebecca (53) and daughter Sarah Ella (24) living together at Oak View, 26 Upper Hill Lane, Southampton.  Rebecca is shown as a Widow – Private means.  Sarah married in 1917 to Harris John Beaton, an Engineer; on the 1911 census he was a General Electrical Mechanical Engineer.


Military History
Albert Edward Jopling joined the City of London Regiment, 1st/2nd Battalion – Royal Fusiliers as a Private.  He saw action in Egypt in August of 1915.  He was promoted to Lance Corporal; he then saw action in France and was killed on 1st July 1916, the very first day of the Battle of the Somme, known as the Battle of Albert.

British infantry troops preparing to move forward to the front line during the Battle of the Somme.

British infantry troops preparing to move forward
to the front line during the Battle of the Somme.

The Battle of Albert (1st to 13th July 1916) comprised the first two weeks of Anglo-French offensive operations in the Battle of the Somme. The Allied preparatory artillery bombardment commenced on 24th June and the Anglo-French infantry attacked on 1st July, on the south bank from Foucaucourt to the Somme and from the Somme north to Gommecourt, 2 miles (3.2 km) beyond Serre.  The French Sixth Army and the right wing of the British Fourth Army inflicted a considerable defeat on the German 2nd Army but from the Albert-Bapaume road to Gommecourt the British attack was a disaster, where most of the c.60,000 British casualties of the day were incurred.  Against Marshal Joffre’s wishes, General Sir Douglas Haig abandoned the offensive north of the road, to reinforce the success in the south, where the Anglo-French forces pressed forward through several intermediate lines, until close to the German second position.

The Somme, France

The Somme, France


Historical Information – The Battle of the Somme
On 1st July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, 13 divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt.  Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure.  In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day.  However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1st July.  Attacks north and
east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly
difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended
on 18th November with the onset of winter.

When Albert died his place of residence was Leatherhead in Surrey.  He left his estate to his mother Rebecca; £113 5s 5d, about £10,404 in 2015.  Rebecca died on 2nd March 1935.  She was living in Bristol, as was her daughter and son-in-law; she left her estate to her daughter, Sarah Ella Beaton.


Albert Edward Jopling is memorialised on the Thiepval Memorial in France; one of the 72,255 identified casualties, and on the Southampton Cenotaph.

He was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and Victory Medal.


Researcher: Bridgett Vane
Published: 13th March 2016
Updated: Insert dates here

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