Date of birth: 1896
Place of birth: Southampton
Service number: 11079
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
Battalion: B Battery, 46th division
Died: 3rd April 1918, aged 23
Death location: France
The military service record of Frederick George Soper has not survived. From his entry in the roll of honour we know that Frederick George Soper (service number 11079) was a gunner in B Battery of the Royal Field artillery. He “mobilised on 5th August 1914, he was drafted to the Dardanelles, where he played a prominent part in the fighting on the Peninsula. He was later sent to France, and after serving in many engagements in this theatre of war, was killed in action on 3rd April 1918.” His grave (reference I.N.7) is in Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme near the War Stone. This sector of the front was taken over by the Commonwealth forces in the early summer of 1915, when Mericourt-Ribemont Station, on the railway line from Amiens to Albert, became a railhead. However, it was not until the German advance at the end of March 1918 that the first burials were made at Ribemont
Details of the engagements for the 46th Divisional Ammunition Column, Royal Field Artillery can be found at: wartime memories project
He was posthumously awarded the Victory medal, the British medal and 1914-15 Star medal in recognition of his services to his country and is inscribed on the cenotaph at Southampton “lest we forget”.
The bronze Star campaign medal of the British Empire was awarded for service in World War One. Also known as the Mons Star. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Pip’.
The silver British War Medal was awarded for service in World War One. Also called the British Empire campaign medal, it was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Squeak’.
The bronze Victory medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal was awarded to those who received the British War Medal. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Wilfred’.
Life before the war
Frederick George Soper born in 1896 was the second child of five born to Frederick William Soper (1865-1951) and Emma nee Thompson (1862-1947 who had married in the Autumn of 1890.) Their marriage was registered in Southampton district GRO ref vol2c page29.
They had a total of five children.
The following children of Frederick William and Emma are confirmed from parish records:
1. Kate was born in 1892. In 1918 she married Charles Reynolds. They had three children.
2. Frederick George was born in 1896…
3. Nellie was born in 1897. In 1915 she married Ernest F Stent. They had five children.
4. Bessie Victoria was born in 1898. no further information was found
5. Harold was born in 1900. In 1922 he married Rosina F Emrey. They had no children.
In 1891 newly weds Frederick William and Emma were using 2 rooms in a shared house at 28 Northumberland Road, Southampton. In 1901 the family lived at 46 Dukes Road, Southampton. Father Frederick William was employed as a docks ships stevedore (is the name used to describe someone who transfers cargo between ship and shore, either mechanically or manually). Also living with them was widowed and blind since 1886 grandfather George Soper whose wife Charlotte had died in 1895.
In 1911 the family lived at 15 Manor Terrace on Manor Farm Road. Father Frederick William was still employed at the docks whilst son Frederick George was employed as a shop porter. Grandfather George continued to live with them until he died in 1915 aged 78.
When his parents received news of their sons death they were living at 271 Manor Farm Road.
His mother Emma died in 1947 aged 89. Although the dates and ages are slightly askew, they are the best fit for this family.
His father Frederick William enlisted in the Royal Defence Corps on 1st September 1914 aged 47. (service number 20502) he was transferred to number 3 supply convoy of the 5th Hampshire Regiment on 29th April 1916 (service number 2298) and was demobilised on 27th February 1919 having suffered no injuries during his service. He died aged 86 in 1951.
Researched by DHW – June 2013
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