David Hooper (1843-1922) = Emily Sarah White (1845-1905)
David was the son of Thomas Hooper and Sarah Hooper (nee Tatchell) both of Kingston who married in 1839.
David’s occupation was at various times described as agricultural labourer (1861), labourer (1874), saw-yard engine driver (1881), general labourer (1891), engine driver at carpenters yard (1901), thrashing engine driver (1905), and sawyers labourer (1911).
In 1851, David was living in Kingston with his parents and other siblings. He was still at home with his mother in 1861 but by 1871 was boarding with his elder brother Henry Hooper and Henry’s young daughter Susan.
David married Emily Sarah White (1845-1905) at Kingston in 1874. Emily was the second daughter of William White and Mary Ann White (nee Roe), both of Kingston (their first daughter Emily died shortly before she was born). In the 1871 census, Emily aged 25 was shown as a laundress.
David & Emily lived in West Street, next to the Post Office on the west side, all of their married lives.
Emily died in 1905 aged 59 of chronic bronchitis and David survived her by 17 years.
David & Emily had six children:
1. Thomas Hooper (1875-1875)
Sadly, Thomas died shortly after birth.
2. William Gerald Hooper (1876-1941)
At the time of the 1891 census ‘William’ was shown as an errand boy aged 15 living at home with his parents and younger brothers and sisters. He left home very shortly after and found employment as a gardener. It seems Gerald did not serve in the forces during the First World War (based on present family knowledge). He worked his way up to Head Gardener at Trafalgar Gardens, Downton.
During this time Gerald (as he was known) lodged with fellow gardener Sidney Cook & family at Charlton All Saints, Salisbury in Wiltshire. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Gerald was still at Charlton All Saints with the Cook family but his occupation was then recorded as a Builder’s Labourer. Gerald then returned to Kingston and lived with his sisters Jane and Nora until his death in February 1941 at Corfe Castle where he is buried in the ‘New Cemetery’ (the old ‘new’ cemetery!).
3. David Hooper (1878-1918)
David’s mother and father remained at the same house in West Street, Kingston throughout their life so it is most likely that David attended the local, Kingston School. Compulsory education required attendance only until the age of 10 years at that time and he initially became an errand boy (1891 census).
By the 1901 census he is absent from home but, as he could join the regular army at 19 and from his records we know that he originally joined the Dorsetshire Regiment, it is assumed at present, that he did join – most likely at Dorchester – in 1897/8. His regimental number was 15705.
At that time the regular soldier joined for seven years active service followed by 6 years in the national reserve. If he joined at 19 then this service expired in 1910/11 when he was 32 years old. In the 1911 census David is a boarder with a Walter and Myra Bartlett at Canford, Poole, Dorset where he is a House Painter, he is aged 32 and unmarried.
From the medals David was awarded it would appear that he did not re-enlist until the Military Service Act was introduced in January 1916 which imposed compulsory enlistment for all males between the age of 18 and 41. This strong assumption is made as he was not awarded the 1914-15 Star which was awarded to those involved in a theatre of war during 1914-15.
As David was conscripted he had no choice as to which regiment he joined and he was delegated to the ‘The Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians)’ and he joined the 2nd battalion where his regimental number was 5359.The 2nd battalion was in action in Flanders as part of the 6th Division during 1915. In October 1915 the battalion was transferred to the 24th Division, 73rd Brigade.
Assuming David joined the battalion during the early months of 1916, then he was involved with the 24th Division fighting on the Western Front for around two years. On 1 February 1918 the battalion were again transferred, this time to the 47th Brigade of the 16th Irish Division. In the Somme the Germans began a big push – “Kaiserschlacht” (Kaiser’s Battle), in an attempt to regain lost territory on 21 March 1918 when they had an immense advantage in manpower with 58 Divisions ranged against the British 16 Divisions. The 16th Irish Division suffered large losses during this battle with 7,149 men lost.
David Hooper went missing “presumed dead” on 27 March 1918 and memorial’s to him are at the Commonwealth War Memorial at Pozieres, nr Albert, France, and in his village church at Kingston, Dorset. David’s body was never found (along with 1000’s of others) and he never married but he is recalled to mind with this research into his two medals.
4. Nora Sarah Hooper (1880-1948)
Nora married William Charles Cooper (1881-1962) at Kingston in 1907 and they had four children: David, William, Mary & Gerald.⇒Please see The Cooper / Hooper Connection 1907 for more information and photographs.
5. George T Hooper (1882-1908)
George was the fourth son of David and Emily Hooper and spent his childhood at Kingston where he probably also attended the village school. From his Service Record (transcript below), George entered the Royal Navy on 2 December 1897 as a Boy Seaman. However, his Engagement of 12 years started on his 18th birthday – 20 August 1900. He is recorded at that time as being 5ft 4 inches tall with dark brown hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion: he had a tattoo of an anchor on his left forearm.
While serving in HMS Fox as an Able Seaman George was awarded the African general Service Medal with a clasp for Somaliland 1902-1904. The ‘action’ on 21st April 1904, was the capture of a village named Illig, Somaliland which had been held by the ‘Dervishes’.
George’s naval career appears to have been quite normal with a character rating of VG (Very Good) throughout most of his career until he joined HMS Hindustan and it is left to the reader to contemplate whether he joined a’bad ship’, whether he ‘fell in with the wrong crowd’, whether he had met a girl and overstayed his shore leave or perhaps returned to the ship drunk once too often?? Whatever – our George spent seven days in cells – not a drastic sentence considering the times but obviously a serious offence in the eyes of the RN.
Sadly George never married and he died of pneumonia April 1908 while stationed at Whale Island (HMS Excellent) Portsmouth. However, some knowledge of his life has been gained through research into his medal which remains in the family.
6. Ann Jane Hooper (1885-1960)
Jane Hooper married Tom Senneck (1883-1960) at Kingston in 1918. They had two children: Thomas and Margaret. ⇒Please see The Senneck / Hooper Connection 1918 for more information and photographs.
Page last updated: 5 March 2017