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The Hooper (& Cooper) Families
David Hooper (1843-1922)
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:
Thomas Hooper (1875-1875)
Sadly, Thomas died shortly after birth.
& Emily Sarah Hooper (nee White)
Henry Hooper, David’s older brother with whom he was lodging in 1871
William Gerald Hooper (1876-tba)
At the time of the 1891 census ‘William’ was shown as an errand boy living at home
with his parents and younger brothers and sisters. He left home shortly after at
15 and found employment as a gardener eventually rising to Head Gardener in Salisbury
at Trafalgar Gardens by the time he retired at 65. During this time Gerald (as he
was known) lodged with Sidney Cook & family at Charlton All Saints, Salisbury in
It seems Gerald was not involved in either the First or Second World Wars (based
on present family knowledge). Sidney Cook died before Gerald retired but Gerald remained
to look after Sidney’s wife who apparently was severely arthritic. After her death,
Gerald returned to Kingston as he had never married and had no home of his own. He
lived with his sisters Jane and Nora until his death in 1945/6 (?) at Corfe Castle
where he is buried in the ‘New Cemetery’ (the old ‘new’ cemetery!).
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 1916which 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.
David Hooper (1878-1918)
David’s mother and father remained at the same house in WestStreet, 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.
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.
David Hooper in uniform in the family garden at West Street, Kingston
Information and photographs kindly provided by David Gerald Lester Cooper,
great grandson of David Hooper and Emily Sarah Hooper (nee White)
David and Emily Sarah Hooper also adopted a Mary Brownett, born in Portman Square,
London. Unfortunately, Mary (known as Polly) died of consumption aged 30 at Kingston
Family history relates that Polly was the daughter of one of Emily's sisters who
had died giving birth to twins(?) and that her father while taking on the sons (1+1)
could not look after his daughter and thus Emily took her on.
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.
George Hooper & his sister Nora cavorting in Navy uniform
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.
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'.
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
[Information gained from 'The Africa General Service Medal to the Royal Navy and
the Royal Marines' by WH Fevyer and JW Wilson and published by Naval and Military
Press ISBN 1834342103890000.]
Ann Jane Hooper(1885-1960)
At age 15 in 1901, Ann was a Domestic Servant living at home in West Street. In the
1911 census she was still living at home looking after her father as her mother had
passed away in 1905.
Ann married Tom Senneck (1883-1960) at Kingston in 1918. They had two children:
4Thomas Senneck. Sadly, Thomas died in 1919 aged just 12 months.
4Margaret Senneck. Margaret married Norman Robert Beavis at Kingston in
1959 and they have one son, Anthony.
Ann and Tom both died in 1960 and their graves are on the south side of the new church.
William & Nora had four children:
4David Charles Cooper (1907-1981) married
Kathleen Mary Florence Lester (1913-1987) at
Hartley Wintney in 1936. They had six children:
Terence, Jacqueline, David, Kathryn, Roger and
Malcolm. Unfortunately, the first two children
died soon after birth, and Malcolm died in 1971.
4William George Cooper (1910-1911). William
died aged just 14 months of meningitis.
4Mary Geraldine Decourcy Cooper (1914-).
Mary married Roy Cottrell from Corfe and they
had three offspring: William, Anne and Sarah.
4Gerald Edward Cooper (1919-1997). Gerald
Married (Hilda) Margaret Hussey (1917-1980)
from Chideock and their daughter Susan lives in
Nora Sarah Hooper(1880-1948)
Nora married William Charles Cooper (1881-1962) at Kingston in 1907. William was
the son of Charles Seaward Cooper and Sarah Ann Cooper (nee White) who married at
Corfe in 1866. William joined the Royal Navy and was an RN Blacksmith.
William Charles Cooper &
Nora Sarah Cooper (nee Hooper)
At the time of the 1911 census, Nora was at West Street with her father and her first
two children. William was away serving in HMS Prince George.