A First War Trio to Leading Stoker William Roper
A First War Trio to Leading Stoker William Roper - 1914-15 Star (308685, W. ROPER, STO. 1., R.N.); British War Medal (308685 W. ROPER. L. STO. R.N.); and Victory Medal (308685 W. ROPER. L. STO. R.N.). Naming is officially impressed. Court mounted, very light contact, extremely fine. Accompanied by a duotang folder with his military biography, a copy of his Service Records, named flattened boxes that originally housed the three medals in their original addressed shipping envelope from the Admiralty and twelve black and white ship photographs. Footnote: William Roper was born on December 9, 1886 in Portsea, Hampshire. He joined the Royal Navy for twelve years' service at the Shore Base H.M.S. Nelson in Portsmouth, on August 15, 1905, with the rank of Stoker 2nd Class, having been a Sawyer in his civilian life. It was noted that he had two prominent tattoos: one of a snake on his left forearm and one of a woman's head on his right forearm. He was posted to the Shore Base H.M.S. Victory II on January 6, 1906 and was then assigned to the Battleship H.M.S. King Edward VII on January 19th. It was here that on August 2, 1906, he achieved the rank of Stoker 1st Class. His pre-war service saw him with the Shore Base H.M.S. Victory beginning on March 5, 1907, before being assigned to the Battleship H.M.S. Canopus a month later, on April 7th, following by a posting later that month to the Cruiser Essex on April 23rd. After serving five years with H.M.S. Essex, he was assigned to the Cruiser Arrogant on April 23, 1912. By the latter part of the Summer, he was posted to the Submarine Base H.M.S. Dolphin, on August 31st, as he had volunteered for submarine duty, then posted to in the new year to the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Vulcan on February 28, 1913, followed by a posting to the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Alecto on January 1, 1914. When the First World War began in August 1914, Roper had already returned to H.M.S. Vulcan the previous February 17th and was assigned to C-25, a C Class Submarine. He served under Lieutenant Henry G. Higgins. Being a small coastal submarine, he served at Dover patrolling the English Channel or at Portsmouth in the training of other submariners. He was also attached to the Depot Ships H.M.S. Maidstone on February 2, 1916 and H.M.S. Dolphin on April 16, 1916. On August 7, 1916, Roper was drafted to G-3, which was in the 11th Submarine Flotilla, based with the Submarine Depot Ship H.M.S. Titania at Blyth. The G Class Submarines were the first to have the new 21" torpedoes as part of their armament. With their increased range, these submarines could patrol most of the North Sea and the German coast. He was later attached in 1917 to the Depot Ships H.M.S. Dolphin on May 30th and H.M.S. Lucia on September 1st. It was during his time with Lucia that he achieved the rank of Leading Stoker on September 6, 1917. He finished out the war serving on the G Class Submarine G-14, attached to H.M.S. Dolphin, in the 10th Submarine Flotilla based on the Tees, effective January 29, 1918. For his First World War service, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Roper joined the Royal Fleet Reserve on June 14, 1919. In December 1923, Roper was residing in Portsmouth when he received his WWI Trio, as indicated by the accompanying envelope.