Maj. Arthur Cecil ROPER 1890 - 1978
Third child and third son of Arthur Charles ROPER (1856-1925) and Florence Wellersley SMITH (1861-1920)
Born 14th June 1890, Tasmania
Died 29th July 1978, Worthing, Sussex.
Arthur Cecil ROPER (With Kikmi)
Married Frances Ann HUBBARD 22 August 1933 at St Stephen's Church, Cinderford, Gloucestershire.
Known as 'Doc'
Army Career
Judith writes
In general conversation, Doc, who became a Major, never dwelt on his war years and army career. That was true of many who witnessed some of the worst years of the 20th century.
In World War 1 he was in the Royal Fusiliers as an officer, becoming Captain.
On 1 March 1916 he went to serve in France.
During the Second World War, Doc was in the Hampshire Regiment, being part of the important defence operations of the forts overlooking and commanding the Portsmouth Harbour - a key operation.
His only comments I fully remember were something like 'There was bad on both sides.' He had witnessed brutality in the British Army but never told the story.
My Husband
Frances Ann Roper (née HUBBARD) writes
On August 22nd, 1933, I married Arthur Cecil Roper (“Doc”). He was the brother of a college friend of mine, and when she first introduced us in 1920 our dislike of each other was instant, mutual and intense. Many years later I learned that he had told her not to bring "That tow - headed chatterer” (me) near him” and to myself I always thought of him as “that great, rough bear”. We lost sight of each other for the next nine or ten years, but when we eventually met once more, it was another three years before we realised that we were right for each other and have now been blessed with 42 years of superbly happy life.
We have no children.
Doc was born 14th June 1890 and comes of a very old and interesting family. His Father was cousin of Lord Teynham and was for many years heir to the title and estates. When at last an heir in the direct line was born, he relinquished his heritage with the utmost relief. The name Musard was the original name of the family, and from this is derived the name Miserden, a village on the Cotswolds. In the grounds of Miserden House is an exceptionally large mound which obviously covers the original castle, for on a visit there we found roofing stones amid the grass and leaf mound at the top of the mound. An ancestor at the time of William Rufus must have been a most ferocious swashbuckler, for he gained the soubriquet of “de Rubra Spatha” (of the red sword). The name Roper is derived from this. The spatha is the huge double-handed sword, as distinct from the Gladius which was the short sword normally worn on the hip. One of the same family married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas (now Saint) More, who wrote the life of More. The name Roper has nothing to do with ropes or ropemaking. The name Musard means “the Dreamer”, and Doc has inherited these genes, for he is a prolific and most unusually interesting dreamer.
Biography Major ‘Doc’ Roper The extraordinary life of a Dreamer, Archaeologist and Soldier by Judith F Hubbard, 2020
ISBN 9781513663326
Wedding, Tuesday 22 August 1933.
Photo taken on the Vicarage Lawn at St Stephen's Cinderford, Gloucestershire.
Left to Right
Myrtle Hicks
Mrs Humphries
Leslie Giles
his mother, Mrs Middlecote
Mr Hillman
Mrs Hillman
Mrs Embling
The Rev F.W.P. Hicks
Arthur Cecil ROPER (groom)
Charlotte Marian Hubbard (née VIZARD, mother of bride)
Wedding, Tuesday 22 August 1933
Left to Right
Charlotte Marian Hubbard (née VIZARD, mother of bride)
Arthur Cecil ROPER (groom)
Doc and Frances at her brother George’s wedding.
Edmondsham, Dorset, 5 October 1946.
Left to Right
Jack and Margaret Hubbard
George and Mollie Hubbard
Doc and Frances Roper
Silver Wedding photograph 22nd August 1958 Worthing
Archaeologist Couchant - Muntham Court, Findon, Sussex. August 1956
With Mr Barton, Curator of Worthing Museum in late 1950's.
Doc (aged 72) at archaeological camp Glynde, Sussex. 20th August 1962
June 1967 (aged 77)
This is very much how I remember him. Behind that slightly gruff exterior was a man of immense wisdom, love and humour.
Outside 44 South Farm Road, Worthing
Photo taken April 1968, by JFH, aged 19
Frances Ann Roper (née HUBBARD) writes
Doc was a famous excavator locally, so much so that a saying went round, that if you saw a hole in the South Downs with a non-stop jet of rubble flying out of it, you would be sure to find Roper at the bottom!
(From a letter to me, Feb 1976)
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