People on board
SLOPER, Victor Frederick
Victor Frederick Sloper was born in Bradford parish, Wiltshire in 1887 to Richard Pritchard Sloper and Ann Mary Fulford, the youngest of their ten children, seven of them sons. Richard Sloper was a farmer at Ganbrook Farm, Atworth near Melksham, in the 1881 census listed as 205 acres. One son, William Fulford became an engineer, and another, Edgar, was a Coach Builder but the other sons, including Victor, all appear to have worked on the farm. Kelly’s Directory of 1911 also listed Victor as Collector of Rates for the parish of Atworth and Hon. Sec. of Atworth Church Institute.
Ann Mary Sloper died in 1908 aged sixty-four. In the 1911 census three sons, including Victor, were working on the farm with their father, one daughter was Housekeeping and another was an Assistant School Teacher. In 1912 the eldest son, Vincent Richard, died aged thirty-eight followed in 1915 by their father Richard Sloper.
It is not known when Victor Frederick Sloper enlisted but he was initially a Sergeant in the Wiltshire Yeomanry, Service Number 203159. He received his commission into the Wiltshire Regiment at the end of May 1918. He served as 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Territorial Battalion which moved to Dublin in May 1918.
Whether returning home on leave or for redeployment, he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered on the Isle of Man, and unlike many others who were buried there, his was returned to Wiltshire.
Victor Frederick Sloper was buried on the 12th of November in St Michael’s Churchyard in Atworth in the same grave as his brother Vincent, and beside the grave of their parents. His name is recorded on a brass plaque in the church, erected by family and friends.