STRATTON DORSET
   
             
STRATTON WAR MEMORIAL
             
           
    2nd LIEUT. PERCY P. POPE. THE WELSH REGT.    
             
     
 

Percy Paris Pope was born in Dorchester in December 1882 and baptised at All Saints Church, Dorchester on 2nd January 1883. He was the sixth son of Alfred Pope J.P., and Elizabeth Mary Pope of South Court, Dorchester and later Wrackleford House, Stratton. Percy Paris Pope M.A. was educated at Twyford School, Winchester, Winchester College and New College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1907 and joined the Western Circuit.

 
     
   
Percy Paris Pope
www.winchestercollegeatwar.com

   
     
  In October 1915, 33 -year-old Second Lieutenant Percy Paris Pope, 1st Battalion Welsh Regiment was serving in France.  
     
 
Percy Paris Pope
Dorset Families - Rodney Legg

 
     
 
On 2nd October 1915 he was killed in action during a bayonet attack on Little Willie trench beside Hohenzollern Redoubt.

The Hohenzollern Redoubt near to Auchy-les-Mines was a German fortification of defensive works that surrounded the pre-war mining complex Fosse 8.

At 3pm on Friday 1st October the1st Battalion Welsh Regiment moved forward “to take a trench called LITTLE WILLIE with fixed bayonet regardless of all costs.” (Quotes are from 1st Welch Regimental Diary)

The attack began at 8pm and went well with the battalion getting to within 100 yards of their objective before being discovered.

"Then from both flanks machine guns opened fire. The commanding officers voice rang out 'forward the 41st, get at ‘em Welsh'. In 20 seconds there were 250 men and a proportion of officers on the floor, the remainder were in the trench bayoneting those in the trench and firing at the retreating Prussian Guards . . . . It was a gallant little affair."

Due to the confusion brought about by the poor state of the trenches, the battalion became cut off. Attempts were made to dig towards the British front line trenches. The battalion was under almost continual artillery fire and suffered numerous grenade attacks.

‘"The whole night and morning was spent in bombing battles on each flank. The Welsh had the best of these battles, wounding and taking prisoners – by 10 am the bombs were finished – the enemy’s supplies were unlimited . . . . the enemy moved up gradually from both flanks. The enemy opened up with a minenwerfer shell; this is what the soldiers call “sausage up”. The shell, having reached the distance it is regulated for, drops down perpendicularly and can be seen all the way and can be dodged – the men were now so congested it was impossible to get out of the way. When one lands in a trench six men in the vicinity disappear."

On Saturday 2nd October 1915 ninety-six men from the 1st Welsh were killed in action.

"These operations were carried out with tired troops who had been in the trenches and moving from one position to another as reserve troops for eight days and eight nights".

On Sunday 3rd October the 1st Welsh were relieved and moved back to Vermelles having been without food and water for 48 hours.

The attack failed to meet any of its key objectives.
 
           
 
Hohenzollern Redoubt
 
             
  Percy Paris Pope is remembered on the Loos Memorial (panels 77 and 78), Pas de Calais, France.  
             
 
Loos Memorial - Commonwealth War Graves Commission
 
             
 
The Loos Memorial forms the side and back of Dud Corner Cemetery, and commemorates 20,584 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay.

Dud Corner Cemetery stands almost on the site of a German strong point, the Lens Road Redoubt, captured by the 15th (Scottish) Division on the first day of the battle. The name ‘Dud Corner’ is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. On either side of the cemetery is a wall 15 feet high, to which are fixed tablets on which are carved the names of those commemorated. At the back are four small circular courts, open to the sky, in which the lines of tablets are continued, and between these courts are three semicircular walls or apses, two of which carry tablets, while on the centre apse is erected the Cross of Sacrifice.

Percy Paris Pope and his brother Charles Alfred Whiting Pope are remembered on a memorial in St Mary’s Church, Stratton. It reads: In loving memory of Percy Paris Pope MA. New Coll. Oxen of the Inner Temple Barrister-at-Law 2nd Lieut. The Welsh Regiment Sixth son of Alfred Pope of Wrackleford House, who was killed in action during an enemy attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt 2nd October 1915. Aged 33.  Also of Capt. Charles Alfred Whiting Pope M.A. M.B. Trin. Coll. Camb. R.A.M.C. Fourth son of Alfred Pope who was drowned whilst attending the wounded in the ship’s hospital on the occasion of the British Troop-Ship “Transylvania” being torpedoed in the Mediterranean 4th May 1917. Aged 39.  “Glory born of duty is a crown of light”
 
             
 
Memorial Plaque - Stratton Parish Church
 
             
 
Percy Paris Pope and his brothers Charles Alfred Whiting Pope and Edward Alexander Pope are also remembered on the Dorchester War Memorial in South Walks Road and on the Memorial Plaque at All Saints Church, Dorchester.
 
             
 
Dorchester War Memorial, South Walks Road
 
             
 
Memorial Plaque - All Saints Church, Dorchester
 
             
  Percy Paris Pope is further remembered on the memorial of the Winchester College War Cloister.  
             
             
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