Ronald studied in Oxford and became a Maths teacher. When war broke out he was 36: his skills were deployed in field survey.
Born in Dumbarton
Ronald Morley Hooper was born in Dumbarton in 1878. His father was a Methodist minister, who had the usual itinerant life of a minister of the time. When Ronald was aged three the family were living in Stirling, and in 1891 they were in Rochdale, Lancashire. He became a boarder at Kingswood School in Bath, a Methodist foundation.
In 1896 Ronald began studying at Worcester College Oxford, gaining 2nd Class in Finals in 1900. In 1901 he was boarding in Daventry and teaching Maths, and in 1904 he moved to the Royal Masonic School in Bushey, Hertfordshire. John Henry Gare, also listed on the memorial, arrived there in 1913 as a fresh graduate.
Ronald enlisted a fortnight after John, in December 1915, joining a different unit, the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was allocated to the 3rd Field Survey Company, and at some point he became a Lieutenant. Its role was mapping, particularly identifying enemy positions from the sound of their gunfire, using mathematical methods and equipment that improved as the war continued. It has not been possible to trace this unit’s movements.
Ronald was wounded in July 1917 and sent to England to recover. Sadly his father had died only months earlier. He returned to the front and died, aged 40, on the first day of the German Spring Offensive, 21 March 1918. It is likely his unit was overwhelmed by the German advance near Bapaume, as he is buried in Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension. He left an estate of over £1,000.