Captain Gerard Orby Sloper
Our Roll of Honour
Capt. Gerard Orby Sloper, 1st Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers, who died of pneumonia on the 8th February 1919 whilst on service with the North Russian Expeditionary Force, was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. G.D. Sloper, late of West Woodhay House, Berkshire, and Westrop House, Highworth, Wiltshire.
Born in 1885, he was educated at Charterhouse, and after passing through Sandhurst, joined the 3rd (Regular) Battalion on the 28th January 1905. He was transferred to the 1st Battalion, in India in 1908, and while on service in that country took part in the operations in Mohmand country and the engagement of Matta, for which he was awarded the medal with clasp.
On the outbreak of the present war he proceeded to Flanders with the 1st Battalion, was present at Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne. He was wounded at the last named engagement, but quickly recovered and returned to the Battalion in France at the end of December, 1914. He then served with the 1st Battalion until June, 1915, when he was again wounded in three places and taken prisoner. After several attempts to escape from Germany he was transferred to Holland early in 1918, and was eventually repatriated to England in December, 1918. He proceded to Russia in January of this year.
He was mentioned in dispatches in the London Gazette in October, 1914, and January, 1916, and was awarded the Military Cross in 1914.
Sloper, or "Bunny" as he was known to his most intimate friends, was a good example of what a British Officer should be - a good polo player, a fine big game shot and a thorough sportsman. No one after knowing him for a short time could fail to be struck by his strong, self-reliant and well disciplined character. On active service he imparted a feeling of confidence to those he commanded and of reliance to those under whom he served; he was absolutely fearless, and the writer well remembers the particular episode for which he was awarded the M.C., when he charged with his Platoon of about 20 men, a very much larger force of Germans holding a hill above Vaily-sur-Aisne. Sloper seemed to be one of those men who, having made up their minds what their duty was, carried it out regardless of personal interests. His action in volunteering for service in Russia was typical of him.
After nearly four years as a prisoner in Germany, during most of which time he was abominably treated owning to his indomitable spirit, many would have thought that they were entitled to a period of rest and recuperation-not so Sloper, who from the moment he landed in England started to find out in what way he could proceed on active service again.
There are few who lived up to the Regimental motto with greater success than Sloper. He was indeed a gallant gentleman and a good Officer.
To his father and mother we extend our deep sympathy
St George's Gazette, 28th February, 1919