[Skip to content]

  • WMA3887. Stained glass window, Mansfield Road Baptist Church, Hyson Green, Nottingham.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2014)
Person Details
26 Nov 1882
Robert George was the son of Noah and Margaret Hopewell (née Gardner). His father Noah Hopewell was born in Nottingham in about 1855. Noah was a builder and the owner of G. Hopewell and Sons, a thriving business situated on Lincoln Street, Basford. His mother Margaret was born in Bridgeton, Glasgow, on 18 December 1861, the daughter of Robert and Janet Gardner. Her father was a master lithographer with over 50 employees and the family lived in Glasgow. They were married in about 1881 and had six children, two of whom died in infancy. All the children were born in Basford: Robert George b. 26 November 1882, Marguerite b. 1884 (J/A/S) d. 1884 (J/A/S), Winifred b. 5 October 1885, Norah b. 1887 (J/A/S) d. 1887 (J/A/S), Jessie b. 22 August 1888 and Donald Gardner b. 27 October 1891. Noah and Margaret Hopewell lived at 19 Lincoln Street, Basford, after their marriage and this was their home until Margaret's death in 1953. In 1901 Margaret's widowed father, Robert Gardner (74), a retired lithographer, was living with the family. Robert had left school in 1899 and was an apprentice joiner, presumably in his father's business. At the time of the 1911 Census all four surviving children were still living at home: Robert George who was manager of his father's building business, Winifred and Jessie both of no occupation, and Donald a law student. Also in the household was a domestic servant. Robert George married Gladys Eleanor Jones at St John's Church, Mansfield, on 6 June 1913 and they lived at Langtry Grove, New Basford. The later CWGC record gives his widow's address as West Brook, Mansfield, which was her parent's home. Noah Hopewell died at his home, 19 Lincoln Street, on 4 June 1936. A funeral service was held at Mansfield Road Baptist Church, Nottingham, following a private cremation. (Nottingham Evening Post, 4 & 8 June 1936). His widow and son Donald, a solicitor, were his executors. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Margaret Hopewell was recorded at Blidworth Dale, Linby, Nottinghamshire, in the home of her widowed daughter, Jessie Spencer. She died at Blidworth Dale on 5 January 1953 although the probate record gave her address as Lincoln Street, Old Basford. Probate was awarded to her son Donald and daughter Jessie. Of Robert's siblings: Winifred married Daniel H Jackson (b. 10 August 1878) in 1911 (A/M/J Nottingham). In 1939 they were living in Hitchen, Hertfordshire. Daniel died in 1946. Winifred has not yet been traced after 1939. Jessie married Arthur Bedward Spencer at Mansfield Road Baptist Church on 15 September 1921. Arthur (b. 15 April 1891) had served in the war, initially in the RNVR attached RNAS, then in the Armoured Car Service abroad and latterly in the RAF. Arthur was a hosiery manufacturer (George Spencer Ltd., Vedonis Works, Basford & Hucknall) but had a farm at Blidworth Dale, Linby, where he and Jessie lived. Arthur died on 12 May 1938 and a memorial service was held at Mansfield Road Baptist Church following a private cremation (Nottingham Evening Post, 13 May 1938). His widow Jessie was still living at Blidworth Dale in 1939; she was described as a farmer. Jessie died on 7 May 1978. Donald Gardner was a solicitor's articled clerk and living in the family home at 19 Lincoln Street when he attested in 1916. He transferred to the Army Reserve on 9 February 1916 and was mobilised on 28 April 1917. He transferred to the 524th Labour Coy., Labour Corps, in June but was discharged on 3 December 1917, 'no longer physically fit for war service.' In 1939 he was living in Lunesdale, Lancashire; as well as his profession of solicitor, he was a deputy chief warden ARP. He employed a housekeeper, housemaid and a butler who was also in the Police War Reserve, Lancashire Constabulary. Also in the household were Wiliam Alfred Winsby b. 5 June 1929 and Ernest Winsby b. 8 October 1931. The record of one other person remains closed but was probably Henrietta Winsby b. 1933 (J/A/S). The children's births were registered in Salford Lancashire. Their mother Henrietta Winsby (née Hilton m. 1928) died in 1933 (J/A/S) and her husband William Alfred (d. 1948) married secondly Alice Ann Rawsterne in 1938. Donald was living in Moreton Pinkney, Northamptonshire, when he died on 15 December 1983.
Educated at Nottingham High School from 4th May 1896 leaving Easter 1899. In 1901 he was an apprentice joiner but by 1911 was manager of his father's building company. He held office in the Nottingham Master Builders’ Association. Captain for several years of Magdala Amateur Football Club.
03 Sep 1916
793261 - CWGC Website
17th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Robert enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters in September 1914 (17403 lance-corporal) and served in France from 14 July the following year. He returned to England for officer training on receiving his commission on 5 August 1915. He was promoted captain in December 1915 and returned to France in March 1916. Robert was killed in action in the attack on Maillet Wood, near Beaumont Hamel, on 3rd September 1916. He was 33 years old. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 10 C 10 D and 11 A). He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. 17th Bn Sherwood Foresters (The Welbeck Rangers), a battalion drawn from North Nottinghamshire and surrounding areas, moved into trenches south of Beaumont-Hamel on the Somme Front on 2nd September and attacked the following morning at 5 am. They went into action with 20 officers and 650 other ranks and succeeded in capturing the German front line before being held up at the German second line by heavy machine gun fire. They suffered 450 casualties before being withdrawn that evening to Mailly-Maillet. Of their 20 officers, 5 were killed, including R G Hopewell, and 7 wounded. 3 were also reported as missing – a total of 15 who were casualties in some form. An extract from the battalion War Diary for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th September 1916 reads: “2nd - Battalion now ready to take part in the 2nd offensive on the Somme. Operation Order 19 attached and marked as Appendices F1. Battalion moves into trenches as mentioned in the aforementioned Operation Order which is situated 1500 yards due South of the village of Beaumont Hamel and about 3,000 yards North-West of Thiepval. The assembly was complete about 10.10pm. Before going into action messages from the following Generals were read to the Battalion. Copies are attached as appendices and marked F2, F3. Lt.Gen. E.A. Fanshaw CB commanding V Army Corps and Brig. Gen. R. Oldman commanding 117th Infantry Brigade. Battalion strength going into action 19 Officers, 1 Medical Officer and 650 other ranks. All details were left at Bertrancourt with Transport. The Division were situated as follows in the attack: 17 Sherwood Foresters on the left; 16 Rifle Brigade on the right; 17 K.R.R.C. in support; 16 Sherwood Foresters in reserve. For further particulars as to formations see appendices F1. Draft of 1 Officer and 16 men arrive from 10 Sherwood Foresters. 3rd - 5.10am. Battalion moves to attack under Artillery Barrage at 6.00am. Message received from Major G. Stollard Commanding A Coy that we have occupied first line of German trenches. At 6.10am message received from Capt. H.V. Walters that the enemy’s second line is strongly held with machine guns and that our casualties are very heavy and reinforcements are urgently needed. At 7.15am 2 Companies of K.R.R.C. move up to reinforce. The action is against us the enemy being very strong in Artillery and Machine Guns and, at 2.00pm orders are despatched for all to withdraw to our trenches. At 7.30pm the Battalion remaining withdrew to a Hillside at Mailley-Maillet Wood for the night. Our casualties are very heavy. 4th - At 5.00pm the battalion moves into Hutments at Bertrancourt. Casualties in yesterday’s action were as follows: Killed - Maj. G. Stollard, Capts. R.G. Hopewell, S.F. Brookfield, F.C.Singleton, G.P. Littlewood. Wounded - Capts. F.R. Turner, R.S. Wright, Lt. B.J. Ross, 2/Lt. W.N. Birkin, E.P. Acrill-Jones, T.C. Nugent, J.W. Salsbury. Missing - Lt. B.F. Buck. Wounded & Missing - Capt. H.V. Walters, 2/Lt. M. A. Ellis - Total 15 Other Ranks - Killed 59. Wounded 155. Missing 222. Total 436”.
WMA3887: Stained glass window depicting figures from 'The Idylls of the King' was installed by his parents in Mansfield Road Baptist Church, Hyson Green, Nottingham in his memory. Dedication: 'To the Glory of God and in memory of Robert George Hopewell of Basford, Captain 17th Sherwood Foresters, killed in action in France Sept 3rd 1916.' ('Idylls of the King', a cycle of 12 narrative poems by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, retelling the legend of King Arthur.) Mansfield Reporter, ‘Marriages’, 6 June 1913: ‘Hopewell-Jones. On June 4th, at St John’s Church Mansfield, by the Rev,. W Lilley assisted by the Rev. TB Lawson [vicar Old Basford], Robert George Hopewell son of Mr and Mrs N Hopewell of Old Basford to Gladys Eleanor Jones, daughter of Mr and Mrs RL Jones, Westbrook, Mansfield.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 6 June 1913: ‘Pretty Wedding at Mansfield. Hopewell-Jones.’ A detailed report of the wedding, which was attended by 300 guests. The best man was Robert's brother Donald and his younger sister Jessie one of the three bridesmaids. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 9 & 11 September 1916: ‘Hopewell. Killed in action, September 3rd, Captain Robert George Hopewell, Sherwood Foresters, Langtry-grove, New Basford, in his 34th year.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 9 September 1916: ‘The Casualties. Killed. Capt RG Hopewell. News has been received that Capt. Robt. George Hopewell, Sherwood Foresters, of Langtry Grove, New Basford, was killed in action on Sept. 3rd. The deceased officer, who was the son of Mr N Hopewell, of Old Basford, was in his 34th year. He was educated at the Nottingham high school, and afterwards became associated with the firm of G Hopewell and Son, contractors, Old Basford. He held office in the Nottingham Master Builders’ Association. He enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters on the outbreak of the war in September 1914, and went to France in July of the following year. Receiving a commission he returned to England for training. He was promoted lieutenant in October and captain in December last, whilst he had been in France for the second time since March. He was for several years captain of the Magdala Amateurs’ Football Club. He married the only daughter of Mr RL Jones, of Mansfield.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Mansfield Reporter, 15 September 1916: report of death of Captain RG Hopewell (as above). Mansfield Reporter, 19 September 1916 (extract): ‘Captain Hopewell Killed. Captain Robert George Hopewell of the Sherwood Foresters who has been killed in action, was a great-grandson of Captain Smart, Chief-Constable of Glasgow from 1848 to 1870 and grandson of the late Mr Robert Gardner, of Messrs. Robert Gardner & Co. Lithographers, Glasgow.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk Probate proven at Nottingham on 17th October 1916: Robert George Hopewell of Basford, Nottingham, captain in H.M. Army died 3rd September 1916 at Thiepval, France. Effects £1847 8 shillings and 11 pence. Administration to Gladys Eleanor Hopewell widow.
Remembered on


  • WMA3887. Stained glass window, Mansfield Road Baptist Church, Hyson Green, Nottingham.  Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2014)
    Robert George Hopewell - WMA3887. Stained glass window, Mansfield Road Baptist Church, Hyson Green, Nottingham. Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2014)
  • WMA3387. Stained glass window, Mansfield Road Baptist Church, Nottingham. Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2014)
    Robert George Hopewell - WMA3387. Stained glass window, Mansfield Road Baptist Church, Nottingham. Photograph Rachel Farrand (August 2014)
  • Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, September 1916. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
    Robert George Hopewell - Photograph published in the Mansfield Reporter, September 1916. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)