Roper, John

Roper, John      1916 August 18th           Bowerchalke

Farmer’s Tragic Death

At about 8.50 on Wednesday morning, Albert Lucas, groom at Middle Chase Farm, Bowerchalke, saw his master, Mr John Roper, hanging by the neck in a barn, and on cutting him down found that he was dead. He was a son of the late Mr Roper, of the Home Farm, Wilton Park, and was 47 years of age. He served with the Yeomanry in the South African War.

Mr F H Trethowan (Coroner for South Wilts) held an inquest yesterday (Thursday) at the farm house.

Robert Roper, farm bailiff, of Handley, said his brother had had some illness, and at that time had been strange in his manner. He knew of nothing to trouble him.

Albert John Lucas, the groom, deposed to finding the body in the barn.

Dr Atkins, of Handley, said death was due to dislocation of the neck. He attended Mr Roper in September 1914, when he was strange in his manner and then temporarily insane. He was ill in March 1915, and threatened to take his life, and witness remained in the house all night. He attended him again in December last, when he was violent, but he believed he was quite well between the attacks. There was no doubt that he took his life during one of these attacks.

The jury returned a verdict of suicide during temporary insanity.

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