LANCE CORPORAL CHARLES EDWARD SOPER
2ND BTTN LONDON REGIMENT ROYAL FUSILIERS
1ST JULY 1916 AGE 19
BURIED: GOMMECOURT BRITISH CEMETERY NO 2, FRANCE
Charles Soper was one of the 19,240 British soldiers killed in the service of their King and country on 1 July 1916, the first day of the battle of the Somme. His mother chose his inscription - Still serving his King - however, this king is no longer King George V but God. Many psalms and hymns make this association: Psalm 145, 'I will extoll Thee O my God and king'; George Herbert, 'Teach me my God and king, in all things Thee to see'.
Charles Soper was the son of Thomas Henry Soper of the photographers Soper and Stedman. Following their father's death in 1903, the two children, Charles and Cecilia, were sent to the London Orphan Asylum in Watford where children were educated by a charity whose aim was to "maintain, clothe, and educate respectable fatherless children of either sex, who are without means adequate to their support". The name makes it sound a terrible place but it's worth taking a look at the buildings and facilities to see if it makes you think again.