Lucas George Hooper

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Lucas George Hooper and colleagues of the Xth Hussars

Lucas George Hooper (1831-1909) was born and baptised in St Helier, and, like his father, studied medicine. He qualified MRCS in 1852 in London and then worked in Jersey for approximately a year, qualifying also as an apothecary (LSA) in 1854.

Commission

His service commission is dated 15 August 1855 appointing him to be Assistant Surgeon in "Our Tenth Regiment of Light Dragoons" (otherwise known as the Xth Hussars.) During the early part of his career he served with the Regiment in the Crimean War (1853- 1856). One of his Crimean medals, the British one, has the Sebastopol Clasp; the other was awarded by the Turks.

His father's diary of 1865 recalls that Lucas embarked with the regiment on 20 July at Southampton for India. He went via Gibraltar, Malta, Alexandria, and Aden, suffering very much from the heat in the Red Sea. He arrived in India some time in August/September as he wrote to his father from Calcutta on 8 September. He was stationed at Jhansi, a district about 600 miles west of Calcutta.

His father’s 1866 diary indicates that Lucas remained in India throughout that year, but it does not go on to show any record of when he returned. He suffered from 'enteric' - now known as typhoid, and his father begged him to come home. The regiment eventually returned at the end of 1871, and Lucas George remained with them for another five years, retiring in February 1877, according to the Army Lists.

Family

He married Alicia Anderson Mends on 20 March 1879 at the Town Church, St Helier. He was 48 years old and she was 26, the eldest surviving daughter of the late James Delamain Mends, Lt Colonel of the 2nd West India Regiment. George Lucas, their only son, died when he was only 8½ months old. There had been only one son born to each generation for a long time, and although they had three more children they were all girls.

Lucas became very deaf in later life, and was in his 78th year when he died at his home, 19 Midvale Road, St Helier, on 25 August 1909. He was buried in his family grave at St Saviour, with his infant son George and daughter Eva, both of whom had predeceased him by more than 15 years. Alicia was buried there after her death in 1926.

Army career

  • 28 April 1854 appointed to the Medical department of The Eastern Army
  • 15 August 1855 appointed Assistant Surgeon to The 10th (The Prince of Wales' Own) Royal Regiment of Light Dragoons (Hussars)
  • 2 June 1856 Regiment returns from Crimea; Regimental HQ - Birmingham
  • 1857 Regimental HQ - Sheffield
  • 1858 Regimental HQ - Aldershot
  • 1859 Regimental HQ - Hounslow
  • 1860 Regimental HQ - Norwich
  • 1861-2 (Regimental HQ - York
  • 1863 Regimental HQ - Dublin
  • 1864 Regimental HQ - Cahir, Co Tipperary
  • 20 June 1865 promoted to Surgeon with The 104th Regiment (Bengal Fusiliers)
  • 20 July 1865 Regiment embarked for India; Regimental HQ – Jhansi; ranked equivalent to Major
  • 1868 Regimental HQ - Peshawar, Bengal
  • 1869 Regimental HQ - Nowshera, Bengal
  • 1870 Regimental HQ - Jubbulpore, Bengal
  • 18 December 1871 Regiment returned from India
  • 1872 Regimental HQ - Portsmouth
  • 1873 Regimental HQ – Aldershot listed as Surgeon Major
  • 1874-5 (Regimental HQ - Dover
  • 1876 Regimental HQ - Guernsey
  • 15 February 1877 placed on half-pay and retired from the Army

The following citation appears in the Army Lists:

" Assistant Surgeon Hooper served in The Crimea from 22 September until November 1854 when he was sent to Scutari in charge of wounded, but returned to The Crimea the following spring, and was present at the siege and fall of Sebastopol (Medal and Clasp and Turkish Medal)."

Scutari, in Turkey, was the main medical centre for the casualties of the Crimean War, where Florence Nightingale came to fame.

In photograph of the officers of the Xth Hussars, Lucas George Hooper is seated in the middle, and standing directly behind him is the regimental commanding officer, Lt Colonel Valentine Baker. By comparing the names of the officers annotated on the original photograph with the regimental listings in the Army Lists, it is calculated that this photograph was taken sometime between 1862 and 1864.

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