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Remembered Today:

An Angel On A Pedestal

At Home Dad

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"An angel on a pedestal

of white Sicilian marble

with columns of Labrador granite."

And so the story of Joseph Cooper,


and Albert James Stormey


both Volunteers of Limehouse, have taken me on another twist which,

again, makes me shed more than one tear and think of what life must

have been like for my people back then.

Spare a thought for Emily Elizabeth Cooper,

wife of Joseph and probably, although to be

confirmed, sister of Albert Stormey.

In May 1916 Emily gets informed of her husband's

death at the Front. My Nan (her daughter) could

still feel the indescribable pain well into the 1980's

The previous December, her deaf brother joined up and

is by now dying of TB brought on by his military service.

He will be dead by the coming Christmas.

Her father, John Stormey was a platelayer in 1899,

defined as "a workman who lays and maintains railway

track". I dont know yet but I imagine Alfred James'

could have worked alongside his father as he is also

described as a Plate Improver on his Medical Discharge.

But now, in Poplar, June 13th 1917 arrives, hot and hazy...

As some of the children at Upper North Street school were making paper chains,

high above them the German air force began their first daylight raid on London,

'scintillating like so many huge silver dragonflies'...

What Happened Next:


104 people were killed. 423 were injured, 154 of them seriously.


How People Responded:


The Memorial:


The Memorial Today:


"In memory of 18 children who were killed by a bomb

dropped from a German Aeroplane upon the L.C.C. School,

Upper North Street, on 13th June, 1917."

Louise Annie Acampora (5)

Alfred Ernest Batt (5)

Leonard Charles Barford (5)

John Percy Brennan (5)

William Thomas Henry Challen (4)

Alice Maud Cross (5)

William Hollis (5)

George Albert Hyde (5)

Grace Jones (5)

Rose Martin (11)

George Morris (6)

Edwin Cecil William Powell (12)

Robert Stimson (5)

Elizabeth Taylor (5)

Rose Tuffin (5)

Frank Winfield (5)

The funerals were held on June 20th.

Spare a thought this coming Friday.

I cannot confirm yet whether any of Emily and Joseph's children,

including my Nan aged 9, attended Upper North Street School, but

it would fit today's 'catchment' area better than most. It was

certainly in the very close vicinity to where they were all living

at the time.

I had also always presumed that my Nan's fear and loathing

of aeroplanes and sheer terror at thunderstorms was due to

living on the Isle of Dogs during the WW2 Blitz, but I guess

it may have actually seeded itself earlier...

The thing's you learn, eh

This photo is of Emily Elizabeth Cooper (on right)

with her sons Bill and Frank Cooper. I have often

wondered about this photo.

The smile of Emily looks drawn, while Bill

and Frank still look a 'bit shell shocked'.

It will have to be confirmed by look-ups etc (any help appreciated!)

to determine ages and all that, but I wonder now if this photo was

actually taken in Maidenhead in July 1917, especially after reading

this on one of the above linked pages:

"The Mayor of Poplar and Will Crooks, the local MP, headed the raising of a 'convalescents' fund,

to send bereaved mothers and traumatised children away for a fortnight's recuperation.

At the beginning of July the first parties - 14 mothers, some with babies,

and 70 children from Upper North Street School - set out for 'the beautiful

up-river resort of Maidenhead. Women and children appeared delighted at the

prospect of a couple of weeks amidst the sylvan charms of Berkshire, away

from the din and nerve-trying memories of Poplar.

A small party, including the Mayoress, also went to Maidenhead 'to see the mothers

and children safely installed in their holiday cottages, and that every comfort conducive

to health was provided'."

Kind regards


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Does anyone have an image of "the monument over the

graves of the victims in the East London Cemetery"?

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Please don't post these things in work time. I had to hope no-one passed my room and asked me why I was nearly blubbing... :(


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Might this be the marriage:

Surname First name(s) District Vol Page


Marriages Mar 1902


Cooper Joseph Samuel W. Ham 4a 379

Harding Elizabeth Emily W. Ham 4a 379

The elder boy looks about 10, so could this be his birth:

Sept qtr 1908

Cooper Frank Richard X W. Ham 4a 15


The younger boy about three years? Cannot find a ready match - the above is from Free BMD.

Having said that, it looks (obviously - perhaps too obvious) to be a seaside studio! And, from the appearance, post war.


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Thanks Ian, but no, wrong one.

As on the original 'Joseph Cooper' thread,

Joseph Cooper married Emily Elizabeth Stormey in 1899 in Stepney.

They were both 21 and he was carman to a wharfinger...

Joseph was living at 41 Copenhagen Place at the time.

He spent some time growing up at number 5 too, when he was 13 years old.

Although he was born at Rook Street, about 1878.

Emily's mother and brother Albert lived off North Street.

Joseph's grandmother died around the corner in 1893 and

his grandfather in 1873.

Emily and Joseph had nine kids, as far as I know - the last, James W Cooper,

was born just prior to his departure for France in November 1915. James was less

than a year old when his dad was killed. Private Joseph Cooper had already

witnessed a man in the Battalion, possibly the same Company,

of similar age and circumstances, shoot himself:


My next round of certificates ordering in a couple of months time should reveal

a bit more about the family I never really knew I had until I came to the Great

War Forum.

I didn't doubt that the photo is a seaside studio shot.

What my active imagination wondered was whether it was shot in a studio at the seaside.

And I dont really have a clue about ladies 'Between the Wars' beachwear ;)

Kind regards

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As a related comment, you might find this book interesting - it deals with commemoration in east London, and I'm virtually certain that it includes the bombing of the school:

Mark Connelly, The Great War: Memory and Ritual. Commemoration in the City and East London 1916-1939, Boydell and Brewer, 2002.

It's pretty expensive to buy but you might be able to get it through inter-library loan.


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I shall look out for that, cheers Swizz

kind regards

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Several copies available on Abebooks..... but as Swizz says, not cheap

See here

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Yes, I saw it on Amazon for 40 quid, it does look a very interesting read.

But tell me more about how you can order through the Forum, if you would

Kind regards

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To be honest I don't know, there is a link to amazon through the 'book reviews' on the mother site (long, long trail), I seem to remember that a % goes to the forum,


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cheers I'll have a look at that

kind regards

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