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1786 Sgt Cooper, 6th Australian Field Artilllery Brigade - Where did h


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I am researching 1786 Sgt A C Cooper, 6th Australian Field Artillery Brigade, 17th Field Artillery Battery, for a friend of mine.

In June 1917 the Brigade HQ was at Ploegsteert and on 17 June 1917 moved to Hill 63. On 25 June 1917 Sergeant Cooper was killed in action. His grave is in Wulverghem – Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery.

I have been advised by CWGC that Sgt Cooper’s previous place of burial was 28.U.1.b.1.2.*

The questions that I have are:

  • Can anyone tell me where the 17th Battery was located from 1 - 25 June 1917 – the war diary for the 6th FAB doesn’t say so, beyond “Ploegsteert” and “Hill 63”. There is no war diary for the 17th Battery on the AWM website.
  • There is no Red Cross record of inquiry into Sgt Cooper’s death so I can’t determine whether Sgt Cooper was buried where he fell or was taken back to a Field Ambulance, dressing station, CCS where he may have subsequently died.
  • Does anyone know whether there was a Medical post at the coordinates given above on 25 June or another nearby site where casualties were concentrated before their relocation to Wulverghem-Lindenhoek Road Cemetery.
  • Can anyone provide me with a trench map (1:10000) for late June 1917 that shows 28.U.1. and sectors surrounding it – the McMaster Library site only has a 1:40000 map of the area that I am interested in
  • Any other info on the 6th FA Brigade or the 17th Battery would be most welcome.

I have endeavoured to answer these questions through my own efforts but am afraid I’ve hit a brick wall and would appreciate any help.



* Edit - sorry my error - Map reference should have read 28.U.1.b.1.2.

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I don't know how much of this you already have/know, but for others who might be searching:-

COOPER, ASTLEY CHARLES. Rank: Sergeant. Service No: 1786. Date of Death: 25/06/1917. Age: 35.
Regiment/Service: Australian Field Artillery. 6th A.F.A. Bde.
Additional Information: Son of John Henry and Richenda Cooper; husband of Muriel Cooper, of 36, Onslow St., South Perth, Western Australia. Native of Perth.
Astley Charles Cooper, wife Murial Napier Cooper of 36, Onslow Street, South Perth . Enlisted 17 August 1914. Born Geraldstown, West Australia. Worked as an Engineer (raqilways) for 5 years prior to enlisting. Aged 32 and 6 months. He was 5 ft 5 tall with fair hair and complexion with yellowish eyes. Joined 8th Battery Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 4 April 1915. Hospitalised in Mudros and then Malta and War Hospital in Epsom in September and rejoined as part of 26th Reinforcements in April 1916, transferred from England to France. (Quite a lengthy sojourn). He was further transferred back to 5th Division Artillery in Moascar on 1st May 1916 and posted on 5th May to 59th Battery.
Promoted to Bombardier 26 May and temporary then substantiated as Corporal all on the same date on being transferred via Marseilles to BEF in France. He was at the School of Instruction on 11 January 1917 and transferred from 15 FAB to 6 FAB on 31 January and posted to 17th Battery. Promotion to Sergeant was confirmed on 2 April 1917. A further round of hospitalisation followed due to paratitis?, followed by mumps! and discharged on 23 April 1917. His records show he was Killed in Action 30 June (but this may be when report of his death confirmed). A hand written note states: "Buried near Irish Farm 2,000 yards south west of Messines Sheet 28 II 7d a6-8" Later it appears he was exhumed with a reference "Wulverghem 1 58E, S3P.5067/4" if that means anything to anyone. No date shown, but correspondence advising his new grave is dated 1st June 1920.
Probate was administered on behalf of his widow, Muriel on 6 December 1917 through Harry Stawell & Keall solicitors, Perth. An address, "La Mascotte" in Henley Beach South Australia has been crossed through. It looks as if his fathers address was 14, Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells. His forename appears as "Ashley" but corrected to Astley in his records.
Entitled to 1914-15 Star, British War and Victory medals which were dispatched in 1921.
He had a daughter, Kathleen Richenda Cooper.
That's from his 66 page Personnel record.... if that helps at all?
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