Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

2nd Lieut Charles Cecil Cooper , East Kent Regt


Scottman
 Share

Recommended Posts

I  am  researching   2nd   Lieut   Charles Cecil  Cooper   who   was  commissioned   from  the  Royal   Engineers   into  the  1st  Battalion  East  Kent  Regt  ( Buffs )  on  July  7th  1915  ,  in  the  University   of   London   Student   Records  he  is  recorded  as  being  Wounded  ,  I  found  a  link  which  records   as  he  was  Wounded  at  Combles  ,  Battle  of  the  Somme   but  no  other  details ,   he   was  later  transferred   to  the  Machine  Gun  Corps  and  served  in  Salonika    1917 - 1918  ,  any  help  regarding   him   being  Wounded  and   his   later  service  with  the  Machine   Gun   Corps   would  be  very  much  appreciated   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30749/supplement/7127 

LONDON GAZETTE, 17 JUNE, 1918

MACHINE GUN CORPS (INFANTRY) ...

The undermentioned Officers are transferred to the Corps. 18 June 1918, retaining seniority specified against their names: — ... Temp. Lt. C. C. Cooper, from E. Kent R. 1 July 1917.

:-) M

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see his Medal Index Card has him originally as Motor Cycle Section, Royal Engineers, (Corporal 28115) and landing in France on the 15th August 1914, which would tend to suggest a pre-war Regular. He has various contact addresses on his MiC, (as an officer he had to apply for his medals)  -the last of which is a Post Office in Australia. The MiC actually shows him commissioned on the 9th July 1915. Even this is slightly incorrect - he was discharged from his enlistment in the ranks on the 9th July 1915 in order to take up his commission on the 10th. Reflecting his "date" of commissioning in this way was fairly common practice at some records offices.

 

This commissioning appeared in the edition of the London Gazette of the 27th July 1915, showing it as effective 10th July 1915.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29242/page/7333/data.pdf

 

It can take a while for this to be reflected in the British Army Lists, so I took a look at the one for October 1915. This does indeed shows a Second Lieutenant C.C. Cooper, with seniority from the 10th July 1915. He is not just on the strength of the Regular Army Battalions of the East Kent Regiment but is actually on the establishment of the 1st Battalion, so likely to be with them in the field.

https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/119931630

 

Battalion War Diaries for units serving in France & Flanders are among the many documents that can currently be downloaded for free from the UK National Archive. You do need to sign in with your account, but if you haven't got one, even that can be set up when you place your first order. Just click on "Sign in" and follow the instructions. No financial details are required.

The diary covering from August 1914 to December 1915 can be found on the National Archive here:- https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14017172

The diary for 1916 is here:- https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14017173

1917 is here: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14017174

And should it turn out you need it January 1918 to May 1919 is here:- https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14017175

Even as an officer there is no guarantee he will be mentioned by name, although probably more likely than most other ranks.

Unfortunately War Diaries for the Salonika Theatre are not digitised and available on line.

 

4 hours ago, Scottman said:

I  found  a  link  which  records   as  he  was  Wounded  at  Combles  ,  Battle  of  the  Somme

15 September 1916 - Attack on the Quadrilateral (Supporting 8th Bedford's). Battalion decimated!

19 September 1916 - To Morlancourt

21 September 1916 - Trenches West of Morval

24 September 1916 - German attack repulsed

25 September 1916 - In acton between Morval and Lesboeufs

http://kentfallen.com/PDF REPORTS/BUFFS UNITS.pdf

The Capture of Combles (25 September 1916) was a tactical incident that took place during the Battle of Morval, part of the Battle of the Somme

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capture_of_Combles

(However the 6th Division, of which 1st East Kents were part, were not directly involved)

The area would also see fighting again in the 1918 Battle of the Somme, part of the German Spring Offensive, so may be a good idea to check which one is being referred to.

 

Details about units served with are likely to be in his officers file. These also not digitised but available to view at the National Archive if he finished his service before 1921. I'm not finding anything for him in the National Archive catalogue so potentially either his records have been weeded out of existance, or they may be held by the Ministry of Defence. There is a database on Ancestry giving a list of those records retained for men born before 1901.

 

I don't have a subscription to Ancestry myself so can't check out what may well be a couple of "red herrings" - two Pension Ledger cards for a Charles Cecil Cooper are showing up as being available. They probably relate to the Charles Cecil Cooper for whom a Silver War Badge was issued.

 

One other route that springs immediately to mind as a way of discovering his unit towards the end of the war is the Absent Voters Lists of 1918 & 1919. For a bit of background on how these can help see https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/how-to-research-a-soldier/finding-soldiers-through-the-1918-absent-voters-lists/

One of the biggest hurdles to get over is identifying where a man's home address might have been - and that's before you even start trying to track down the actual AVL !

It's not clear from the contact address details on the Medal Index Card, but potentially there is an address of Lyndale, Chandos Avenue, London, N.20 which might relate to that period.

A quick Google search tells me Chandos Avenue, London N20 is the Whetstone area of Barnet. But a search of the 1911 Census of England & Wales shows no Cooper's recorded for Chandos Avenue.

 

After that it could be a question of did he marry during the time he might have been serving, or if he was married did the marriage produce children during the time he might have been serving. The related marriage \ birth certificates, may gice details about his unit under Groom \ Fathers occupation.

 

Hope some of that helps,

Peter

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a comprehensive Ancestry Tree - click.

 

They have him enlisting on 5 Aug 1914 as a Motor Cycle rider in RE

Enlisted 5 Aug 1914 Motor Cyclist Despatch Rider, RD; Corporal France August 1914. Cross of St George of Russia, 4th class battle of Ypres; 2nd Lieut. 1st Buffs (East Kent) 1915. Wounded Combles. Salonika Machine Gun Company

If that is true , he did not have prewar service, but , from memory, men did become Motor Cycle riders and get posted straight to France

 

In that he went to Australia post WW1, married in 1925, and had returned to UK in 1931 with his family and is in 1939 Register. He died Chard in 1973

 

An interesting article in Aus

aus1.JPG.2834b1c81b1319a1e511e51473be6f68.JPG

 

 

Edited by corisande
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You may find it interesting to read "Adventures of a Despatch Rider" . Seems to be a free download at - click

 

The author read in the paper that the War Office were appealing for motor cyclists. He went from buying his own motor cycle to enlisting in the Army to being promoted Corporal, all in the one day:
I went to to Great Portland Street, arranged to buy a motor-cycle, and returned home. That evening I received a telegram from Oxford advising me to go down to Chatham. I started off soon after breakfast ... and went to the appointed place. I had come only to make inquiries, but I was carried away. After a series of waits Iwas medically examined and passed. At 5.45 P.M. I kissed the Book, and in twominutes I became a corporal in the Royal Engineers.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

56 minutes ago, PRC said:

I don't have a subscription to Ancestry myself so can't check out what may well be a couple of "red herrings" - two Pension Ledger cards for a Charles Cecil Cooper are showing up as being available.

WFA/Fold3 [Ancestry] showing several pension cards for other CCC, but not for an officer.

:-) M

 

Edit:

Similar to @corisandeanother book about RE DR that might be of interest "Two Wheels to War" by Martin & Nick Shelley

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
edit
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Matlock1418 said:

WFA/Fold3 [Ancestry] showing several pension cards for other CCC, but not for an officer.

 

Thanks M - thought that would be the case but didn't want to leave the possibility unexplored.

 

Cheers,

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many  thanks  for   all  the  information   everyone   has  given  me  ,  I  appreciate   your   help   very   much   ,  I  am  sure  it  will  help  me  ,  Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

 Hi 

I believe I am the grandson of the  C C Cooper you are researching. He definitely signed up in August/September of 1914 as a Motorcycle messenger. I have a picture he took of General French at Braisne sur Aisne in September 1914. I have some information about his life and service so may possibly be able to help with a few bits and pieces. 
 

Mark Hankinson 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello  Mark  ,  thank  you  for  your  message   regarding   Charles  Cecil  Cooper  ,  my  interest   in   him  began   with  my  interest   in   Motorcycle   Despatch   Rider 's   with  the  Royal   Engineers   and  also  my  interest   in  the  Machine  Gun  Corps   in  the  1914  1918  war  ,  with  me  shielding   with  this         co vid  virus   starting   in  2020 ,   I  had  to  start  a   new   interest   before  I  went   crazy  ,   and  with  his  name  he  was    fairly  easy  to  research   but  I  only  found  out  the  basic  details  on  him  ,  and  with  him  being   awarded   the   Coss  of  St  George  of  Russia   4th  class   I  thought  there  must  be  a  story  of  why  he  was  awarded  the  medal  ,  but  I  found  nothing  on  it  ,    any  details  about  his  service   would  be  much  appreciated   Alan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for getting back. You have already discovered details of his life I knew nothing about. Corisande's post of 8th June is correct.  After WW1 he and his brother emigrated to Australia and set out farming in the bush near Sea Lake.  Sadly prolonged drought forced him to abandon the project and return to England. I will ask other family members about the medal and and the nature of his wound and get back to you if I find anything out. He also served in WW2 ,ending up in Holland.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello  Mark  ,  many  thanks  for  the  information   ,  very  much  appreciated   ,  and  if  you  find  out  about  the  award  of  the  Russian   award   it  would  be  great  ,  Alan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...