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Remembered Today:

Samuel John Cooper Armourers Crew (update)


wulsten
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Can any forum member give any advice on this formation and where they were or what involved in believe Ypre area local memorial look up, any help greatly appreciated

COOPER, SAMUEL JOHN

Rank: Armourer's Crew

Royal Navy

Royal Marine Artillery

attd. Howitzer Bde.

Age: 21

Date of Death: 07/10/1917

Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. F. 12.

Cemetery: DUHALLOW A.D.S. CEMETERY

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See 'Britain's Sea Soldiers' by Gen Sir H. E. Blumberg

Chapter 24 'The Howitzer Brigade, Royal Marine Artillery'

"The detachment allowed for each howitzer consisted of

1 CO (Capt. or Major)

1 gun officer

2 observing officers

1 motor transport officer

1 articifer

1 battery sergeant-major

1 battery quartermaster-sergeant

55 NCOs and men

25 drivers

Armourers and sick berth attendants were lent from the Royal Navy and there were three staff surgeons and surgeons, Royal Navy attached to the Brigade. Although originally organised with a brigade headquarters and arrangements made that each pair of howitzers should form a battery, this organisation was not retained in France; Colonel Poole remained in command of the Brigade throughout the war after August 1915, but, in May 1916, was appointed to command the 26th Heavy Artillery Group and only dealt with the howitzers administratively. The battery organisation was abandoned immediately and the howitzers were used singly throughout and were known on the Western Front as 'Grandmother.'"

Table C "Extract from the Battery Dairies (October 1917)

No.1 Howitzer - Angres - Standing by

No.2 - Oost Dunkerque - Standing by; Destroyed dam across the Yser River with 53 rounds and received congratulations from Corps Commander and all authorities

No.3 - Oost Dunkerque - Mounted at Pervyse on 15/16 and then stood by

No.4 - Menin Road - On 4th supported Australian attack on Passchendaele when all objectives gained. Dismounted and remounted at Outpost Farm on 19th. Hit by shell and temporarily out of action, ready again on 20th; 7 casualties; on 28th another direct hit by a 4,2 howitzer, only loading tray damaged

No.5 - Oost Kerke - remounted on 15th and then standing by. On 31st hit by shell and loading derrik, circuits and loading tray damaged

N0.6 - Near Boesinghe - Preparing attacks QMS Avery and 1 gunner died of wounds and 7 wounded on 6th

No.8 - La Chapelle - On 2nd a 4.2 shell hit platform and did a certain amount of damage also a direct hit on ammunition recess ignited two charges. Bombr. Brighten ran from shelter and extingguished them and was awarded the Military Medal. Preparing the infantry attacks, Targets Becelaere and Gheluvelt

No.10 - Wancourt-Tilloy - Standing by

No.11 - Menin Road - Fired 443 rounds

No.12 - N.E. of Ypres - Standing by and shifting position under great difficulties."

[in the above diary extracts "'standing by' means that gun was in position and fired occasionally for special objects"]

I hope that this is of some help

Regards

Michael

Edited by michaeldr
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Looking for something near 7th Oct 1917

Table 'A' List of Battles........ gives the following

"Flanders Offensive - 4th October - Battle of Broodseinde - (involved guns) Nos. 4, 6, 8, 11 & 12"

Sorry I cannot find anything closer

though the entry above re gun No.6 (7 wounded on 6th Oct) also looks like a pos.

Did your man die of wounds?

regards

Michael

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Up to the autumn of 1918, the Royal Marine Howitzers were 15-inch monsters which fired a projectile weighing 1,400 Lbs

To carry all the heavy component parts (gun/carriage/platform/ammunition) each howitzer had 5 special motor tractors each of 100 hp and 11 trucks;

4 tractors each pulled two trucks and 1 tractor pulled three.

One gets the impression that these beasts were not very mobile and I imagine that an armourer like Cooper must have spent a lot of time working at the gun in its firing position, rather that at a brigade workshop which might have otherwise been the case.

One further point on the guns which is made by Blumberg is also worth mentioning here; "...one of the main objections to them was the comparative shortness of the range, about 11,000 yards, which caused them often to be pushed further forward than was desirable with such big weapons."

regards

Michael

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Thanks Geoff,

There is a list of RN Shore Establishments here http://www.gwpda.org/naval/rnshore.htm

from which you will see that Excellent was the Gunnery School

I cannot quite make out what the entry is under 'remarks'

though I would hazard a guess that it might relate to his qualification after training

Can anyone else confirm that please?

CoopersRNRecord.jpg

First to last some twenty months: a very short and sad story

regards

Michael

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Looking at the NA listings then the following War Diaries appear

however the list does not seem to be complete

WO 95/231; 2 Howitzer Battery Royal Marine Artillery 1915 Aug. - 1918 Feb.

WO 95/327; 4 Howitzer Gun, Royal Marine Artillery 1915 July - 1918 Feb

WO 95/231; 6 Howitzer Battery Royal Marine Artillery 1915 Dec. - 1918 Feb

WO 95/231; 8 Howitzer Battery Royal Marine Artillery 1916 Apr. - 1918 Feb.

WO 95/327; 11 Howitzer Gun, Royal Marine Artillery 1916 July - 1918 Feb.

WO 95/327; 12 Howitzer Gun, Royal Marine Artillery 1916 Sept. - 1918 Feb

Also, I have no experience with these documents and could not say whether or not they list other ranks casualties,

though these were very compact units

regards

Michael

.

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Thanks Michael, will have a check and forward any results, as he is buried near Boezinge it may be worth looking at the entry of one DOW as you pointed out. wo95/231 6 Howitzer Batt, however not available as direct dowload yet

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Noted also no6 gun Boezinge QMS Avery + i gnr Died of wounds, Avery is buried at Talana farm could there be a connection with Cooper as his death given next day ? and there only appears to be RMA casualty at Talana farm

AVERY

Initials: A E

Rank: Serjeant

Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Artillery

Unit Text: Howitzer Bde.

Date of Death: 06/10/1917

Service No: RMA/8078

Grave/Memorial Reference: III. I. 13.

Cemetery: TALANA FARM CEMETERY

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Geoff,

I do not know if this takes you forward at all, however, thanks to Geoff Sullivan's fantastic search engine [see here http://www.hut-six.co.uk/cgi-bin/search2.php] a check reveals that there were the following RMA Howitzer Bde deaths during early October 1917: on the 5th - one, 6th - two, 7th - three

PADDLE, JOHN Initials: J Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Acting Bombardier Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Artillery Unit Text: Howitzer Bde. Age: 36 Date of Death: 05/10/1917 Service No: RMA/9162 Additional information: Son of Benjamin and the late Sarah Paddle, of London; husband of Mabel E. A. Paddle, of 53, Merritt Flats, Totnes Rd., Paignton, Devon. Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: XX. K. 5. Cemetery: LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY

AVERY Initials: A E Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Serjeant Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Artillery Unit Text: Howitzer Bde. Date of Death: 06/10/1917 Service No: RMA/8078 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: III. I. 13. Cemetery: TALANA FARM CEMETERY

WOOLLER Initials: J H Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Gunner Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Artillery Unit Text: Howitzer Bde. Date of Death: 06/10/1917 Service No: RMA/1638(S) Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: III. I. 12. Cemetery: TALANA FARM CEMETERY

HEAP, JOSEPH Initials: J Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Gunner Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Artillery Unit Text: Howitzer Bde. Date of Death: 07/10/1917 Service No: RMA/395(S) Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. I. 2. Cemetery: DOZINGHEM MILITARY CEMETERY

JOYCE, ARCHIBALD BONIFACE SILAS Initials: A B S Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Gunner Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Artillery Unit Text: Howitzer Bde. R.N. Div. Age: 45 Date of Death: 07/10/1917 Service No: RMA/5828 Additional information: Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Son of John and Frances Joyce, of Rudgwick, Sussex; husband of Harriett Eleanor Joyce, of 44, Queen St., Horsham, Sussex. Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. F. 11. Cemetery: DUHALLOW A.D.S. CEMETERY

COOPER, SAMUEL JOHN Initials: S J Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Armourer's Crew Regiment/Service: Royal Navy Secondary Regiment: Royal Marine Artillery Secondary Unit Text: attd. Howitzer Bde. Age: 21 Date of Death: 07/10/1917 Service No: M/18941 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. F. 12. Cemetery: DUHALLOW A.D.S. CEMETERY

SUDBURY, SYDNEY Initials: S Nationality: United Kingdom Rank: Gunner Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Artillery Unit Text: Howitzer Bde. Date of Death: 07/10/1917 Service No: RMA/6935 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. I. 10. Cemetery: DOZINGHEM MILITARY CEMETERY

The Gunner who died of wounds when Avery was killed, is most probably Wooller who lies in the next plot to Avery

Cooper and Joyce both died on the 7th and they lie in adjacent plots at Duhallow ADS Cemetery

However at this stage I still cannot identify the battery or gun where Cooper was working when he received his fatal wound

Regards

Michael

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One further thought on the above data

Blumberg mentions "Avery and one gunner died of wounds and 7 wounded on the 6th (Oct.'17)"

As I think that we may have identified this gunner who died as probably being Wooller

then perhaps this eliminates Gun No. 6

[if another also died of wounds from this incident then Blumberg would have mentioned him surely? even though we are talking about a RN man, and not a RM]

Cooper must have been working on some other gun?

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quote: Blumberg mentions "Avery and one gunner died of wounds and 7 wounded on the 6th (Oct.'17)"

As I think that we may have identified this gunner who died as probably being Wooller

then perhaps this eliminates Gun No. 6

[if another also died of wounds from this incident then Blumberg would have mentioned him surely? even though we are talking about a RN man, and not a RM]

quote: "my mistake"

Not necessarily Geoff

At least one other Pal thinks that my presumption could be mistaken here

and that Blumberg would not necessarily have also checked the RN men who died of wounds.

Many thanks for your PM Geoff,

and the best of luck with your further research on this

Michael

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  • 8 months later...

Just an update after checking his details again on the cwgc website it appeards to have been updated to show after all our speculation that he was in fact attached to no6 gun

COOPER, SAMUEL JOHN

Rank: Armourer's Crew

Royal Navy

Royal Marine Artillery

Secondary Unit Text: attd. No. 6 Gun, Howitzer Bde.

Age: 21

Date of Death: 07/10/1917

Service No: M/18941

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. F. 12.

Cemetery: DUHALLOW A.D.S. CEMETERY

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  • 6 months later...

Just reviewing an old post and unlikely, but does anyone have any extra detail from the war diary to no6 Gun at the time around October 1917, to verify if the gun was hit by shell fire causing the wounds and subsequent deaths ?

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  • 1 year later...

Hi

Just happened upon this thread. I am researching Archibald Joyce who died of wounds on the 7th November 1917 after the incident on the 6th. Did you manage to discover what the incident was?

Best regards

Andy

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Hi

Just happened upon this thread. I am researching Archibald Joyce who died of wounds on the 7th November 1917 after the incident on the 6th. Did you manage to discover what the incident was?

Best regards

Andy

6th October or November ?

An entry in the war diary for the 6th October, records that attacks were being prepared that day for number 6 gun and that the quartermaster sergeant and eight men were wounded (presumably by counter battery fire)

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Sorry.... October indeed.

I had gathered that the gun incurred some losses on the 6th, I wondered whether the chaps who had started this thread had established if it was due to EA or accident.

Best regards

Andy

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  • 6 years later...

hello all,

I am the great niece of Jim Wooller RMA 1638 (S)( gunner who died on 6th October 1917) - I found your conversation via searching his number on google and so was extremely interested to see the replies here. Back in the early 1990s I was working in Belgium and had the opportunity of visiting the Talana Farm cemetery, Jim's sister was then still alive and I was able to send her the photographs, she was only 9 when he died and had no idea where he was, the family had never visited before, so it was extremely moving. If anyone knows exactly what the guns were trying to achieve at this point I would be interested, and would also be interested to hear from any of the relatives of his fellow soldiers. What poor lads they were to be mixed up in such horrific events....

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I should add that I have a copy of a letter to my great great grandmother informing her of his death, from a George L Ranking(?) (can't read writing) - it says 'he was buried close to the camp together with Serg Avery in the presence of the whole detachment on the 7th , and I hope to get a cross erected by my workers in a day or two over the grave'. 

 

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