Harry Charles Cooper

Harry Charles Cooper
Born in 1887, Harry was the third youngest of fourteen children born to Walter, a coachman and domestic servant, and Emma. Three of the children died in childhood.

In 1891 the family were squashed into four rooms living in Great Bartlow, Harry's place of birth.  The family moved to Holywell about 1896. Walter died in 1900. By 1901 Emma was employed as a laundress working from home. The three youngest children, including Harry, still lived with their mother. Harry, aged 14yrs, worked as an agricultural labourer. Harry was still at home with his mother and youngest brother in 1911.

Enlisted at Huntingdon, Harry joined the 49th Battery, 40th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, rising in rank to Lance Bombardier. He served throughout all the key battles on the Western Front. Artillery support for infantry in WWI was crucial, softening up the enemy in their trenches and providing a creeping barrage to advancing British soldiers. The units were generally positioned close to the front line and were the target of German artillery.

Royal Field Artillery WW1
A unit from the Royal Field Artillery in action
Killed in action 26 April 1918, aged 30yrs, Harry's death was reported in the Hunts Post 10 May 1918. It appears a German artillery shell hit his gun emplacement and killed him outright. Harry is buried at Sandpits British Cemetery, Fouquereuil, Pas de Calais, France.

Three of Harry's brothers also served in WWI. Reginald was reported in hospital with trench foot in the Hunts Post on 3 May 1918. The article mentioned that Harry and two other brothers were also 'doing their bit'. By that time Harry had been killed, but the family not yet informed. At the time of Harry's death his mother was landlady of the Manchester Arms public house, now a Tesco convenience store.

Do you have a photograph of Harry or any additional information? If so, please get in touch via the make contact page.

Source materials
Click any of the links below to view original source materials.
1891 Census
1901 Census
1911 Census
Army Register of Soldier's Effects
Commonwealth War Graves Register
Commemorative Certificate

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