John Edward Cooper’s Notes

HomeContentsAlphabetical listingWhom I’d like to meet in eternity…
 

1914–1918: World War I: Herbert Cooper

[Family History — 1900 onwards:
1914–1918: World War I: Herbert Cooper
]

Soldier’s Pay Book
In World War I my paternal grandfather Herbert Cooper enlisted in the 3rd Border Regiment on Friday 19 May 1916 at the age of 29 years 2 months.





















Prisoner of War records
I found the following records in the historical archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Record card
The prisoner’s representative is “Mrs. G. Kilham”, living at 222 City Road, Park, Sheffield. Although Herbert had a sister Gertrude, she remained unmarried (according to my Dad’s information). It was his sister Millicent Annie whose married name was Kilham, and I guess that “G” was her husband’s initial.



Page from a ledger listing captives’ names
Herbert was captured on Wednesday 10 April 1918 in Mesen (“Messines” in French), West Flanders, Belgium, and was first taken to Hirson in northern France, about 100 miles distant. Around 7 July 1918[1] he was taken the ca. 240-mile journey to the Mannschaftslager in Dülmen, Westfalen, Germany.
[1] He wrote on 21 July 1918: “I am quite well & have been here a fortnight now in Germany.”

In this ledger, his mother “Mrs. A. Cooper” of 175 City Road, Sheffield is named as next of kin. Her given name was Elizabeth, but her late husband was called Alfred.


Click to enlarge


Other documents 

Photograph showing Herbert, with only his right foot booted, using a walking stick


Note in my Mum’s hand: “Herbert Cooper Charles’ father a prisoner of war during the First World War 1914–1918. He suffered from frost bite.”

So when did he get frostbite? Perhaps he already had it from the previous winter when he was taken prisoner on 10 April 1918. But he was sufficiently recovered to be in a football team (“Dülmen Grp.III Team 1”) at the time of his letter of “13th August [?October] 1918”.
 According to the Wikipedia article “World War I prisoners of war in Germany”, the section titled “The return from captivity”: after the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918, “of the non-Russians [who had been made prisoner], some 576,000 had been repatriated by the end of December 1918, and all by the beginning of February 1919.” Perhaps it was when he was waiting for repatriation that it happened.

Pencil drawing dated “July 1918”





Kriegsgefangenensendung post-card dated “21st July 1918” sent to his fiancée Louisa Osborne

Miss L. Osborne
2 Harmer Lane
Sheffield
Yorkshire
England

27185.
Address of the sender.
Name: P
te Herbert Cooper
8
th Border Regiment
Gefangenenlager Dülmen i. Westf., Detachment No.: Group 3
Coy.: 91B.

Dülmen i. Westf., the 21
st July 1918.
Dear Sweetheart
       I hope you will have
got my address from my mother before you
receive this, so I hope to receive a line or
two from you before long. I am quite well
& have been here a fortnight now in
Germany. I am working [censored].
More next time. I hope you are well.
Give my kind regards to all. With
fondest love. Herbert.

Kriegsgefangenensendung post-card dated “25th August 1918”, sent to his fiancée Louisa Osborne

Miss L. Osborne,
2 Harmer Lane,
Sheffield,
Yorkshire,
England.

Address of the sender
Name: Pte Herbert Cooper 27185
8
th Border Regiment
Gefangenenlager Dülmen i. Westf., Detachment No.: Group 3
Coy.: 1a Barrack: 4a

Dülmen i. Westf., the 25
th August 1918.
Dear Sweetheart
       I hope you liked my
last letter I sent you & I am pleased to
say I am keeping well & hope you are
the same. How are all at home? Give
my kind regards to all. I am looking
forward to hearing from you shortly as
we have been here 7 weeks now. I have
not heard since March from you. With
fondest love to you. Herbert
          x x x x x x x x
            x x x x

Kriegsgefangenensendung letter dated “13th August 1918” [sic][1], sent to his fiancée Louisa Osborne

[1] Although this is the date at the head of the letter, there are references to “3/9/18” (i.e. 3 September 1918) and “September 28th” as in the past in the body of the letter; so perhaps “August” is a slip of the pen and should be “October”. The words “I hope to be home for Christmas” also might suggest a more imminent date than August.

Name: Cooper
Christian name: Herbert
Company: 1a
Barrack: 4a
Detachment No.: Group 3

Miss L. Osborne
2 Harmer Lane
Sheffield
Yorkshire
England.

Dülmen i. Westf., 13
th August 1918.
Dear Sweetheart
      Once again I am able to
write you a letter & I am pleased to say
I am keeping alright & well & hope you
are the same. I received my first parcel
with my mother’s name on dated 3/9/18
yesterday & it was very welcome. I also
received a money order on September 28th

but have yet received no letter but I am
expecting one any day now. I am sending
2 photos of our football team & I want you
to pass one on to my mother & keep the other
one yourself. I think you will be able to
pick me out easily for I think it is a
good one of me. We are having quite
mild weather here lately but they tell us
it is a rough place in winter. Do you
still go to the pictures for I hope you are
keeping in good spirits & cheerful. I have
just had a bit of chocolate from my parcel
& it tasted good but I wished you had
been here to share it with me. I went to
the pictures last night but I would
sooner have been going at home & then
you would have been there with me. Keep
smiling & I hope to be home for Christ-
mas. I can keep on hoping & it will do
me no harm, so I am looking forward
to the time when I shall be able to come
& this great & terrible war will be over.
How are all things going on at home & how
are all the “boys”? Let me know when
you write & also Albert & Edith & Little
Nancy & John. I hope they all are alright.
Also Joe & Annie. I think you will think
this letter uninteresting but I have not
much to say & am looking forward to
receiving one from you any time now. I
hope your father & mother are keeping
well. Give them my kindest regards &
the Surrey Street friends too. Do you
ever see any one from Rodgers? If you
do, pass on my kind regards & remembrance
to them. With fondest love Herbert
             x x x x x x x x x
                 x

One of the “2 photos of our football team”, mentioned in the above letter





Card with embroidery








Medals


Silver British War Medal (left) and bronze Victory Medal (right)



Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]





<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]