WW1 Casualty: Private 42193 Joseph Cooper -
Private 42193 Joseph Cooper
||2nd/4th Bn., South Lancashire Regiment
|Date of Death
Couin New British Cemetery
|CWGC Family Details (if shown)
||Son of Mrs. A. Cooper, of 101, Central St., St. Helens.
|SDGW – Where Born
||St Helens, Lancs
||Killed In Action
||Theatre of War
||France & Flanders
|Research Ref. No.
After the outbreak of war in August 1914, second and third line battalions were formed within several battalions of the regiment; the second line battalion would be equipped and trained for overseas service whilst the third line battalion would be used for development and training of men ultimately drafted into the first and second line battalions, as replacements and reinforcements.
The 2nd/4th Battalion of the South Lancs was formed in September 1914 and did much of its training in the south of England. At the same time, it formed part of the force retained in England for home defence, and it carried this role out throughout 1915 and 1916.
Early in February 1917, the battalion was chosen for overseas service and on 15th February it left Frith Barracks and entrained for Folkstone. The battalion comprised 31 officers and 799 men. They arrived in Boulogne the following day, stayed in Hazebrouck for a few days then went to Sailly-sur-Lys in preparation for moving into the line. On 24th, they occupied trenches for the first time near Bois Grenier, where they remained until 4th March.
At this time, it was officially "quiet" on the Lys front, although the British were preparing for what they knew must be coming soon; a German assault. However, "quiet" was a relative term, and few days passed without a casualty of some sort, incurred by snipers, trench-mortars, raids (both attacking and defending), etc.
Private Cooper will have been one such casualty. The regimental history records no actions on the day he died, 5th May, and so he will almost certainly have been a victim of the usual daily grind of trench warfare
Joseph Cooper’s Medal Index Card showing his entitlement to the British War Medal and Victory Medal