Contributed by: Louise Hollingsworth, on 2008-11-04
|Year of Birth||1894|
|Year of Death||1916|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Stone, Staffordshire|
David was born in Stone, Staffordshire in 1896, the sixth son of John and Sarah Cooper, in a family of eleven. He first saw action in June 1915 in Gallipoli, his Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers spent the next 8 months fighting in the trenches in horrendous conditions and enduring baking heat, floods and a freezing cold winter. They were shipped to France in March 1916 where they went straight into the trenches of the Western Front. I have managed to find the official war diary of the Battalion and it makes for sobering reading, the conditions then men had to endure were horrific. On the July 1st 1916 the Battalion went over the top at Beaumont Hamel and Z Company rushed forward to occupy the crater created by the explosion of the mine on Hawthorn Ridge, but were immediately met by heavy machine gun fire and artillery barrage. Amazingly David survived the slaughter and fought on for another 4 months until in October 1916 the Battalion were occupying trenches firstly in Delville Wood and then Trones Wood. The official war diary entry for the 26th October 1916 reads -
"...there's some corner of a foreign field that is forever England."
Heavily shelled and whole Battalion (except Z Company) compelled to evacuate trench & bivouac in Trones Wood.
Casualties: Other Ranks - 11 killed 2 wounded.
Pte David Cooper was one of the 11 men who were killed, he was just 22 years old. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Theipval memorial alongside 70,000 other soldiers whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefield of the Somme. I hope one day to visit Theipval, the first of his family to do so and I will be thinking about him on Remembrance Sunday.