BAMBER BRIDGE IN WORLD WAR 1
St Saviour’s Roll of Honour has three Coopers:
W. H. COOPER
Cooper is a fairly common name and there were several possible matches among Bamber Bridge residents, but I think these three were brothers but military records exist for only one of them, James Cooper. So this information is fairly speculative.
James Cooper (b. 1897), Thomas Cooper (b. 1889) and William Henry Cooper (b. 1878) were sons of John Cooper (b. 1857 in Bamber Bridge), an overlooker in a cotton mill, and Jane Cross (b. 1855 in Bamber Bridge). John and Jane were married at St Saviour’s in 1877 and they had 8 children: William Henry (b. 1878), Frederick (1881-85), Mary Jane (b. 1883), Ada (b. 1885), John (b. 1887), Thomas (b. 1889), Alice (b. 1894), and James (b. 1897). Jane died in the 1900s and in 1911, the widowed John was living with 5 of his children (including Thomas and James) at 3 Wesley Street, Bamber Bridge. Thomas was a card room hand and James, then 13, had started work as a weaver. John himself died in 1913.
The only certain military record I have is for James, and it is a short one. James attested he was willing to serve in the Army on 2 November 1914. He signed up with the East Lancashire Regiment and was assigned service number 16888. James was only 17 though he claimed to be 19. James passed his initial medical examination but was subsequently found to have a deformity in his feet so he was discharged from the army on 19 December 1914, not because he was underage but because he couldn’t march. In 1918, James Cooper married Mary Elizabeth Halshaw (who herself lost two brothers in the War, see here). The couple had a son, John Robert, and later James worked as a club steward in Bamber Bridge and lived at 4 Bridge Street.
There are a lot of men called Thomas Cooper and I have no way of identifying his military records.
Before the War, William Henry Cooper was a cotton spinner. In 1907 he maried Ann Ellen Waterhouse (b. 1885 in Bamber Bridge) and in 1909 they had a son, John. William Henry would have been 35 in 1914 and at the top end of the age range for military service. However, there is a William Henry Cooper who served in the Royal Defence Corps, 7th Protection Company, who enlisted on 5 November 1914 and was discharged due to illness on 23 June 1916, so he is a possible match. In 1939, William and Ann were living at 8 Brown Street, Bamber Bridge, and William was registered as incapacitated.
If you have any more information about this family, please get in touch.