Cecil James Coffin

Date of birth:  1892
Place of birth:  Southampton
Service No.:  6788
Rank:  Rifleman
Regiment / Division:  21st London Regiment (Surrey Rifles)
Died: 4th November 1916 aged 24 years
Death location:  France and Flanders (Ypres)

Military Service
No army enlistment or service records survived for Cecil however the following is extracted from the Roll of Honour (a copy is held in Southampton special collections library). “Cecil joined the 21st London Regiment (Surrey Rifles) (service number:6788) as a rifleman in February 1916 and was sent to the Western front in the same year. Part of 6th London Brigade, 2nd London Division, the 21st London Regiment had landed at Le Havre on 16 March 1915. After taking part in heavy fighting he was killed in action on 4th November 1916 at Ypres” aged 24.

He was posthumously awarded the Victory medal and the British medal in recognition of his services to his country and is inscribed on the cenotaph at Southampton “lest we forget”.

The British War Medal was awarded for service in World War One. Also called the British Empire campaign medal, it was issued for services between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918. The medal was automatically awarded in the event of death on active service. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Squeak’.

The Victory medal, also called the Inter Allied Victory Medal was awarded to those who received the British War Medal. It was never awarded alone. This medal was sometimes irreverently referred to as ‘Wilfred’.

Life before the war
Cecil James was born the only child to James Coffin (1864-1924) a Tailor from Bishops Waltham and Emma nee Stubbington (born in 1868 in Rogate, Sussex)). His birth was registered in Southampton. He grew up with his fathers niece Amy Eliza Burrows (born in 1895 in Hinehead, Surrey)
His parents had married in the first quarter of 1889 in Southampton.
Their first home was 78 Graham Road, St Marys, Southampton. Both were employed as Tailors.
In 1901 the family lived at Victoria Cottage, Ivy Road, St Marys. His father James was a Tailor (journeyman). [A journeyman is someone who has completed an apprenticeship and is fully educated in a trade or craft, but not yet a master.]
In 1911 the family lived at 3 Canute Road, Southampton. Cecil had followed his fathers trade as a Tailor and both are working at home. Amy Eliza Burrows is still living with them but is neither shown with a trade or as a scholar.
At the time of his death his family were living at 64 Cromwell Road, Fitzhugh, Southampton.  they were still there 10 years later when his father James died on 5th March 1924 at Southampton General hospital. Probate was read 2 months later in Winchester. He left £2,151 and 10s to his widow Emma Coffin.

Researched by DHW – March 2013.
If you have any more information about the above named person, or any other name listed on this website or Southampton’s Cenotaph, please email Southampton.cenotaph@hotmail.co.uk, or telephone 023 8086 9599 and we will contact you.  Many thanks.

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