William Bernard Copp

Date of birth:                      3rd quarter 1890
Place of birth:                     Southampton
Service No.:                        10093
Rank:                                     Acting Corporal
Regiment / Division:      Devonshire Regiment
Battalion:                             8th (Service Battalion)
Died:                                      25th September 1915 aged 25 years
Death Location:                France

Before the War
William was born in 1890 to Bernard (25/05/1855 – 14/05/1926) and Louisa Eliza Copp, nee Gordon (13/08/1857 – 07/05/1945).  His parents were married in Southampton on 18th September 1889. William’s father was a Captain in the Merchant Service.

William’s siblings were:

Harold Gordon (1894 – 21/01/1916)
Edna Lyddon (1898)
Lorna Lyddon (1903 – 02/02/1961), Married James Royle in Hove, Sussex in 1948.

Harold served in the Hampshire Regiment and was killed in action in Mesopotamia on 21st January 1916.  He is named on the Cenotaph and Memorial Wall.

On the 1891 Census William is living with his mother and her father at 4 Esplanade, Brading, Isle of Wight.  William’s father is probably at sea.

By the 1901 Census William and his family are living at ‘Beechbourne’, Regents Park, Southampton.  His father is now retired from the Merchant Service.

In the 1911 Census the family is living at ‘Mayberry’, Regents Park, Southampton. William is employed as a bank clerk and his brother Harold is an assurance clerk. Edna and Lorna are at school.

Military History
When he died William was serving in the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment.  The Battalion was formed on 19th August 1914, in Exeter.  On 26th July 1915 the Battalion landed at Le Havre, France and on 4th August 1915 came under orders of the 20th Brigade, 7th Division.

The 7th Division took part in the initial assault at the Battle of Loos which started on the 25th September 1915.  Gas was used for the first time by the British at this Battle and many of their own troops suffered from the affects because the wind blew the gas in their direction.

William was killed in action on the 25th September 1915, the first day of the Battle.

William was awarded the Victory, the British War and the 1914 – 1915 Star Medals.

He is remembered at Loos Memorial. Panel Reference Panel 35 to 37.

The Loos Memorial forms the sides and back of Dud Corner Cemetery and commemorates over 20,000 members of the Commonwealth forces who fell in the Artois Sector during World War I.

William is also remembered on a grave at Hove Cemetery, Sussex, which is probably the grave of his father who died in Sussex in 1926.

Brother Harold’s War Service

When he died Harold was serving in the 1/4th (T.F.) Battalion.  He was killed in action on 21st January 1916 in Mesopotamia.  This was the date of the Battle of Hanna, which was part of the siege of Kut-al-Amara (7 December 1915 – 29 April 1916).

Please select Harold’s name to read more about his story.

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