Cooper, John

John was born circa 1914/15, the son of Edgar and Isabella Cooper, who had married in a Civil Ceremony in Chester in 1899, (Cheshire West ROC/40/49), so I cannot find him on any census, but found him on the 1939 Register, living at 13, Bridge Street, Shotton, and from that we have his date of birth – 26th March 1914. :-

Cooper Household (6 People)

13 Bridge Street , Hawarden R.D., Flintshire, Wales

Edgar R           Cooper            24 Mar 1877(28 March 1878) Male Steel Works Shearer Hw(Heavy Worker)            Married           138      1

Isabella            Cooper            20 Mar 1882    Female Unpaid Domestic Duties        Married           138      2

John     Cooper            26 Mar 1914    Male    Grocery Shop Manager           Single  138      3

Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.

Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.

His brother and sister-in-law, Edgar & Selina Cooper, who were married in St. Mary’s Church, Flint in 1936 are also seen on the 1939 Register, with a redacted record.   They were living at 6, Marina Drive, Shotton.

John met and married Irene Elizabeth Brown, age 24, who lived in nearby Salisbury Street, Shotton.   They married in St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton:-

Page 53 No. 106 27th April 1940 John COOPER, 26, Bachelor, Grocery Assistant, 13, Bridge Street, Shotton, Edgar COOPER, IronWorker & Irene Elizabeth BROWN, 24, Spinster, 36, Salisbury Street, Shotton, Thomas John BROWN, School Caretaker.   (After Banns) -Witnesses:- Alfred HUGHES & Kathleen COOPER, Y.J. BROWN.

A month later on the 30th May 1940, he was with the 1st Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers, as the Enlistment’s Register shows.   I have copies of the Register and the Casualty Lists, if you would like to contact the website.

To give a little insight to what John faced, here is an extract from

Royal Welch Fusiliers

Second World War  

Regular Army

During the Second World War, the 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers was a Regular Army unit and part of the 6th Infantry Brigade, assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division. It served in France in 1940 with the British Expeditionary Force.[48] The battalion fought in the short but fierce battles of France and Belgium and was forced to retreat and be evacuated during the Dunkirk evacuation. After two years spent in the United Kingdom, waiting and preparing for the invasion that never came (Operation Sea Lion), the 1st RWF and the rest of 2nd Division were sent to British India to fight the Imperial Japanese Army after a string of defeats inflicted upon the British and Indian troops. The battalion was involved in the Burma Campaign, particularly the Battle of Kohima, nicknamed Stalingrad of the East due to the ferocity of fighting on both sides, that helped to turn the tide of the campaign in the South East Asian theatre.[49]

John was reported “Missing, believed Wounded” on the 18th March 1943 on one Casualty List, alongside 31 other men who were either Missing, Missing believed Wounded or Missing believed Killed from John’s Regiment, the 1st Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 2nd Bn Durham Light Infantry and the Royal Army Medical Corps on the same day.   The next Casualty List gives John’s fate as “Previously reported Missing believed Wounded 18th March 1943, now Presumed Killed in Action.”    His body was never found so he is remembered on the Memorial in Rangoon.

John was “Missing, believed Wounded” on the same day that Harry Ellis (who is also named on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton War Memorial) was listed as “Missing” and  later “Presumed killed in action.”  They were on the same Casualty Lists.  Please click on his link.

Irene Ireland rang me to tell me a little anecdote about John & Irene Elizabeth Cooper.   She said that every time Irene saw Mrs Cooper throughout her childhood, Mrs. Cooper would say “I’ll never forget your Dad.”     The reason being was that before John went to Burma he came home unexpectedly on leave, and Irene’s father Mr. Small saw Mrs Cooper down Shotton and told her “You’d better hurry up home, your lad just gone home,” as Mr. Small had just seen him.   Irene wonders if perhaps that was his last leave before he sailed?   That memory was very precious to Mrs Cooper as she remarked on it every time she saw Irene.    Many thanks to Irene Ireland for sharing this after seeing John’s story on Kids from Shotton.

Any help to tell John’s story would be gratefully received.




Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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