Topic: Ernest Cooper (c1897-1917)
Ernest Cooper was a native of King's Heath, Birmingham, England. His parents were William and Alice Cooper who lived in Gate Pa, Tauranga. Ernest was killed in action on 9 October 1917 whilst serving in World War I (1914-1918).
Ernest Cooper was from King's Heath, Birmingham, England in c1897 to William and Alice Cooper.
He emigrated to New Zealand in c1912 along with his parents and siblings. The family lived at Gate Pa in Tauranga.
Ernest was a Bombardier (Service No: 68022) with the 50th Bty., Royal Field Artillery.
He was killed in action during World War I (1914-1918) on 9 October 1917. Ernest was 20 years old.
He was buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Diksmuidseweg Road (N369) in the direction of Boezinge. For much of the First World war, the village of Boesinghe (now Boezinge) directly faced the German line across the Yser canal. Bard Cottage was a house a little set back from the line, close to a bridge called Bard's Causeway, and the cemetery was made nearby in a sheltered position under a high bank.
Burials at the cemetery were made between June 1915 and October 1918 and they reflect the presence of the 49th (West Riding), the 38th (Welsh) and other infantry divisions in the northern sectors of the Ypres Salient, as well as the advance of artillery to the area in the autumn of 1917. (Commonwealth War Graves Commission).
The 1928 Electoral Roll shows William and Alice living in Gate Pa along with labourer Joseph Cooper who is likely their son.
Ernest's father William died in Tauranga Hospital at the age of 70 on 8 September 1929 (reg. 1929/6206). His obituary appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times the following day:
The death occurred at the Tauranga hospital yesterday of Mr William Cooper at the age of seventy years. The late Mr Cooper was born in Gloucester, England, and for the greater part of his life was engaged in farming and contracting work in the Old Country. He came out to New Zealand about seventeen years ago and bought a farmlet at Gate Pa, where he had since resided. His health had been failing for the past two years. He leaves to mourn their loss his widow, five sons and three daughters. All the family, except a son and daughter, reside in England. The funeral will leave the hospital at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon.
William was buried in the Tauranga Anglican Cemetery. Alice died at the age of 76 on 5 February 1932 (reg. 1932/2069). She was buried next to William in the Tauranga Anglican Cemetery.
Bay of Plenty Times (9 September 1929, p. 2).
Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).
Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
McLean, Heather (1992). Burial Records: Tauranga, New Zealand (1881-1992).