COPPING, Arthur William

No.624686, Private, Arthur William COPPING
Aged 29

78th Battalion (Winnipeg Grenadiers), Canadian Infantry
Killed in Action on Monday 9th April 1917

Arthur William Copping was born in Ousden in 1887 (Newmarket Q1-1887 3B:532) and was baptised on 27th March 1887 in St.Peter's Ousden He was born in Ousden on 25th February 1888 according to his Canadian Army records. He was the son of William and Sabina COPPING (née BAILEY).

1891 census...Aged 4, he was at Front Street, Ousden with his father William COPPING [26] labourer born Great Bradley; his mother Sabina [27] born Ousden and sister Hilda [1] born Ousden. His sister Edith [6] born Ousden, was with her grandparents William and Elizabeth COPPING at Back Street, Ousden.

His mother died in 1896.

1901 census...Aged 14, an apprentice carpenter, he was at Back Street, Ousden with his widower father and sister Edith [16] born Ousden.Brother Wilfred [5] born Ousden was at Back Street,with his grandparents William and Elizabeth COPPING.

1911 census...Not found in census, presumed to have left for Canada. His father was at Front Street, Ousden with daughter Edith, now married to Thomas Smith and their daughter Hilda [1] born Ousden. Also there was Arthur's brother Wilfred [15] born Ousden and sister Hilda.

He married in Canada and lived in Edmonton with Alice, whose maiden name is as yet unknown. His wife later re-married as Alice MORTIMER 9550,83rd Ave, Strathcona, Alberta.

Canadian Archives _ RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1988 - 13
He enlisted in Edmonton South, Alberta on February 3rd 1916, giving his address as 10018-92 Avenue, Edmonton, born Ousden, Newmarket, Suffolk on Feb.25-1888, occupation-cook, next of kin - wife Alice
Their next address was 1044-91st Ave, St Placid St, Sth Edmonton. His apparent age was entered as 28 years, Roman Catholic, 5 ft 8 ins (172.7 cm)tall, chest 37" to 39" (94 to 99.1 cm), weighing 144 lbs (65.5 kg) grey eyes, auburn hair.

He sailed from Halifax on SS "Californian" on 3rd October 1916,arriving Liverpool on 13th, and transferred to 11th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe. He then was transferred to the 78th Battalion and shipped to France on 14th November 1916.

His circumstances of death card simply states "Killed in Action" "Attack at Vimy Ridge" Grave location "just south of Givenchy-en-Gohelle, 4 1/4 miles SSW of Lens map ref Sheet 36c.S.15.c.&.15.d

Extracted from Canadian Archives:
"Out of the mist," wrote the diarist for the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, "exploded a curtain of fire from 983 guns and mortars." At 5:30 a.m. on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, attacking battalions from four Canadian divisions crept forward behind this wall of flame and smoke up the gentle slope leading to the "coveted Vimy Ridge." Shells burst along a 6.4-kilometre front as far as the eye could see. The first artillery barrage lifted and the infantry pushed forward through sections of uncut barbed wire, over ground churned up beyond recognition. Close on their heels swept the stretcher bearers searching for the wounded. The Canadians, with guns often jammed with mud, faced determined German soldiers firing machine guns, rifles and revolvers at point-blank range. It was the first time all four Canadian divisions had fought together. Intense training, thorough planning and coordination, superior intelligence gathering and determination carried Byng's Boys forward-at times through driving sleet-to take the Ridge. When the battle was over on April 12, there were 10,602 casualties."
Of the casualties, 3,598 were fatal and 192 of these were from the 78th Battalion on 9th April and 140 of them have no known grave

Arthur Copping is commemorated on the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge (all in alphabetical order).

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details