Harry COOPS
Rank: Private
Number: 2378
Unit: 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 26 May 1915
Age: 20
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

Harry Coops lived with his parents, Joseph & Hannah, at 7 Albert Road, Cheadle. The family originated from Newton Heath, Manchester. Joseph had married Hannah Hall in 1893 and they had had three children by the time the 1901 Census was taken - Harry, Harold and Joseph. At the time they were living at 32 Grimshaw Lane, Miles Platting. It is not known when they moved to this area but are listed in the 1911 edition of Kelly's Directory as living at 88 Heathbank Road

Harry had been educated at Cheadle Hulme School and then at Brentnall Street Secondary School, Stockport. He worked for George Hewitt & Co (cotton manufacturers), Portland Street, Manchester

He was an active churchgoer, attending Cheadle Hulme Wesleyan Church. Much of his social life also revolved around the Church and he was secretary of the local Wesleyan Guild and a member of the Wesleyan Recreation Class and the Young Mens' Club.

Just after War was declared in early August 1914, Harry and his best friend, Charles Turton, enlisted into the Territorial Battalion, in Manchester. By the night of 10/11 September, they were on a troopship leaving Southampton for Egypt. Click here for an account of these early months

 

Harry and his mates landed at Gallipoli on 6 May and gradually took up more advanced positions. On the 25th, they started another tour of duty in the front line. Conditions were miserable as it had rained hard and the trenches were flooded - waist deep in parts. Corporal Rutter, from Ashton on Mersey, thought it a good idea to climb over the parapet to get along quicker. He was killed.

The next day, the sun came out and quickly started to dry things out. Charles Turton was killed in action with the 6th Manchesters a few days after Harry's death . He did, however, have time to write to Harry's parents, explaining that Harry had been preparing food when he was shot underneath the shoulder by a sniper. Private Sheldon, of the Battalion's "C" Company, wrote in his diary "Trenches thick with mud. Feet wet through, nearly up to our knees in mud. Early this morning, one of our fellows was badly hit through the neck". 15 members of the battalion had been killed since it landed. There would be another 300 deaths before they left Gallipoli.

Harry's brother, Joe, also served during the War. The only man of this name amongst the medal entitlement records at the National Archives served with the Seaforth Highlanders.

(Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)

   
           
   
     
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