The Coups family had lived in Heaton Mersey for generations. Harold was the son of William John and Elizabeth Coups who, in 1891, were living on Burnage Lane. William was a foreman cotton dyer but, sometime in the following ten years, moved to Macclesfield to take up a position in the local silk industry. By that time, Harold was 16 and was working as an apprentice to a joiner. The family were later known to be living at 269 Buxton Road, only a few doors away from where Harold’s uncle, Joseph Coups was living .
He went overseas in July 1915, leaving from Devonport and going into action at Gallipoli on 8 August, in what would the final major assault of that campaign. Two days later, the Battalion was part of an unsuccessful attack on Turkish positions at Scimitar Hill. The British troops were forced to withdraw and dug in to a new trench line only some 100 yards in advance of the starting position. The Cheshires would hold this position until they were relieved on the 17th. Sometime during this period, probably on the 14th or 15th, Harold was seriously wounded.
He was evacuated from the trenches and put aboard a hospital ship bound for the nearby Greek island of Lemnos, which was the nearest base for British military hospitals. Harold died from his wounds whilst still aboard ship. It can be assumed that the ship was very close to Lemnos when he died as, otherwise, he would have been buried at sea, rather in the military cemetery at Mudros.
Other members of the Coups family had remained in Heaton Mersey and will have arranged for Harold’s name to be included on the War Memorial.
(With thanks to one of Harold’s descendents for family information. JH)