Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the South Staffordshire area who died during the two World Wars.
Arthur Cooper was born at Haughton in about 1893. He was the son of James Cooper, a farm waggoner, and his wife, Alice. The family moved around the local area following James' employment - the birthplaces of their children show that they had lived in Gnosall and Haughton. After the birth of Arthur they lived in Brewood for several years before moving to Stretton and then to Wheaton Aston.
By 1911, Arthur (aged 18) was working as a groom on a farm at Tong; shortly afterwards he enlisted in the Army joining the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment.
Arthur was probably with his Battalion in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, when war was declared. The Battalion returned to England and went to Belgium early in October. It took part in many of the major engagements of the Western Front, including Ypres in 1914 and Loos in 1915. At some point Arthur appears to have been transferred to his regiment's 2nd Battalion; he was with the 2nd when he was killed in action on 27th July, 1916, at Delville Wood during the Battle of the Somme. The 2nd South Staffs war diary records:
27 [July, 1915] Delville Wood. Battalion left the Reserve Area about 2:30 p.m. and moved up with 17th Middlesex Regt. to support 99th Infy Brigade who had captured DELVILLE WOOD and beaten off a counter-attack. On arriving at DELVILLE WOOD the Battalion relieved the 23 Royal Fusiliers who were holding the Western half of the wood in touch with the 5th Division on the left. The relief was accomplished under heavy shell-fire and was a matter of some difficulty. [On 28th the 2nd Staffs held off a German counter-attack. They were relieved on 29th. During the period 6 Officers and 42 Other Ranks were killed, 196 ORs wounded 21 ORs suffering from shell shock and 46 ORs missing.]
Arthur Cooper, 8995, is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals and the 1914 Star.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg.