Harold George COPE


COPE, Harold George

Service Numbers: Depot, 30105
Enlisted: 30 August 1915
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column
Born: Townsville, Queensland, Australia, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Townsville, Townsville, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 21 September 1917, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, City of Townsville WW1 Honour Roll, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient), Townsville Cenotaph
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World War 1 Service

30 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN Depot, Reinforcements WW1
21 Jan 1916: Discharged AIF WW1, Private
5 Jun 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 30105, Reinforcements WW1
9 Nov 1916: Involvement Gunner, SN 30105, 9th Field Artillery Brigade , Third Ypres
9 Nov 1916: Embarked Gunner, SN 30105, 9th Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Benalla, Sydney
21 Sep 1917: Involvement Gunner, SN 30105, 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column, Third Ypres

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Biography contributed by Virtual Australia

Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial - 

History / Summary
Born in Townsville on 18 September 1896, Harold George Frederick Cope was serving in the militia in the Kennedy Regiment when he enlisted in the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF), raised to take part in the capture of German New Guinea, on 14 August 1914 and was sent to Thursday Island for garrison duty. He left the island on 16 August on the troopship Kanowna and was formally taken on strength of the AN&MEF on 6 September. The ship returned to Townsville without reaching New Guinea on 18 September, on account of a dispute with the vessel's firemen, and the soldiers aboard her, including Cope were discharged.

Harold Cope, now employed as a labourer, enlisted in the AIF on 30 August 1915, just before his nineteenth birthday. He was assigned to training with reinforcements for the 5th Light Horse Regiment near Brisbane. After being absent without leave for a week, during which time he was involved in an incident at a private residence, his commanding officer noted in December that Cope was 'not likely to become an efficient soldier', and recommended his discharge. Shortly afterwards Cope's mother, Elizabeth, contacted the army to state that she had not given her under-age son permission to enlist. Cope was consequently discharged from the AIF on 21 January 1916.
Cope re-enlisted in the AIF on 5 June 1916, this time with the consent of both his mother and stepfather, Cornelius Schatzler. Assigned as a gunner, service number 30105, to reinforcements for the 9th Field Artillery Brigade, Cope moved to Sydney for further training. While there he married Olive Victoria Barker. He left Sydney for overseas service in November, aboard HMAT A24 Benalla. After training in England Cope was assigned to the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column, joining his unit at the end of June 1917. He was killed at Busseboom, near Poperinghe, Belgium, on 21 September 1917, during the third battle of Ypres. Cope's body was never recovered for burial. His name is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.

This commemorative plaque was sent to his widow, Olive, in 1925.