William James COOPER

Badge Number: 27560, Sub Branch: Morgan

COOPER, William James

Service Number: 530
Enlisted: 24 February 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Thebarton, South Australia, 13 May 1879
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Natural causes, Morgan, South Australia, 3 July 1953, aged 74 years
Cemetery: Morgan Cemetery
buried next to his brother 5071 Pte. Ernest Walter Cooper.
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World War 1 Service

24 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, SN 530, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
24 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
31 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
4 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
28 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
1 Oct 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt
5 Jan 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages
20 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, Menin Road
4 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, Broodseinde Ridge
5 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, German Spring Offensive 1918
4 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, Le Hamel - Blueprint for Victory
8 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 530, 27th Infantry Battalion, The Battle of Amiens
21 Jul 1919: Discharged AIF WW1

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Born 13 May 1879 in Thebarton, South Australia
(SA Birth Record 1842 - 1906 Book: 220 Page: 141 District: Ade.)

Father Mr Benjamin COOPER and Mother Mrs Sarah Jane Cooper (nee SINGER)
they had "14" children, living at 40 Aveland Avenue, North Norwood, South Australia.

The COOPER family probably had very few equals, if any at all in the Commonwealth
and it may have been doubted whether there were many throughout the world who made
such a contribution to active service.

Next of kin in service:
37     Private Thomas Henry Cooper   -  (b. 13/6/1881 Greens Plains, SA - 3/7/1953 Morgan, SA)
2315  Private Albert George Cooper    - (b. 13/6/1883 Parkside, SA - d. 4/7/1960 Adelaide, SA)
5071  Private Ernest Walter Cooper     - (b. 17/4/1885 Bowden, SA - d. 16/2/1959 Morgan, SA)
3407  Private Arthur Edmond Cooper  - (b. 12/5/1887 Hindmarsh, SA - 4/8/1963 Nailsworth, SA)
1425  Private Francis Cooper              - (b. 21/2/1890 Hindmarsh, SA
3272  Private Harold Frederick Cooper - (b. 17/3/1895 Thebarton, SA - d. 19/2/1974 Adelaide, SA)
4095  Private Roy John Cooper           - (b. 20/6/1898 Hindmarsh, SA

2336  Private Frank Cocks  - (b. 15/5/1889 Bugle Ranges, SA - d. 10/1/1930 Mitcham, SA)
         Father James Cocks and Mother Jane Tippet
         (SA Birth Record 1842 - 1906 Book: 438 Page: 482 District: Str.)

Himself        William James COOPER             (b 13/5/1879 Thebarton, SA
Brother         Thomas Henry COOPER                (b. 13/6/1881 Green Plains, SA
Brother         Albert George COOPER                (b 13/6/1883 Parkside, SA
Brother         Ernest Walter COOPER                 (b 17/4/1885 Bowden, SA
Brother         Arthur Edwin COOPER                  (b 12/5/1887 Hindmarsh, SA
Sister            Ada Lawrence Ethel May COOPER (b 8/6/1888 Hindmarsh, SA
Twin Sister    Florence May COOPER                 (b 21/2/1890 Hindmarsh, SA
Twin Brother  Francis COOPER                          (b 21/2/1890 Hindmarsh, SA
Sister            Sarah Elizabeth COOPER              (b 24/6/1892 Thebarton, SA
Brother          Harold Frederick COOPER             (b 17/3/1895 Thebarton, SA
Sister             Hilda Myrtle COOPER                   (b 2/2/1897 Thebarton, SA
Brother          Roy John COOPER                       (b 20/6/1898 Hindmarsh, SA
Sister            Alice Pretoria COOPER                  (b 20/5/1900 Bowden, SA
Sister            Ruby Violet COOPER                    (b 10/12/1902 Adelaide, SA


31/10/1917  Wife Edith was struck off of being 'next-of-kin' and replaced with William's 
                    father - Benjamin.

Wife:-          Edith Alice Barbera Cooper (nee _____), living at 69 Kent Street, Kent Town, SA,
                  (1915) - 3 children (eldest 3 years old - non of which were William's - stated 31/10/1917).

Prior to enlisting William was a labourer, living at 91 Hindley Street, Adelaide, SA.

Described on enlisting as 36 years 9 months old; married; 5' 6" tall; 156 lbs; fair complexion;
light brown eyes; brown hair; Church of England; tattoos on both forearms, both upper arms and

23/2/1915      completed medical at Keswick, SA
23/2/1915      Commanding Officer appointed William to C Company, Base Infantry
                     Oaklands Camp

24/2/1915      Enlisted at Keswick, South Australia

16/3/1915      transferred to C Company, Base Infantry

7/4/1915        transferred to C Company, 27th Infantry

31/5/1915      Embarked from Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide, on board HMAT A2 Geelong
                     as a Private with C Company, 27th Infantry Battalion

4/9/1915        embarked from Alexandria to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, Gallipoli

After two months spent training in Egypt, landed at Gallipoli on 12/9/1915.

15/11/1915    sick to 7th Field Ambulance, Gallipoli
26/11/1915    admitted to 15th General Hospital, Alexandria - rheumatism

At Gallipoli, the 7th Brigade, which included the 27th Battalion, reinforced the weary New Zealand and Australian Division. The 27th had a relatively quiet time at Gallipoli and the battalion departed the peninsula in December, having suffered only light casualties.

3/1/1916        admitted overseas Base, Cairo
1/2/1916        to duty Class B, ex Montaza

5/3/1916        rejoined battalion, Ismailia

After another stint in Egypt, the 7th Brigade proceeded to France as part of the 2nd Australian Division.

16/3/1916      proceeded to join British Expeditinary Forces, ex Alexandria
21/3/1916      disembarked into Marseilles, France

The 27th Battalion entered the front-line trenches for the first time on 7/4/1916 and took part in its first major battle at Pozieres between 28/7/1916 and 5/8/1916.
After a spell in a quieter sector of the front in Belgium, the 2nd Division returned to the south in October. The 27th Battalion took part in two attacks to the east of Flers in the Somme Valley, both of which floundered in the mud.

10/10/1916     gun shot wound to scalp, in action in the field, Belgium
                      admitted to No.3 Casualty Clearing Station
12/10/1916     transferred to Ambulance Train
12/10/1916     admitted to No.3 Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, France
17/10/1916     transferred to No.7 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, France
3/11/1916       transferred to No.3 Lange Rest Station, Boulogne, France
5/11/1916       admitted to 2nd Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, France
14/11/1916     proceeded to join unit, Etaples, France
16/11/1916     rejoined the 27th Battalion from Base Depot, France

3/12/1916       bronchitis - sick to hospital, Amiens, France
4/12/1916       transferred to Ambulance Train
5/12/1916       admitted to No3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, France
11/12/1916     to Base Details, Rouen, France

Although it participated in minor attacks during the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917.

23/3/1917       proceeded to join unit
25/3/1917       rejoined battalion, Etaples, France

25/4/1917       sick to hospital, France
15/5/1917       embarked on board HS Essequibo, at Havre, France for England
15/5/1917       admitted to 2nd Southern General Hospital, England

7/8/1917         marched in to No.1 Command Depot Perham Downs, from Parkhouse
                      Detention Barracks, Southampton

The 27th Battalion did not carry out a major attack again until 20/9/1917. On this occasion, it was part of the 2nd Division's first wave at the battle of Menin Road. Victory here was followed up with the capture of Broodseinde Ridge on 4/10/1917, in which the 27th Battalion also played a role.

2/11/1917       proceeded overseas to France

The 27th fought to turn back the German spring offensive in April 1918, and later in the year participated in a string of offensive battles as Germany was pushed ever closer to defeat.

It attacked around Morlancourt on the night of 10/6/1918; acted in a supporting role during the battle of Hamel on 4/7/1918; and was in the first wave at the battle of Amiens on 8/8/1918.   On 8/8/1918, the battalion captured 9 artillery pieces, 25 machine guns and over 200 prisoners.

The Battalion's last actions of the war were fought as part of the effort to break through the Beaurevoir Line in the first week of October 1918, but it was not disbanded until 4/6/1919.

28/3/1919       returned to Australia on board Port Macquarie, ex England
21/5/1919        disembarked into Australia

21/7/1919        discharged from service in AIF

1914/15 Star (4696); British War medal (3438) and Victory medal (3397).

August 1922     William lived on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

3/7/1953          William passed away (75 years old)
buried in:          Morgan Cemetery


Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  3/6/2015.  Lest we forget.