William COPTON

Poppy

COPTON, William

Service Numbers: 1440, 1525
Enlisted: 19 November 1914
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 8th Infantry Battalion
Born: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, May 1891
Home Town: Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Sailor (seafarer)
Died: Illness , 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, Middlesex, England , 19 August 1918
Cemetery: Harefield (St. Mary) Churchyard
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Nov 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1440, 8th Infantry Battalion
19 Feb 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1525, 8th Infantry Battalion
19 Feb 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1525, 8th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Runic, Melbourne
19 Aug 1918: Involvement Private, SN 1440, 8th Infantry Battalion

Help us honour William Copton's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK/Scotland/Ireland 

Died on this date – 19th August…… William Copton was born around 1891.

[His Attestation Papers recorded that he was born at Launceston, Tasmania, however information provided for the Roll of Honour by Mrs E. Eskins, 77 Stoke St, Melbourne, Victoria recorded he was born in Melbourne, Victoria. A search of both Tasmanian & Victorian birth records failed to identify any matching records.]

According to information provided for the Roll of Honour – William Copton served with Merchant Service.

William Copton, 23 year old, single, Seaman, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 19th November, 1914 at Healesville, Victoria
On 19th February, 1915 Private William Copton, Service number 1525 then 1440, embarked from Melbourne, Victoria on HMAT Runic (A54) with the 8th Infantry Battalion, 3rd Reinforcements.

He joined 8th Battalion at Anzac on 8th May, 1915 from 3rd Reinforcements.

Private Copton reported sick on 25th August, 1915. He was admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance at Anzac then transferred to Casualty Clearing Station. From there he was transferred to Hospital Ship Valdrina on 26th August, 1915 then transferred to H.C. Ionian with Enteritis & Debility on 29th August, 1915. He was admitted to St. Patrick’s Military Hospital, Malta on 1st September, 1915 then transferred to Hospital Ship Panama on 13th September, 1915.

On 21st September, 1915 Private Copton was admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Stamford, London with Enteric. He was transferred to Weymouth Base Depot on 21st October, 1915.

He had his pay stopped from 17th December, 1915 to 20th December 1915 – 4 days inclusive due to Veneral.

From 9th – 16th March, 1916 Private Copton was absent from Monte Video Camp, Weymouth. He forfeited 8 days’ pay.

Private Copton was admitted to Verne Military Hospital, Portland on 27th March, 1916 with V.D. He was discharged on 29th March, 1916. Total V.D. period – 3 days. Total period of VD in UK – 6 days.

He was Absent without Leave from midnight on 28th May, 1916 till 2.30 pm on 29th May, 1916. He forfeited 1 days’ pay & was awarded 3 days confined to Barracks.

On 7th June, 1916 Private Copton proceeded to join B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) with 35th Draft from Monte Video, Weymouth.

He was written up while posted at Base Depot at Etaples, France on 29th June, 1916 – 1. Wilfully damaging government property in Guard Room & 2. Breaking out of Camp. He was awarded 10 days Field Punishment No. 1 on 29th June, 1916.

Private Copton was sent to Detention at Etaples on 8th July, 1916 from 1st A.D.B.D. (Australian Divisional Base Depot).

He joined 8th Battalion in France on 29th July, 1916.
On 22nd September, 1916 Private Copton was admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance on 22nd September, 1916 with Diarrhoea. He was transferred to 10th Casualty Clearing Station on 27th September, 1916 & was discharged to duty on 6th October, 1916. He rejoined his Battalion in France on 7th October, 1916.
Private Copton reported sick on 16th October, 1916 & was admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance with Chancre. He was transferred to 10th Stationary Hospital at St. Omer on 18th October, 1916 then transferred to 1st Convalescent Depot at Boulogne on 18th October, 1916. Private Copton was transferred to 18th General Hospital at Camier on 19th October, 1916 then transferred to 51st General Hospital at Etaples on 27th October, 1916. Private Copton was discharged on 18th November, 1916.

He was posted to 1st A.D.B.D. (Australian Divisional Base Depot) at Etaples, France on 23rd December, 1916 from Hospital. He was marched out to his Unit on 15th January, 1917 & rejoined 8th Battalion in France on 18th January, 1917.

On 29th March, 1917 Private Copton was A.W.L. (Absent without Leave) from Tattoo till 20.00 hrs on 31st March, 1917. He was awarded 14 days Field Punishment No. 2 on 4th April, 1917.

Private Copton reported sick on 1st November, 1917 with a Fever. He was eventually admitted to 7th Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, France on 4th November, 1917. He embarked for England on 6th November, 1917 on Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen & was admitted to East Suffolk & Ipswich Hospital, England on 7th November, 1917 with Trench Fever. He was transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford on 30th November, 1917. Private Copton was discharged to Furlo on 5th December, 1917 & was to report to Depot at Sutton Veny on 19th December, 1917.
He was reported AWL (Absent without Leave) from No. 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny, Wiltshire from 3.30 pm on 19th December, 1917. He returned at 8 pm on 27th December, 1917.

Private Copton was written up for an Offence at Sutton Veny – A.W.L. from 2.30 pm on 19th December, 1917 until 8 pm on 27th December, 1917. This was admonished by Lieut. Colonel W. O. Mansbridge on 4th January, 1918 & Private Copton forfeited 9 days’ pay.

On 21st December, 1917 Private William Copton married Mary (May) Wood at St. George’s Catholic Cathedral, Southwark, London on 21st December, 1917.

He was A.W.L. from No. 1 Convalescent Depot on 15th January, 1918. Private Copton was declared an Illegal Absentee by a Court of Inquiry held on 7th February, 1918 at Sutton Veny.

Private William Copton was apprehended by Army Provost Corps on 25th February, 1918. He was admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, Wiltshire on 28th February, 1918 – cause N.Y.D. (not yet determined). He was discharged on 27th April, 1918 for Trial under escort. Total VD period – 59 days.

On 29th April, 1918 Private Copton was marched in to No. 1 Command Depot from Bulford on 29th April, 1918. He reported sick to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford on 1st May, 1918 & was discharged on 6th May, 1918 under escort. Total VD period – 6 days.

A District Court Martial was held at Sutton Veny, Wiltshire on 13th May, 1918. Charge: A.W.L. from Sutton Veny from 15th January, 1918 till apprehended at Southwark on 25th February, 1918. Pleading: Guilty. Finding: Guilty Sentence: 50 days Field Punishment No. 2.

Private Copton was written up for an Offence at Sutton Veny on 24th May, 1918 – Failing to answer defaulters Roll Call, after being duly warned. This was admonished by Major A. W. Aitken. Private Copton was awarded 20 days Field Punishment No. 2 on 13th May, 1918.

He was written up for an Offence at Reading on 8th June, 1918 – Neglecting to obey A.I.F. H.Q. Order 719 of 22nd June, 1917 – Being in Reading on 8th June, 1918 without a pass. He was awarded 7 days Field Punishment No. 2.

On 14th June, 1918 Private Copton was A.W.L. He was declared an Illegal Absentee by a Court of Inquiry held at Sutton Veny on 6th July, 1918. There was no record of disciplinary action (as recorded on Casualty Form – Active Service).

He was admitted to 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, Middlesex, England on 1st August, 1918 with Gastric duodenal catarrh & Jaundice.

Private William Copton died at 10.40 am on 19th August, 1918 at 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield Park, Harefield, Middlesex, England from Acute Yellow Atrophy of Liver.

On 21st August, 1918 Private Copton was buried in St. Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Harefield, Middlesex, England where 112 other WW1 Australian War Graves are located.

(The above is a summary of my research. The full research can be found by following the link below)
https://ww1austburialsuk.weebly.com/-a---c.html

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