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Thread: GL Cooper (35 Squadron)

  1. #1
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    Default GL Cooper (35 Squadron)

    As a result of my history of No 35 Squadron project, I have been contacted by a relative of 565016 GL Cooper, who was killed in the loss of Fairey Battle K9469 (05/05/1939).

    The family are keen to establish his place of burial which they believe is in the UK (as they have no record of repatriation to his home country of Chile).

    I am assuming that if he was not repatriated he would have been buried close to RAF Cottesmore.

    Can anyone provide any leads?

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Pete

    The Grantham Journal of May 13th 1939 has a lengthy report on the inquest, and includes the following tribute at the end:

    Pilot Officer Cooper was a keen all-round sportsman and was particularly fond of cricket. He played on several occasions last year for Oakham C.C., and was due to figure in Oakham's opening match a fortnight ago, but was unable to do so on account of military duties.
    Full military honours were accorded at his funeral at Cottesmore on Tuesday.
    His remains were borne to their last resting place on a gun carriage, the coffin being draped in the Union Jack, and upwards of 100 officers and men from the aerodrome, including a firing party, were present.
    The procession slowly wended its way from the aerodrome to Cottesmore cemetery, where a service was conducted by the Rector of Cottesmore, the Rev. E. M. Guilford, chaplain to the aerodrome, and the Rev. C. A. Brown, Vicar of Exton.
    A large crowd, most of whom were women, assembled at the cemetery.
    The Last Post was sounded by buglers from the aerodrome, and shots were fired over the grave by the firing party, whilst in the distance could be heard the dull drone of battle planes preparing to take to the air and circle the grave on tribute to a popular officer.
    A beautiful cross of spring flowers from the family was interred with the coffin, and other tokens were inscribed:
    [including, from the family]
    In sweet memory of dear Gerald, from Mrs. Stanger-Tuker, South America.
    With love, from Aunt Lily, Mary, Evelyn and Brian.
    With love, from Uncle Harry and Aunt Elaine.
    With love, from Aunt Dora and Vera and Monica.
    With love, from Uncle Jack and Aunt Hilda.


    Regards

    Simon

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    Thanks Simon

    I understand that the family of one of the other crew members (Tompkins) had to pay to have a CWGC “style” memorial stone which suggests that Cooper would not have had one either (which is possibly why the family can’t find him listed as being buried at Cottesmore)

    I need to try and find someone in that area who could do a recce and obtain a photograph of the gravestone (assuming it still exists) for the family

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    No problem Pete.

    Got your e-mail - will send it over shortly.

    Simon

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    UPDATE:

    Someone has very kindly visited the Cottesmore Cemetery and located / photographed the headstone for the family .... a good result
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Great stuff Pete. Well done for getting (as you say) a good result.

    Regards

    Simon

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    Pete

    Re : Crew

    I think correct allocation of service numbers is (i.e Tompkins was 565016 NOT Cooper)


    •P/O Gerald Louis Cooper
    •John Sweeney (537820)
    •John Frederick Tompkins (565016)

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    Paul

    Thanks for the feedback; the numbers were taken from newspaper articles, so you could well be right .... I will have another look (although the service number on Tompkins headstone on my website is a bit of a giveaway!)

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 27th February 2017 at 17:38.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  9. #9
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    I have not been able to find the correct service number for GL Cooper; can anyone help with this?

    Also, does anyone happen to have any information on the burial of the third crew member, John Sweeney?

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  10. #10
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    Cooper may be difficult Service Numbers not published for Officers later in 1939

    He has one though which if not in Air Force list may be able to be extracted from his contempories? Do you know where he trained and when he joined up?

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