COPPIN, Frederick Charles

No.SE/18402, Sergeant, Frederick Charles COPPIN
Aged 36

3rd Vet.Hospital, Army Veterinary Corps
Died at Sea on Monday, 1st January 1917

Queen's and King's South Africa medals

Frederick Charles Coppin was born in Boxley, Kent (Hollingbourne Q2-1880 2A:718) son of William and Frances COPPIN (née LONGLEY).

1881 census...Aged 10 months, he was at Loose Road, Stone Street, Maidstone, Kent with his father William COPPIN [26] farm labourer born Hollingbourne; his mother Frances [24] born Maidstone and brother Albert [8] born Linton, Kent

1891 census...Aged 10, Charles was at Back of Loose Road Cottages, Stone Street, Maidstone with his parents and brothers Albert and Horace [7] born Chart Sutton (nr Maidstone). Another brother, Peter Herbert, was born in 1882 but died aged 1. His father died in 1898 and his mother married George Edward HOOK in Maidstone in 1899.

1901 census...Aged 20, he was home on leave from the 1st Royal Dragoons, at 7 Loose Road, Stone Street, Maidstone with his step father George Edward HOOK [23] farm labourer born Lamberhurst, Surrey; his mother and brother Albert (labourer at cemetery)

He married Minnie May BURROWS in 1910 (Poole Q3-1910 5A:584). She was born in Bardwell.

1911 census...So far failed to find Frederick. His wife Minnie May [20] born Bardwell and their son Frederick Harry Norman [6 months] were at 21 Terminus Road, Maidstone with his step father and his mother

He enlisted in the Royal Dragoons in Maidstone on 1st July 1899, giving his age as 19 years 1 month, a groom, born Boxley, Kent. He was 5 feet 6.25 inches (168 cm) tall, weighed 123 lbs (56 kg), chest 33" to 35" (83.8 to 90.2 cm), grey eyes, brown hair, a Wesleyan. Next of kin his mother Frances, brother Albert of 9 Wheatsheaf Cottages, (appears to be another name for the cottages in Loose Road), Maidstone and brother Horace at 29 Hayle Place, Maidstone.
On 24th April 1904 he extended his service to 8 years in the colours and as a result was transferred to the Reserves on 30th June 1907 and completed his 12 years in total on 30th June 1911 hence he was not mobilised at the start of the 1914-1919 war.
His 1st period of Army service was as follows:-
Home 1-7-1899 to 7-6-1900................... South Africa 8-6-1900 to 12-3-1901
Home 13-3-1901 to 28-5-1901................. South Africa 29-5-1901 to 27-1-1904
India 28-1-1904 to 16-3-1907
Home 17-3-1907 to 30-6-1907.................Army Reserve 1-7-1907 to 30-6-1911

His service in South Africa earned him the Queen's South Africa medal with clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal and the King's South Africa Medal with clasps for 1901 and 1902

He enlisted for the Great War in Woolwich, in the Army Veterinary Corps around August 1915.

He was travelling on the HMT "Ivernia" to Alexandria when she was sunk 58 miles SE of Cape Matapan by UB-47 commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Wolfgang Steinbauer, one of Germany's ace submariners, responsible for sinking nearly 190.000 tons of shipping (52 ships) and damaging another 9.

The "Ivernia" was a Cunard liner of 14,000 ton and 36 of her crew and 86 soldiers were lost.

Frederick Coppin is commemorated on the Mikra Memorial, Greece

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details