COOPER, Albert Richard

No.5191, Lance Corporal, Albert Richard COOPER
Aged 23

8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Killed in Action presumed on Thursday, 3rd May 1917

Albert Cooper was born in Wickhambrook in 1893 (Thetford Q4-1893 4A:676), baptised in Wickhambrook on 9th September 1894, son of George William and Julia COOPER (née NUNN).

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at Upper Green, Higham with his father George W COOPER [29] farm labourer; his mother Julia [30]; brothers Benjamin [9] and George W [3]; sister Susannah [5] and Gladys [1]. All were born in Wickhambrook

1911 census...Aged 17, farm labourer, he was at Hill House, Sapiston with his parents; brothers Ben and George (both farm labourers) and Frank[6] born Higham; sisters Gladys and Ivy [8] born Wickhambrook. One sibling had died, apparently Susannah in 1906.

Enlisted in Honington, given as resident in Bury St.Edmunds.
The war diary is very comprehensive see here but in summary:
The attack at Cherisy began in some confusion due to darkness and the rear waves catching up with the leading waves, despite which their first objective was reached, a few prisoners taken, some dead and many managing to slip away in the dark. With a rolling shrapnel barrage the attack was made on the final objective, the enemy again retreating. By 6.45 am the final objective had been taken and some were actually in Cherisy village.
Around 7:45 the Germans were seen in the sunken road south of Cherisy and despite machine gunning them they got into the south of the village and then started a barrage and counter attack to recapture Cherisy, this they accomplished and the battalion had to retire to their support line. The casualties were reported as 13 officers and 381 other ranks. Lt. Col A.P.B. Irwin was less than happy in his report of the operation

CWGC puts the dead at 55, of which only 3 have an identified grave, the rest are named on the Arras memorial.

The Bury Free Press of 16thMarch 1918 reported:-

it is with regret we announce the death of Prvt Albert Cooper, No.5191, East Surrey Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Cooper of Hill House, Sapiston who was killed in action on May 3rd 1917, whilst on service in France. Prvt Cooper was officially reported missing on May 3rd 1917, and until quite recently hopes had been entertained that good news would be heard of him.but on March 3rd official intimation came that he was killed on the same date he was reported missing. The deceased was 24 years of age. He had seen much service on the Western Front and came home on his first and last leave in December 1916.........Mr and Mrs Cooper have two other sons with the colours, the eldest being in on active service in Palestine, whilst the youngest is in training at Aldershot.

The sunken road mentioned above

photo: Rodney Gibson

Albert Cooper is commemorated on the Arras memorial, bay 6

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