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Fallen soldier named on two war memorials in Cheshire

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Fallen soldier named on two war memorials in Cheshire

Postby JaneyH » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:47 pm

I've just discovered via a thread on the Great War Forum that my husband's great uncle, Edward Moseley Cope, was commemorated on the war memorial in the village of Wybunbury in Cheshire. (A community group has been researching all the names and has compiled a book of their work.) Back at Christmas 2014 we were visiting relatives in Cheshire and thought we would pay our respects at the local war memorial commemorating Edward. However, having compared my photos with those on the Wybunbury website I realise they're completely different. It turns out we had visited the village of Wistaston, a few miles away. This means that Edward is commemorated twice.

Having read up a bit on the way in which war memorials were instigated after WW1 I appreciate that there were no hard and fast rules, and practices varied from one place to another. I just wondered whether anyone else had come across similar cases, or whether this is relatively unusual.


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Re: Fallen soldier named on two war memorials in Cheshire

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:27 pm

Do Wybunbury and Wistaston fall under the scope of the "Dear Mrs Jones" series of books? They include a lot of research into the war dead of Crewe and Nantwich.

As for specifics, my GF's family moved from nearby Nantwich to Haslington, a few miles away, during WW1. His elder brother, James Griffths was killed in the last 100 Days of the war. Jim is commemorated only on the Nantwich memorial. Two of their Purcell cousins were also killed and their family had moved during WW1 from Nantwich to Blackburn during WW1 (their father, Bill Purcell was a senior cutter in a firm making uniforms). The 2 Purcells are on Nantwich war memorial but they are also recorded on a memorial roll for Blackburn. Whether there is a stone version of that I don't know.

Another example is from the Great War Forum. This was about the time when people were campaigning for the commemoration of those "Shot At Dawn". Apparently one chap was campaigning for the inclusion of a soldier who'd been executed on their local memorial, claiming that those executed were denied commemoration. He was somewhat deflated to be told that firstly the poor chap executed was more associated with other villages and secondly that he was already on 2 memorials in those villages. So much for the idea that he'd been denied a memorial. (This enlightened view may not have been common).

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Fallen soldier named on two war memorials in Cheshire

Postby JaneyH » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:14 pm

Thanks, Adrian - I didn't realise you were local to Cheshire (*files this away for future reference*).

In this case the family had lived in the same place for many years, so it wasn't a case of moving house. The Cope family lived at Rope Hall near Nantwich, which the National Library of Scotland website show to be outside of any village, but roughly between Wybunbury and Wistaston. I've just checked back to my family tree and six of the Cope children were baptised at Wybunbury, although I can't find any baptism for Edward.

Edward's story is a sad one. After a transfer from the King's Liverpool Regiment and an officer cadetship he served as a 2nd Lieutenant on the Western Front with the North Staffordshire Regiment - in France, and at Ypres. He was taken prisoner of war at Bullecourt in March 1918 and arrived home in Cheshire for Christmas. He then went to serve with the British Army of the Rhine in Germany. In June 1919 he was accidentally shot dead by a fellow British soldier while on guard duty at a railway siding. I've recently been to the National Archives to read his officer file and the report of the enquiry into his death. He's buried far from home, in Cologne.


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Re: Fallen soldier named on two war memorials in Cheshire

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:04 pm

JaneyH wrote:... I didn't realise you were local to Cheshire ...

Curses! Hostage to fortune there! ;)

You may know this, but the latest book in the "Mrs Jones" series, Where the Fallen Live for Ever, by Mark Potts & Tony Marks, references Edward Cope - there's a picture of a group in the Kings Liverpool Regiment that apparently includes him (p.99), a pair of portraits specific to him (as a private in the KLR and as an officer in the North Staffs), along with his grave in its original form with a wooden cross (p.263) and information about his death, as you describe.

Having said that, it appears very difficult to find a copy - Abebooks, for instance, doesn't have it. (I think this is not the first time I've come to this conclusion - have we talked about him before??)
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Fallen soldier named on two war memorials in Cheshire

Postby JaneyH » Sat Sep 24, 2016 9:27 pm

Evening Adrian,

I may posted about Edward Cope before, although it's only this summer that I've really found out much about him.

That's a different book to the one I was directed to - something else to follow up! The Wybunbury war memorial project has apparently published a book called "In the Shadow of St. Chad's" - also by Mark Potts and Tony Marks. I've not been able to find it online so have emailed the village group directly in the hope of buying a copy.

I suspect that copies of the same photos have been handed down through several different branches of the family - we also have a picture of the original wooden cross marking Edward's grave in Cologne. There are several family trees on Ancestry all showing the same photos of the Cope family, originally added by my husband's cousin.


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Re: Fallen soldier named on two war memorials in Cheshire

Postby Jeanieallergy » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:07 am

It's surpisingly common to find the same person on more than one war memorial. Men were commemorated in the parish church where they lived, and also in the church(es) where they worshipped (this situation more commonly in a town with several churches). They might also be commemorated on a civic war memorial as well as church memorials, and many workplaces also had memorials or rolls of honour, as did schools and clubs. Most Macclesfield men were named on at least 3 memorials (parish church, town hall and Park Green cenotaph) and some are on as many as 6. Those who had links with a nearby village were also commemorated on that village's memorial.

For Macclesfield WWI information see http://www.macclesfieldreflects.org.uk
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