war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War I



Surnames C (part 2 of 3)
(Surnames C (part 1 of 3, C to Clac) are here, Surnames C (part 3 of 3, Cop to end) are here)

FG Clarett, Westbury Hotel, by Simon ChambersClarett, F. G. 
Frederick George Clarett, M2/0507(9)05, was a Private in the Royal Army Service Corps (Motor Transport). He died on Christmas Day, 1917, at the Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich, from injuries received in France. He was 26. He is buried at St James Cemetery in Dover, the United Kingdom.

He was born and enlisted in Dover. He was the second son of Mr and Mrs George Clarett, from the Westbury Hotel, Dover


note: Pvt Clarett is the only person with this surname to be recorded by Soldiers Died as having died in WWI

T H Claringbould, cross in cemetery, Mount Hope, by Graydon JonesClaringbould, T. H.  (note, his name on the memorial appears after William Clark)
Thomas Henry Claringbould, 305063, was the son of Thomas Richard and Emily Claringbould, of 142 Heathfield Avenue, Dover, and had emigrated to Canada to work as a Farmhand.

general view of Mount Hope, with pvt Claringbould's grave in foreground, by Grahdon Jones On 23rd October 1915 he enlisted as a Private in the Central Ontario Regiment (Canadian Infantry), the 4th battalion. He was then 23 years and 8 months, and was recorded as being five feet nine and a half inches tall, with blue eyes and brown hair.

He was 27 when he died on Christmas Eve, 1919 at the General Hospital from an illness lasting just ten days, indirectly caused by the wounds he sustained in the Great War. His address was then given as (1)89 Darling Street. Two days later, on Boxing Day, his funeral procession, with his coffin borne by comrades, went from Mr and Mrs Harris' (his cousins) home, 175 Wellington Street, to the Brantford (Mount Hope) Cemetery in Canada.

He left a widow, whom he had married only two months before, on 22nd October, Emma née Wyatt, recently arrived from Marple, Cheshire, England. She later lived at 303 Wellington Street, Brantford, Ontario.

brant memorial detailThe cross on his grave reads:

In loving memory of
Pte. Thomas H. Claringbould
Passed away Dec 24 1919
in his 29th year
They Fought Suffered And Died
That we might live


Brant memorial

Thomas Claringbould is named on the Brant County War Memorial, Ontario (left, and detail above, left)..



with thanks to Graydon Jones for the grave pictures. Pte Claringbould's grave is in section IW W1/ 7-14 grave 6

with thanks to Bill Bowman for the Brant County memorial pictures

see also newspaper clippings on the Canadian Virtual Memorial


Clark, J. 
John Jack Clark, 28828, was a Private in the 11th battalion of the Border Regiment (formerly G/86931 Middlesex). He was killed in action on 25th November 1917, when he was 20. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial in Belgium.

He was born and enlisted in Dover, and was the son of Frederick and Rachel Clark, from 4 Russell Place, Dover. In 1911 Mr Clark was working as a platelayer, and John's elder brothers, Richard, aged 28 and Henry, aged 25, were working as bird catchers. John had also two elder sisters, Rachel, aged 20, a shop assistant in the general bazaar, and Sarah, a day girl in domestic service. John himself was then 14 and working as an errand boy for green groceries. He had a younger brother too, Frederick, aged 12.

photo Jean Marsh

Clark, P.
Percy John Clark, 23136, came from Whitfield, Dover, and was a Second Lieutenant in No 5 Company, the New Zealand Machine Gun Corps. He had been Mentioned in Dispatches and had served in Egypt.

He was killed in action on 11 October 1917, aged 23.  He is commemorated at Tyne Cot, in the NZ Apse, Panel 9.

photo Jean Marsh

Hagle Dump. by Peter Bates  Clark, P. J. 
Percy John Clark, G/8004, was a Serjeant in A company of the 10th battalion of the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He was killed in action on 27th April 1918, when he was 31. He is buried at the Hagle Dump Cemetery, Belgium.ClarkPJ, fourth from left, by Peter Bates



He was born in Penge, Kent, and lived and enlisted at Broadstairs, Kent.

Left, his gravestone, fourth from left, above, Hagle Dump - Serjeant Clark's grave is to the left, approximately beneath the line of the second tree. Pictures by Peter Bates

F H ClarkFH Clark, Dover ExpressClark(e), F.
Frederick Henry Clark, 17949, was born on 23 March 1885 at Buckland, Dover, to James Edward Clark and his wife Martha Lock, née Carswell. The couple had married at St James on 2 January 1865.

Mr Clark was a gardener, as was his father Richard before him. In 1871 Mr Clark was also sexton, and the family were living at the St James Cemetery gatekeeper's residence, Copt Hill Road, Dover. Frederick too, in 1901, was also working as a non-domestic gardener, as was his brother William. By 1911, however, with a wife, Nellie Elizabeth, née Harvey, born 5 January 1886, whom he had married in 1879, and a new son, also Frederick Henry, born in 1908, Frederick was a milkman and diary worker. They were then living at 4 St Bartholomew's Place. Frederick later worked for Messrs G and A Clark's nurseries.

Frederick had nine brothers and sisters; a further sibling had died early. They were James Richard, born 1865, Annie Isabel, born 23 August 1867, Thomas Edward, born 11 October 1869, Charlotte Elizabeth, born 27 July 1871, and Martha Eleanor or Ellen, born about 1874. She married Herbert S Hunt on 5 August 1918 at St Mary's, Walmer.

These children were followed by Flora Jane, born 1876, who married Harry Richard Baker in 1899, William Arthur, born 17 February 1879, Louisa Maria, born 4 June 1881, who married Richard Edward Blay on 20 May 1908 at the Wesleyan Centenary Church, Dover (her father was then described as a florist), Then Frederick Henry, and finally Cecilia Catherine, born 1888, and who married John Smith on 1 January 1921 at Charlton church. The family were living at 27 George Street while Frederick was growing up; in 1881 they had been recorded at number 16.

Frederick enlisted in Canterbury in May 1916, becoming a Private in the 8th battalion of the East Surrey Regiment. He was 32 when he died on 1st March 1917, killed in action by a shell, which burst on an advanced post based in a former shell hole. His wife and son then lived at 7 York Place.

When his lieutenant wrote to his widow, he said that Fred "fell doing his duty in a war which claims everyone, and in saving England from the desolation which is spread over Northern France. He was one of the many who had to take up military duties at a more advanced age than is usual, and he endured the many hardships out here without complaining."  A comrade, writing to Mrs Clark, says that Fred "died as a soldier at his post, doing his duty for his family and country". He is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, France, pier and face 6B and 6C.

Fred, son, and Dot, fianceeMrs Clark remarried in 1918 and became Mrs Henry E Cooper, living at 162 Southwood Road, St Lawrence, Ramsgate. Mr Cooper was born on 9 December 1888 and in 1939 was a general labourer, living with his wife at 41 Limekiln Street. The couple had a daughter, Millie Matilda, in 1919.

Mr James Clark died on 19 May 1916. Mrs Martha Lock Clark died on 30 December 1927; she is buried at Charlton. Mrs Nellie Cooper died in 1951 in Diss, Norfolk.

picture lower left: Fred, his son, on the occasion of his engagement to Dot, lower right, Mrs Cooper, formerly Clark

with thanks to Mrs V Bale

Note: Mrs Nellie Clark, later Cooper, was christened at St John the Mariner, Dover, on 3 February 1886. The names given then were Nellie Catherine, which were also the names appearing in the birth register index. She was the daughter of bricklayer Charles Henry Harvey and his wife Fanny Catherine of 23 Tower Hamlets Street, and in 1901 was a domestic servant. When she married Frederick Clark, she was named as Nellie Elizabeth in the register, and as Nellie E in the register when she married Henry Cooper. In the 1911 census she is recorded as Ellen; in the 1939 register it is possible she is "Nellie C".

(We Remember 06)

Clarke, W. 
William Clarke S/8175, was a Private in the 24th company of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He died of uraemia 6 November 1919, when he was 35. He is buried at the Alexandria  (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt (G24). 

He was the son of Alice Clarke, of 161 Clarendon Place, Dover, and the late Edward Dixon Clarke. Mrs Clarke stated that he had enlisted in Dover on 15 November 1902, had served in France in 1914, and in Egypt from 1916 to 1919.

ST Claw, courtesy Dover ExpressClaw, S. T. 
Sydney Thomas Claw, 186777, was an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. Born on 25 June 1880, he served in the Boer War aboard HMS Powerful - the guns of which helped relieve the Siege of Ladysmith. AB Claw lost his life still on service, when the Aboukir was torpedoed on 22nd September 1914. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, United Kingdom.

His parents were Mr Andrew Edward and Mrs Jane Claw, née Potter, from 8 (or 18) Trevanion Street. In 1891 Mr Claw was 36 and working as a barge waterman and fisherman, while Sidney's elder brothers, William, 16, and Andrew, 14, were working as a billiard marker and a port errand boy respectively. Sidney was then 10, and had two younger brothers, Walter, 8, and Douglas, 2. The family were living at 1 Trevanion Lane. By 1901 Sidney was aboard HMS Minerva, serving in Gibraltar.

In 1911 he was at home at 2 Clarence Cottages, Woolcomber Street, with his parents and his brother Douglas, a general labourer. Later that year Sydney married Emily Ann Standing in Dover. She and their son, Sydney Thomas Claw, born in 1913, lived at 7 Trevanion Place, Dover.

Sidney's brother, Walter Edward (Joe) Claw, served at the Front as a driver with the Royal Field Artillery. They were uncles to William Claw, below.

WH Claw, courtesy Dover ExpressClaw, W. H. 
William Henry Claw, J30330, was a First Class Boy in the Royal Navy. Born in Dover on 10 December 1897, he died at the age of 17 when HMS Clan McNaughton was lost with all 261 aboard off Ireland on 3 February 1915. William is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

He was born in Dover, and his mother was Ellen Elizabeth Claw, née Greenstreet, from 128 Union Road. In 1911 the family were living at 116 Union Road, and at home with William were his brothers Andrew, 11, Sidney Thomas, 4, and George, 1, and his sisters Ellen, 9, and Jane, 6. His father, William Henry Claw was serving on the "Onward", and was the brother of Sidney Claw, above.

Mrs Claw died on 11 December 1949 at Buckland Hospital, Dover.

J Clifton, courtesy Dover ExpressClifton, J. 
John Edward Clifton, L/10250, served as a Private in the 7th battalion of the Buffs. He was reported killed on 1st July 1916. He is buried at the Dive Copse British Cemetery, Sailly-le-Sec in France.

He was born, enlisted, and lived in Dover, and was the fourth son of Mr and Mrs H Clifton of Hardwicke Road, Maxton, and his father and three elder brothers were all also serving.


AW Clitheroe, courtesy Dover ExpressClitheroe, A. W. 
Alfred Walter Clitheroe, 267162, was a Private in the 1st/7th battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derby Regiment). He was killed at the Front on 24th April 1917. In the front line with a Lewis gun team, he was struck by a flying fragment from a shell bursting close by, and he was killed instantly. He is buried in Canadian Cemetery No 2, Neuville-St.Vaast, France. 

He was born and enlisted in Dover, and was the eldest son of Mr James G and Mrs Margaret Clitheroe, from 8 Woolcomber Lane, Dover. Mr Woods in 1901 was a stationery engineer at the Tannery Works in Dover, and Alfred was a house painter and builder. Living at home with them were two other brothers, George, aged 25, a driver of an engine, and Edward, aged 8, and two sisters, Rose, 17, and Ellen, 13. The whole family was born in Dover.

The Chaplain who wrote to Alfred's parents after his death said, "He was a good man and a brave soldier who always did his duty."

Cloke, A. G. 
Arthur George Cloke, G/40915, was in the 4th battalion of the Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex) Regiment (formerly 2304 Royal Field Artillery). He was killed in action on 31st July 1917, when he was 31. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Belgium.

He was born and enlisted in Dover and his parents were Alexander and Mary Ann Cloke, from 5 De Burgh Street, Dover, and his wife was Eveline Ethel Cloke, of 7 Bartholomew Street, Dover.

Cole, J. 
John Cole, 5354, was born in Dover, and lived at 11 Hawkesbury Street. He was the son of Joseph Cole, a general labourer in 1891, and his wife Martha. He had an elder sister, Alice. In 1898, at the age of 64, Mr Cole died, and by 1901 John had become a pupil and Boy in the army, residing at Twickenham.Ten years later he was in Colchester, a Private and a Musician in the 2nd Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment, 

He became an Acting Regimental Company Serjeant Major in the 2nd battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own). He was reported wounded and missing, and then as killed in action on 28th March 1918 and is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France.

He was said to have been greatly respected in his regiment, in which he had served a great number of years, having been enlisted in York at the age of 14 by his brother-in-law, Colour Sergeant Biffin. CS Biffin served with him at York for a short time, and then CSM Cole joined the 2nd Battalion, giving them service of nearly 20 years. He was in the band, and when the Great War began he was promoted Sergeant Drummer.

He went with the battalion to France in November 1914, and had stayed there until he died. He was promoted Warrant Officer (2nd Class), and later Regimental Sergeant Major. He was mentioned in dispatches the day before he died for having shown great ability, courage, and resource in the handling of troops. The infantry on the left of the battalion began to withdraw, and RSM Cole immediately collected a number of men from various units in Rosiers, and posted them on the outskirts of the village to fill the gaps. His prompt action and energy was considered of the greatest value to his battalion.

Coleman, J. E. T. 
James Edward Thomas Coleman, 210882, lived and enlisted in Dover, and was a Gunner in B battery, 10th Brigade, the Royal Horse Artillery/Royal Field Artillery. He died on 25 August 1917, and is buried at the Voormezeele Enclosures Nos 1 and 2 in Belgium.

He was the son of James Coleman and Mercy Ann née Coade, who married in 1889. His mother, from 43 George Street, Dover, asked for his name and the name of his brother, below, to be placed on the Town Memorial. In 1911 the family were living at Erith Street.

Coleman, J. M.
John Morris Coleman, L/9832, was a Private in the 1st battalion of the Buffs. He died of wounds on 24 September 1914, and is buried at the Vailly British Cemetery in France.

He was born at St Margaret's, and lived in Buckland, Dover, and enlisted in Dover. In 1911 the family were living at 10 Erith Street, with Mr Coleman working as a general labourer. There were then nine children at home; James, above, who also fell in the Great War, was aged 19 and a labourer for a brick merchant. John, was aged 18, and a labourer, then there were Charles, aged 16, a sailor, Daisy, aged 12, and Lily, aged 10. They were born at St Margaret's, while the next son, William, aged 7, was born at River, the next two children, Elsie, aged 5, and Edward, aged 3, were born at St Radigund's Abbey, and the youngest daughter, May, aged 1, was born in Dover. Three other children died infancy.

Charles was working as a labourer at Dover Golf Club when he was 18, and he survived the Great War. On 12 June 1915 at Holy Trinity he marred Eliza Elizabeth Gatehouse, the daughter of Joseph and Margaret Gatehouse, who, in 1911 were living at 9 Middle Row. He was then living at 27 Tower Hill, Dover. On 26 November 1915 he was attested into the Royal Engineers. At his request he then went on 14 February 1916 to the Inland Waterways Transport. On 12 October 1919 he was demobilised to the Class Z Army Reserve.

Coley, W. J. 
William John Coley was a (2nd) Lieutenant in the 1st battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment. He was 25 when he was killed in action on 15th July 1916. He is buried at Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension in France.

His parents were Major W and Mrs A E Coley, from 91 Birkbeck Road, Enfield, Middlesex. He came from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.  

G Collard gravestone, by Simon Chambers

Collard, G.   
George Collard, 910781, was born in Alkham on Boxing Day 1878, the son of George and Eleanor Collard. He was in 1911 a bricklayers' labourer for government contractors, and with his wife Rose Ellen, née Rabjohns, had two children, Frederick George, born in 1908, and Amy Rose, born 1910. The family were living at 37 River Street, River, Dover.

George's mother died in 1912, as did, very sadly, Mrs Collard at the aged of 27. George may have remarried, as reports suggest that when he died he left a wife and children. Probably his new wife was Gertrude Stokes, who married a George Collard in Dover in 1914. They had two sons, Percival, born in 1915,  and Ronald Collard, born in 1917.

George enlisted for the Great War in Dover, and was a Gunner in the 340th battery, 337th brigade, of the Royal Horse Artillery/Royal Field Artillery (territorial force). He was 39 when he died suddenly on 29th January 1917 at the Military Hospital, Canterbury. He is buried at River Parish church, Dover.

Comper, E.
Ernest James Comper, 184365, was born at Horsham on 24 November 1879. He was a 2nd Class Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and was aboard HM Trawler Princess Beatrice when he was killed by a mine explosion off the Belgian Coast on 5th October 1914. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, United Kingdom, panel 1.

Ernest was married, to Alice Jenny Comper, from 49 Hambro Road, Streatham, London. In 1911 he was a labourer, living with his wife at 19 Hambro Road, Streatham. They then had a baby daughter, Doris, just three months old.

He was the son of Harry Comper, from the Dover Institute, Biggin Street, and his late wife Mary Ann,  She died in 1880, possibly through childbirth as an infant, Edward Henry, died at the same time.

Harry Comper may have been the stepfather of George Simmons 

Edward Henry Comper was born in 1853 at Horsham, Sussex, and was the son of Ann Comper, a laundress and a widow. He had an elder brother, William. Mrs Comper remarried in 1863 to John Langley and they had two sons, John, born in 1863,and James, born in 1865. Their father died in 1867, at the age of 39. Mrs Langley continued living at New Street, Horsham, working as a laundress. In 1871 William  were still living with her, working as a labourer and  a saddler respectively.

Mr Comper served as 43404 in the Royal Artillery, joining at Dover Castle on 11 July 1884 and travelling as far as Jamaica. . He had previously been working as a labourer.  In the 1891 census he was given as a single man, a Gunner in the Royal Artillery, and living at Dover Castle Military Station Barracks.  Just afterwards, on 27 July 1891, he married Sylvia Ann Simmons at St Mary's. He was living at 13 Castlemount Cottages and she at 7 Worthington Street, Dover.

Cook, G.
Thomas Godfrey Cook, G/20826, was a Private in The Buffs, 7th battalion. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Belgium. The CWGC records him as having died on 11 July 1917.

Thomas was born in Dover and christened at Christchurch, Hougham, on 2 August 1891. His parents, Thomas James and Elizabeth Mary Cook, then lived at Clairville, Priory Hill, Dover. Mr Cook was a master mariner, and recorded in the 1891 census as aboard the paddle steamer Samphire on the channel mail service, probably as mate. The couple had married on 25 June 1890 at Holy Trinity, Dover; Mr Cook, 32,  was living at 7 Templar Street, and was the son of Thomas Cook, a retired grocer.  The then Miss Bourdeaux, 31, lived at 7 Clarence Place and was the daughter of John Bourdeaux, a civil engineer

In 1911 Thomas Godfrey Cook was working as a bank clerk, boarding with naval pensioner W H Turner and his wife Kate at 18 The Crescent, Maidenhead. He enlisted in Stratford, and his home address was given as Leytonstone, where his mother lived. Thomas was brother to Sydney, below

death announcement 31 August 1917
photo of detail from Menin Gate by Jean Marsh

Cook, S. B. 
Sydney Bourdeaux Cook, 3131, was a Rifleman in the 1st/12th (County of London) battalion of the London Regiment (the Rangers), having enlisted voluntarily in September 1914 at their headquarters in Chenies Street, London. He was assigned to the 2nd battalion for training.

He remained at home between 10 September 1914 and 17 April 1915, suffering a confinement to barracks for one day for parading with a dirty rifle on 16 March 1915. He embarked at Southampton for France with a reinforcement draft on 18 April. He joined the 1st Battalion (1st Rangers) in the field on 26 April. On 8 May  1915 he was missing in action, presumed killed during the action on Frezenberg Ridge, during the Second Battle of Ypres. He was 19. His body was never recovered, and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate.

He lived in Leytonstone, and he was the son of Elizabeth Mary Cook, of 4 Cromwell Villas, Barclay Road or 51 Barclay Road, Leytonstone, London, and the late Thomas James Cook. He had been born at sea aboard the Oronsay in about 1895.

He was the brother of Thomas, above, and of Madeline and Winifred. He may have had another brother. Their father, Thomas, died aboard the Cambus-Kenneth on 18 December 1903, aged 46; his address at probate was  given at 45 Buckland Avenue, Dover.

with thanks to Ajax Badrick

Cook, W. 
W. Cook. This could be William Cook, CH/406S, RMLI, born 11 January 1894 in Ireland. He died between 11 and 13 May 1915. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

His mother, Alice Cook, lived at 33 Montrose Cottages, Manor Road, Dover

Cooke, C. F.  
Charles Frederick Cooke, 161513. he had been a cab driver/groom. He became a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, aboard the HMS "Vanguard". He had a long service and good conduct medal. Born on 19 March 1876 in London, he was 43 when he died on 9th July 1917. He was commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

He was the husband of Emma Mathers Cooke, of 21, Paulsgrove Road, Northend, Portsmouth. His parents were  Charles and Emma Cooke, of London. Charles senior originally came from Hanton in Lincolnshire, and Emma from Somerset. In 1891 the family were living at 11 St James Street, Dover, with Mr Cooke working as a cab driver.

He was brother to Frank, Frederick, and Harry, a port errand boy in 1891, also lost. Three other brothers, Joseph, Albert, and Arthur, survived the Great War.

(We Remember 06)

with thanks to Richard McVey

Cooke, F.  
Frank Cooke, 212418. Before enlisting he was a Mason's Labourer, working on the Dover Breakwater. He enlisted on 25 November 1916, and became a Sapper in the 429th Field Company, Royal Engineers. He died of gun shot wounds, which he had received in the 3rd battle of Ypres, on 7th January 1918 in 7 General Hospital. He was 37/38. He now lies at Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France.

Frank was born and enlisted in Dover. He was a brother to Charles, Frederick, and Harry, below, and the husband of Eleanor Frances Cooke, née Kemp, born at Goodnestone, of 158, Union Rd., Dover, whom he had married on 1 August 1903. The couple had three children, Eva Flora, born ion 30 June 1904, Leonard Frank, born 2 May 1907, and Eleanor Violet Emma, born on 23 March1912.

In 1911 the family were living at 6 Perseverance Cottages, Union Road, Dover, and Frank was working as a mason's labourer. In 1901 Frank was living at home with his parents at 5 St James Street, still working as a mason's labourer, as was his brother Arthur, then 17. Two other brothers, Albert Frederick,  and Frederick, 3. were also there, with sisters Emma, 15, Alice, 13, and Alma Helena Eva, 9, all born in Dover.

(Exhibition 06)
(We Remember 06)

Cooke, F
Frederick Cooke, 400970. He was a farmer before he became a Private in the 10th battalion of the Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment). On enlistment he was 5 feet 4 inches tall, and described as having grey eyes and dark brown hair.

He died of wounds on 16 April 1916, at the age of 18, and lies at Lijssenthoek cemetery. Belgium.  He was the son of Charles and Emma Cooke, of Dover, England, and brother to Charles, Harry, and Frank

(We Remember 06)

Cooke, H.   
Harry Cooke, 176138. He was a First Class Stoker in the Royal Navy, on the HMS "Russell", after having worked as an errand boy. In 1901 he was aboard the "Terrible" at Weihaiwei, China. He died at the age of 38 on 27 April 1916.  He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

Born on 13 September 1978 at Godstone, Surrey, he was the son of Charles and Emma Cooke, and the husband of Martha J. Cooke, of "The Rosary," Collingwood Road, Witham, Essex. She was informed of his death at Railway Cottages, Mount Messing, Siding Hutton, Essex.

Charles, Frederick, and Frank, above, were his brothers. Mrs Beer, of 5 St James Street, their sister, asked for their names to be placed on the Town Memorial.

(We Remember 06)

Coombe. E. B.
Ernest Boucher Coombe, 11797, was a Private in the 9th battalion of Devonshire Regiment. He is commemorated on the War Memorial on the last panel to be added, in the 1990s, and more about him is here.

Born at Torre, Torquay, in Devon, he enlisted at Poplar, Middlesex. He died of wounds on 11th November 1915, and is buried at the Bethune Town Cemetery, France, IV F 90 

H P Coomber

Coomber, H. P.
Henry P. Coomber was a Leading Stoker who survived the raid at Zeebrugge, on the HMS Vindictive. He was in the West Indies at the outbreak of the war, and then at Mexico on one of HM's ships, sent home, transferred to another, and then went to the Dardanelles, and was present at the evacuation of Gallipoli. 

He was injured in the Zeebrugge Raid, and was said to have been "never right" subsequently. He died at the Royal Naval Hospital in Great Yarmouth on 14th May 1922.

He was the son of Mrs Catherine Jane Wood, from 11 Bulwark Street, Dover. She had remarried to Thomas Wood, an army pensioner born in Kenton, Devon.

*Coombs, E.
Ernest Gerald Constantine Coombs,
J/20903, was an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal Navy, aboard HMS Natal. On 30 December 1915, while the captain was host to a party on board, the vessel suddenly exploded and then sank. Probably the explosions occurred in the ammunition on board, possibly owing to faulty cordite. 408 crew were lost, of whom 299, like Ernest, are commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, United Kingdom, panel 10. Some women and children were also lost.

Ernest was born at Deal on 23 July 1896, and when he died his mother, Alice Amelia, née Kinnear, who was born in France but was a British subject, was living at 14 Leighton Road, Dover. His father, Ernest Frederick, was a Sergeant in the Royal Marines Light Infantry in 1901, when the family were living at Old Stairs, Ringwould, Kent. They then had five children; Ernest was the third son and fourth child. By 1911 the family were living at Leighton Road, and Mr Coombs was working as a canteen manager for a provision merchant. The couple had married in 1889 and there were at least twelve children in the family: Ivy Ada E, born in 1891, Ernest William Geoffrey, 1894, Henry Aubrey A, 1895, then Ernest, followed by  Neville Cideric, about 1900,  Philip Cyril F, about 1902, Iris Gertrude R A, 1903, Phyllis Marjorie, 1904, Doris Adrienne N, 1905,  Barbara Muriel, about 1907, Raymond Douglas, 1908,  and Olive Lilian, 1909. Two further children had died before 1911.

In Memoriam notices were inserted in the local paper each year; in 1934 one read, "In ever loving memory of our dear laddie, Ernest Coombs, lost on HMS Natal, December 30th, 1915, aged 19 years".

Ernest's father is also buried in a war grave, at Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent, grave E935. He was 49 when he died from disease on 13 February 1917, with the rank of Pensioner Sergeant in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, no CH/2538. His grave is right. On the foot of his headstone are the words, "Alice his wife 8th September 1954 age 89. Raymond their son 1st May 1921 age 12".

The further stone, in front of the headstone, reads, "Olivia Gittins, born 1 November 1909, youngest daughter of Frederick and Alice Coombs, died 3 June 1996".


This casualty could also be: Ernest Augustus Coombs, 38488, who was a Gunner in the RHA/RFA, and died of wounds on 25th September 1914. He was born in London and enlisted in Dover. See also the Mark Frost pages for two other suggestions.

a picture of the Natal is available - 2492/58

*Cooper, A. 
Albert Edward Cooper, A/200306, was a Rifleman in the 11th battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps, and previously in the 2/4th Buffs. On 13th August 1917, he was killed in action after 12 months at the Front, when he was 21. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Belgium.  

He was born and lived in Dover, but enlisted at Canterbury. His parents were Frank and Matilda Ann Cooper, from 8 Limekiln Street.

This could be instead Royal Navy Leading Stoker Arthur William Cooper, K/10234, from the HMS Invincible. He was killed in action at the age of 23 at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval memorial.

He was the son of Henry and Emily Cooper, from 9 Guildford Lawn, Liverpool Street, Dover, and came from St Helen's, the Isle of Wight. 

Surnames C (part 1 of 3 - C to Clac) are here
Surnames C (part 3 of 3 - Cop to end) are here

Copyright 2006-15 © Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved