Private 21714 William Rayner Cooper

Killed in Action Gallipoli on Friday, 6th August 1915, age unknown.
Commemorated on Panel 104 to 113 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.

Son of Mrs A. Cooper, 2 Orchard Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed Balkans, 15th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/697544/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
There is no trace of William "Raynor" Cooper. His mother is given as Mrs A. Cooper of 2 Orchard Street, this could POSSIBLY be
13 Gilbert Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton, Staffs.
Sarah Nicholls (80, Head, Widow, born Tipton), her daughter Ann Cooper (40, married, born Tipton) and Ann's children: William (18, born Tipton) and Charles (2 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
No trace could be found of William Raynor Cooper, and there are too many William Coopers to be identify him.

Personal Data

After William's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/9/10d (2 pounds,9 shillings and 10 pence); his War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly). These payments, identified in the Soldier's Effects papers, were not paid out as the authorities were unable to identify the location of the Next of KIn. The 'undisposed balance' was advertised in the London Gazette, but there is no evidence that it was ever claimed. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that William had enlisted within the 12 months prior to his death.

William's Medal Index Card suggests some confusion over the issue of his medals, possibly due to address changes. His mother had to request them in 1923 when her address was 2 Orchard Street, Burnt Tree, Tipton.

Action resulting in his death

Battle for Krithia Vineyard, 6th August 1915.
The 4th Worcesters were in action at Cape Helles in May 1915, but were withdrawn for a few days in a rest camp on Lemnos. They arrived back at 'W' Beach after dark on 28th July and moved to Gully Brach in preparation for action on 6th August. This was to be a subsidiary attack to the main attack from the Anzac area on the mountain of Sari Bair.

The 4th Worcesters, 800 strong, left the beach at 4.00am and moved into the assembly trenches. The Battle for Krithia Vineyard commenced at 2.20pm when the British guns started to fire, and the Turks immediately replied with shrapnel and high-explosive shells bursting all along the trenches.

In a letter written that day Ben Tromans of Cradley Heath described the scene as: "..it was not fit for a fly to get out of the trenches, for the shot and shells were flying everywhere, knocking the sand bags of the top of the trenches which we had to mount to get at the Turks".

At 3.50pm the battalion moved forward in four waves and as they crested a low rise they were cut down and what few men that reached the trenches were overcome by superior numbers of Turks in hand-to-hand fighting.

The casualties of the 4th Worcesters were given in the Regimental History as 16 Officers and 752 NCOs and Men wounded, killed or missing; this from an attacking force of approximately 800 men. During the night of 6th/7th August, a search of no-mans land brought in 300 wounded men. "Soldiers Died in the Great War" records that 359 Other Ranks were killed on 6th August, and many more would die from their wounds in subsequent days.

6 Tipton men were killed in action on that day: William Cooper, Eli Edwards, John Jackson, John Jarvis, Isaac Pagett, and David Summers, none have a known grave and all are commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

London Gazette Issue 29996 Page 2877 23rd March 1917
Soldier's Balances Undisposed Of.
List CCCCCI (501) of the Names of deceased soldiers whose Personal Estate is held for distribution amnongst the next of kin or others entitled:
Cooper W.R., Private, Worcestershire Regt. £2/9/10d.