COPPARD Albert Victor

Category: Military
Rank: Acting Sergeant
Regiment or Ship: 2nd Bn Royal Sussex Regiment
Service Number(s): GSSR/828
Occupation: Butcher (1911 Census)
Date of Birth: 12.03.1887
Place of Birth: Battle, Sussex
Date of Death: 1969
Place of Death: Wycombe, Buckinghamshire Place of Burial / Memorials:

Not known.

Address: 15 Beaconsfield Road, Bexhill

Photos and newspaper articles

Family Information

Albert was born on 12th March 1887 and baptized on 3rd Jul 1887, in Ripe, Sussex. He married Ada Rose Willdigg in 1909; she was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, in 1886.

Parents:          George Coppard, born in 1850 in West Hoathly, Sussex and Ellen Elizabeth Baker, born 1851 in East Grinstead, Sussex. They were married in East Grinstead, in late 1874.


George Coppard                   born 1871, in West Hoathly, Sussex. W0188 COPPARD George

Ellen (Nellie) Coppard          born 1874, in West Hoathly, Sussex.

Sarah Ann Coppard              born 1877, in West Hoathly, Sussex.

William John Coppard          born 1879, in Forest Row, Sussex. W0190 COPPARD William John

Thomas Henry Coppard       born 1884, in Battle, Sussex. W0189 COPPARD Thomas Henry

Mabel Jane Coppard             born 1889, in Lewes, Sussex.

Edith Coppard                      born 1893, in Lewes, Sussex.

Edward Harold Coppard       born 1896, in Burgess Hill, Sussex. W0187 COPPARD Edward Harold

The only child found, of Albert and Ada Rose Coppard, is Dorothy Ada Coppard, born February 1911, in Bexhill, Sussex.

First World War Experience

Like most WW1 soldiers, Albert’s Service records haven’t survived so most of what follows has come from articles in the local newspapers during the War.

 Albert was originally a Territorial with the 5th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment (T) but transferred to the 2nd Battalion.

 Sometime in early February 1915, Albert was hit by a bullet, wounding him in one of his shoulders and one cheek. The wound was serious enough for him to be taken to a field hospital where he remained for treatment. It’s not known what action he may have been in when he was wounded.

In late March, 1916, Albert wrote a letter to his parents and in that letter he strongly expressed his feelings on how the war was progressing and his confidence that Britain would win within the coming year. He also strongly stressed the need for much stronger action to be taken against the enemy and how that should be carried out.

From a report in the “Bexhill Observer”, dated 28th October 1916, we learn that, by this date, he had been promoted Corporal, in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment

However, in an article in the Bexhill Chronicle dated 26th. May, 1917, his rank is given as “Scout-Sargent”.

Regarding the rank of “Scout-Sergeant”, each Company, within a Battalion, had four specially-trained “Scout-Sergeants” acting under a “Scout Officer”, and their jobs, in trench-warfare, were to carry out special reconnaissance at night, do observation work during the day, and to act as snipers. What they did depended on the nature of the fighting and what the Battalion Commander directed them to do.

The article of 26th May says that Albert was at the battles of Loos, the Aisne, Marne, Neuve Chappelle, and Vimy Ridge. In the very early days of the war he was also in the retreat from Mons. He had, apparently, during his time in the Army, been wounded three times (no details given) but had only been home on leave once.

 In 1918, according to the “Bexhill Observer”, Albert was awarded the Military Cross.

 But that wasn’t the last of awards for Albert, as the “Bexhill Observer”, of 4th January 1919, tells us that Albert had been mentioned in despatches, awarded a Belgian decoration, and in “further recognition of his services at the Front” was, now, to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Newspaper_Extracts The_Coppard_Brothers

Additional Information

Albert was baptized at the Church of St. John the Baptist, in Ripe, on 3rd July 1887. He survived the war but what happened to him, where he went afterwards, is not known until his death, in Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, appears on the national registers of deaths.

 In 1891, Albert’s father, George Coppard, was a Police Sergeant, living with his family in the Police Barracks, in St. John’s parish, in Lewes, Sussex. In 1901, he was an Estate Agent Manager, living in Beaconsfield Road, Bexhill.

 There were five Coppard brothers serving in the forces in WW1 as report in the “Bexhill Observer”, dated 28th October 1916:-


 Councillor and Mrs G. Coppard, of Beaconsfield-road, have five sons serving. They are George Coppard, sergeant-instructor, R. F. A.; William F. Coppard, corporal, 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers; Albert Victor Coppard, corporal 2nd Royal Sussex Regiment; Thomas H. Coppard, private, 11th Middlesex Regiment; Edward H. Coppard, private, Royal Suffolk Cyclist Corps.

Research has been carried out on all five sons and a short biography of each man appears on the “Access Centre” database, under the appropriate name.

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