Rank: Acting Corporal - Middlesex Regiment. Private - Machine Gun Corps.
Regiment or Ship: 11th Battalion Middlesex Regiment and Machine Gun Corps.
Service Number(s): 50050 – 11th Battalion Middlesex Regiment; 71507 - Machine Gun Corps.
Occupation: Outfitter’s Manager – 1911 Census.
Date of Birth: 1884
Place of Birth: Battle, Sussex
Date of Death: 25.08.1960
Place of Death: Bexhill Hospital. Place of Burial / Memorials:
Bexhill Cemetery (30th August 1960 in plot EEL11).
Address: 15, Beaconsfield Road, Bexhill on Sea
Photos and newspaper articles
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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
Albert Victor Coppard 12th March 1887 and baptized on 3rd Jul 1887, in Ripe, Sussex. W0186 COPPARD Albert Victor
Mabel Jane Coppard born 1889, in Lewes, Sussex.
Edith Eliza Coppard born 1893, in Lewes, Sussex.
Edward Harold Coppard born 1896, in Burgess Hill, Sussex. W0187 COPPARD Edward Harold
Thomas Henry Coppard married Eleanor Julia Mary Schindler in late 1911. Thomas died in 1960 and Eleanor in early 1963, in Oxford. No record of any children has been found.
First World War Experience
None of Thomas’s war records has been found so don’t appear to have survived the WW2 bombing in London. He is mentioned in two registers – The “ROLL OF INDIVIDUALS entitled to the Victory Medal and British War Medal granted under Army Orders 266 and 301”. Here it says: –
Regimental No.: 71507 Rank: Private Name: COPPARD, Thomas Henry
Units and Corps 50050 Middx R. A/Cpl: 71507 M. G. C.
Discharged P. 392 (xvi) 17. 6. 19
And on the register of those receiving the SILVER WAR BADGE.
During World War One, from September 1916 onwards, the British Military awarded a special “Silver War Badge”, together with an official certificate of entitlement, to service personnel who had been honourably discharged due to wounds or sickness.
This seems to have come about because some women had been presenting white feathers to apparently able-bodied young men who were not wearing the King’s uniform. For obvious reasons, the men were to wear the badge on the right breast of civilian clothing only; it was forbidden to wear it on a military uniform.
Thomas Coppard was discharged due to sickness and thus awarded such a badge – his entry, in the register entitled “ROLL OF INDIVIDUALS entitled to the “WAR BADGE” is given below:-
Regimental No. 71507 Rank Private Name Coppard Thomas Henry
Unit discharged from Machine Gun Corps No. of Badge and Certificate 519326
Date of Enlistment 8. 2. 16 Date of Discharge 17. 6. 19
Cause of Discharge Sickness
Whether served overseas Yes
The only other small bit of information that has been found on his war service comes from two newspaper reports.
The “Bexhill Observer”, on 28th October 1916, gave Thomas as being a private in the 11th Middlesex Regiment but, a year later, on 3rd November, 1917, it says, simply, that he was in the “Machine Gun Company” but no further information.
On the 3rd November, 1917, the “Bexhill Observer” reported that: –
“HOME ON LEAVE”
“Private T. H. Coppard, Machine Gun Company, son of Councillor G. Coppard, 15, Beaconsfield-road, is home from the Front for a few days’ leave. His brother, Private E. H. Coppard, has also been home from “Somewhere in England”, and returned yesterday (Friday).”
There were five Coppard brothers serving in the forces in WW1 as reported in the “Bexhill Observer”, dated 28th October 1916:-
COUNCILLOR’S FIVE SONS SERVING
Councillor and Mrs G. Coppard, of Beaconsfield-road, have five sons serving. They are George Coppard, sergeant-instructor, R. F. A.; William J. 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.
It seems that Thomas Henry Coppard returned to Bexhill after the war but where he lived and what he did has not so far been discovered.