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  • Buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Cotham Nottinghamshire
James was the youngest son of Henry George Cope and his wife Ann (née Howden). Henry George was born in Newark in about 1854 and his wife Ann Terrace Howden was born in Pastney, Lincolnshire, in about 1853. They were married in 1873 (reg. Louth Lincolnshire) and according to the 1911 Census when they had been married for 37 years they had had ten children of whom only six were still living. The census returns between 1881 and 1911 record seven children: Elizabeth b. 1878 Beeston Nottingham d. 1888 (reg. Newark); Emma b. 1881 Carlton Scroop Lincolnshire; Annie Eliza b. 1883 Carlton Scroop bap. Carlton Scroop October 1883; Ethel b. Newark birth registered 1886 (J/F/M); Henry and Thomas b. Sibsey Lincolnshire births registered 1891 (J/F/M) and James b. 1893 Cotham. In 1881 Henry senior, a railway signalman for the Great Northern Railway, was living at Carlton Lodge, Carlton Scroop, Lincolnshire, with his wife Ann and their daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth died 7 years later in 1888 when she was 10 years old. By 1891 the couple were living on Station Road, Sibsey, Lincolnshire; Henry was still employed by GNR as a signalman. Henry and Ann now had five children: Emma, Annie, Ethel and twin sons Henry and Thomas, both four months old. Henry had moved to Cotham by 1901 and was living at Cotham Station, where he worked as a signalman, with his wife and three sons, Henry, Thomas and James. Their two eldest daughters had left home and were in domestic service. Emma was a housemaid in the household of William Roberts, a retired grocer, and his wife at Acacia House, High Road, Beeston, Nottingham, while her younger sister Ethel was a domestic servant in the household of Thomas Beecroft and his brother Albert, both toy and fancy good dealers, at 20 Zulla Road, Nottingham. The third daughter, Annie Eliza, has not yet been traced on either the 1901 or 1911 Census. Henry and his wife were still living at Cotham in 1911 but only Thomas, a labourer at a 'plaster pit', was still in the family home. Henry's three daughters and youngest son James have not yet been traced on the 1911 Census, but Henry, a railway engine cleaner, was living on Bourne Street, Netherfield, Nottingham, in the home of his uncle, James Cope and his wife Hannah. James was living at 44 Wilford Crescent West, Meadows, Nottingham, at the time of his death. His mother Ann died in 1914 (reg. Newark) at the age of 61 while his father Henry died in 1919 (reg. Nottingham) at the age of 65. A notice of Henry jnr's death in 1915 gave their father's home as Cotham but the later CWGC record gave his address as 10 New Road, Balderton, Newark. His twin brothers were also killed in the war. (See 'Extra information')
07 Apr 1917
2939317 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in Newark.
Lance Corporal
2/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
2/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) The 2/8th Battalion was a Territorial Force battalion formed at Newark in September 1914. It served in Ireland during the Easter Rising in April 1916 (178th Brigade, 59th Division), returning to England in January 1917. The battalion moved to France on 26 February 1917 and was in action during the pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line (14 March-5 April 1917). James was killed in action on 7 April 1917 and is buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France (grave ref II.C.45). The cemetery was not begun until August 1917 and it is likely that James' grave was brought in after the Armistice (see below). CWGC - History of Vadencourt British Cemetery (extract): The village of Maissemy is about 5km from St. Quentin and about 2km from Vermand. 'Maissemy passed into British hands in 1917. It was captured by the enemy on the 21st March 1918, in spite of a strong resistance by the 24th Division and the 2/4th Royal Berks, and retaken by the 1st Division on the following 15th September ... Vadencourt British Cemetery (called at first Vadencourt New British Cemetery) was begun in August 1917, by fighting units, and used until March 1918 ... These original graves are in Plots I-III. After the Armistice these plots were enlarged, and Plots IV and V made, by the concentration of graves from the surrounding battlefields and from a few small burial grounds.' (www.cwgc. org)
His brother Thomas served in the 1/8th Bn Sherwood Foresters (2832 Private) and was killed in action in France on 24 June 1916. Buried Fonquevillers Military Cemetery). He left a widow and one child. (See record on the Roll of Honour) His brother Henry served in the 2nd Bn Bedfordshire Regiment (14460 Private) and was killed in action in France on 25 September 1915. Buried Vermelles British Cemetery, France. (See record on this Roll of Honour) Nottingham Evening Post, 'Roll of Honour', 24 May 1917: 'Cope. Killed in action, April 7th, Lance-Corpl. James Cope, Sherwood Foresters, Christ will link the broken chain, closer when we meet again. From his sorrowing sisters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 24 May 1917: ‘Cope. Killed in action, April 7th, Lance-Corpl. James Cope (Jim), Sherwood Foresters. Midnight stars shine on the grave, of the one I loved but could not save. In much sorrow, Lucy.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 14 June 1917, photograph with caption: ‘L-Cpl. J Cope (8.F) 44 Wilford-cres. W. Nottm, killed in action April 7th (third brother to fall).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 8 April 1918: ‘Cope. In loving memory of Lce-Cpl. James Cope, killed in action April 7th, 1917. Fondly remembered – Lucy.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father, Henry, was his sole legatee.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    James Cope - Buried in Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France. (www.cwgc.org)
  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 14 June 1917. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
    James Cope - Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 14 June 1917. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)