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  • Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking his grave at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Bertie was born in 1884 the son of Eno Coupland and Julia Coupland (née Cole). Eno was born in New Leake, Lincolnshire, and Julia was born in Loughborough, Leicestershire, in 1847. Eno was a saddler and later, after moving to Nottingham, also an auctioneer. Eno and Julia were married in 1869 (registration district Spilsby, Lincolnshire). Both died before the 1911 Census so it is not known how many children they had but ten are named on the census between 1871 and 1911: Abraham Edward (b. 1870, Hogsthorpe Lincolnshire), Elizabeth/Lizzie (b. 1872, Holbeach, Lincolnshire), Nellie (b. 1874, Holbeach), Annie (b. 1876, Holbeach), Charlie (b. 1878, Holbeach), Pollie/Polly (b. 8 September 1880, Holbeach), George Eno (b. 1883 Nottingham), Bertie (b. 1884, Nottingham), Willie (b. 1887, Nottingham) and Harry (b. 1890, Nottingham). In 1871 Eno (28), who was a saddler, and Julia (23) were living on Boston Road, Holbeach, with their 8 month old son, Abraham. Also in the household on the night of the census was Eno's brother, Edward (16), and Joseph Bennett (20), both of whom were saddlers. Visiting the family was Eno's widowed mother, Elizabeth Coupland (59). By 1881 the family had moved to Nottingham and were living at 123 Carlton Road, Sneinton. Eno and Julia now had six children; Abraham (10), Lizzie (8), Nellie (6), Annie (4), Charles (2) and Pollie (6 months). Also in the household were Eno's mother, Elizabeth (70) and his sister, Louisa Coupland (33), both of whom were seamstresses, and his brother, Edward (26) who was working as a saddler, presumably with Eno. The family had moved again by the time of the 1891 Census and were living at 100 Canal Street, Nottingham. Eno was now described as a saddler and auctioneer. Nine children were still living at home: Lizzie (18) a lace maker, Nellie (16), Annie (14) a lace clipper, Charlie (12) an auctioneer's assistant, probably working with his father, Pollie (10), George (8), Bertie (5), Willie (3) and Harry (9 months). Their eldest son, Abraham, has not yet been traced on the 1891 Census or subsequent ones. It seems likely that Bertie's sister, Nellie, died the following year in 1892 (O/N/D) aged 18. His other sister, Annie, has not yet been traced on any census after 1891 nor has a record of her death been found. On the night of the 1901 Census Eno was at Chapel Hill, Huddersfield, a visitor in the household of three sisters, Mary Elizabeth Bestwick (29), the head of the household, Alice Bestwick (27) and Annie Bestwick (26) who were described as Temperance Hall keepers (own account). Eno's family home was now at 35 Waterway Street, Nottingham, and on the night of the census Julia was in the house with Lizzie, Pollie and George who were all working as shop assistants, Charlie, now a general dealer on his own account, Bertie a mechanic and Willie and Harry who were still at school. Also in the household was Julia's nine-year old grandchild, Agnes Lydia Coupland (b. 1891, d. 1951), who was Lizzie's daughter. On 17 May 1901, a few weeks after the census, Bertie's brother George enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (82288 Private) on a 12 year engagement (7 years with the Colours, 5 years in reserve). By November 1901 he was onboard SS Sicilia bound for Malta where he arrived on 30 November. In January 1902 he was found fit for service in China and served in Hong Kong from 1903 to 1904 followed by service in Singapore and Bangalore where he was stationed from at least 1906 until 1908. As might be expected from service overseas, George's army record shows a series of admissions to sick bay for a variety of illnesses. He probably left the Army sometime after serving in India as in 1911 he was back in England living with his sister, although he appears to have applied for re-engagement in January 1913 and by October 1914 was serving with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers with the BEF in France. Eno died on 1 August 1901. His widow, Julia, died the following year on 24 March 1902; her address was given as 28 Beauvale Road, Meadows. This was also the address of at least one of her children, Charlie; this information being provided by Bertie when he nominated his next of kin when he joined the Sherwood Foresters in 1902. The death of both parents within less than a year clearly disrupted the family and within a few years most of the children married or, in the case of the boys, joined the army. The eldest son, Abraham, has not been traced after the 1891 Census, but when Bertie enlisted in the Army in 1902 he named his three eldest brothers as next of kin, one being 'Edward, Royal Marines, Deal'. Bertie was 18 years old when enlisted in the 4th Bn Sherwood Foresters on 3 May 1902 on a 12 year engagement (3 years with the Colours, 9 years in Reserve). Bertie had left the army by 1911 and was living with his married sister, Pollie Harris, along with his brothers George and Harry. Pollie Coupland married Albert Harris in 1902 (J/A/S). Albert was a motor spirit store manager. In 1911 they were living at 5 Second Avenue, Carlton Hill, with their three children, Maisie Helen (5), George Henry (4) and William Albert (2). Also in the household were Pollie's three brothers, George Eno (28) coal waggon driver (oil and spirit), Bertie (26) a labourer for Nottingham Corporation, and Harry (20) an ironmonger's shop assistant. The Harris family later lived at 20 Chandos Street, the address given by Pollie's brother, Harry, when he nominated her as his next of kin when he was in the army. Pollie died in 1970 aged 90. Charlie married Gertrude Taylor in 1903. In 1911 Charlie (32) was a saddlery dealer living with his wife Gertrude (33), their son Bernard Whitby (6, b. 1904) at 21 Wilford Grove, Meadows, Nottingham. Also in the household was a boarder, Alan Bancroft (20) a dealer's assistant, who presumably worked for Charlie. Lizzie Coupland married James Henry Bright in 1906 (J/F/M) and in 1911 they were living at 7 Brierley Terrace, Brierley Street, Nottingham, with her daughter, Agnes Lydia (19), Albert's daughter, Clara Ann (17), and Lizzie and James' two sons, Richard Edward (3) and George (8 months). Lizzie died in 1955 aged 82. In 1911 Willie Coupland (23) was a boarder at 19 Northcote Terrace, Kirkewhite Street, Meadows, in the household of Hannah Walker, a widow, with four children at home. One of those children was Ellen (25), a lace mender, who married Willie the following year in 1912. Bertie married Harriet (Harriett) Hinckley, a spinster, in Hyson Green St Stephen on 11 April 1914; no record has been found of any children and none are mentioned on Bertie's army records. In 1917 when Bertie's personal property was returned to Harriet she was living at 175 Birkin Avenue, Hyson Green. The CWGC record (of a later date) gives her address as 64 Ortzen Street, Radford, Notts. Harriet never remarried and died in 1971 (registered March, Nottingham) aged 86 (b. 29 November 1884). Records have been found for three of Bertie's brothers; Charles, George and Harry, who also served during the war. George appears to have re-engaged with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was in France from 17 October 1914 and not discharged until 1919. Details on the Medal Roll indicate that George served with the Sherwood Foresters (6941 Private) before transferring to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Harry attested on 24 October 1914 and served in the Sherwood Foresters (203351 Private). He was then living at 29 Lees Hill Street and was working as a van driver. He joined the Battalion in France on 30 August 1915 and suffered a gunshot wound to his left thigh on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Somme. He reached hospital on 2 July and was then transferred to England on 19 July onboard the hospital ship Lanfranc. He was granted furlough from 14 September 1916-23 September 1916 which he spent with his sister Pollie at 20 Chandos Street. He returned to France on 8 December 1916 but was wounded again on 26 June 1917 (gunshot wound hand) and was invalided to England on 4 July. He was discharged from the Army on 17 March 1919 and married Alice Hoperoft the same year (marriage registered Nottingham A/M/J). Harry died in 1957 aged 67. Charlie enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters (203071 Private) on 14 November 1916 at the age of 38. He and his wife were still living at 21 Wilford Grove. He served in France from 1917 but returned to England on 24 May the same year. The following year on 5 July 1918 he appeared before a medical board and was discharged from the Army in July 1918 as no longer fit for active service. He was awarded a pension from 27 August 1918 (to be reviewed in 48 weeks). Charles died on 7 October 1933; he and Gertrude were then living at 41 Davies Road, West Bridgford.
In 1902 he was a carriage cleaner. He joined the Sherwood Foresters in May 1902 on a 12 year engagement (3+9). In 1911 he was working for Nottingham Corporation as a labourer. He was mobilized on the outbreak of war.
10 Oct 1916
30888 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in Nottingham and was resident in the city.
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Bertie's army record survives. He joined the Sherwood Foresters on 3 May 1902 on a 12 year engagement (3+9) and after transferring to the Army Reserve was mobilized on the outbreak of war. His record of service was: Home 3 May 1902-7 September 1914 (12y 128 days), BEF 8 September 1914-15 March 1916 (1 yr 189 days), Home 16 March 1916-30 August 1916 (169 days), BEF France 31 August 1916-10 October 1916 (41 days). Total service 14 years 162 days. He was in France from 8 September and admitted to hospital on 28 December the same year returning to duty on 10 January 1915. He was granted leave from 21-28 October 1915. On 5 March 1916 he was admitted to hospital with abscesses on his right hip and may have been evacuated to England (hospital ship Brighton) for treatment. However, he must have returned to duty as in October the same year he died from wounds received in action. His army record shows that he was buried in (-) Military Cemetery (British) Map 1/40.000 Sheet 62D. The CWGC record gives his burial place as Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte (grave ref. I.O.21).
Nottingham Post notice (abridged), 24 October 1916: 'Coupland. Died of wounds October 10th 1916, Private Bert Coupland, Sherwood Foresters, age 31. Wife, mother (sic), father (sic), sisters.' In memoriam published 10th October 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “COUPLAND. – In loving memory of our dear brother, Private Bert Coupland, Sherwood Foresters, who died of wounds October 10th, 1916. While ever life and memory lasts we shall always think of thee. Loving thoughts will ever linger round that grave across the sea. – Pollie and Albert.” His widow was his sole legatee and was awarded a pension of13/9d with effect from 30 April 1917. The Army returned Bertie's personal property to his widow, Harriett, at 175 Birkin Avenue Hyson Green in 1917; these comprised: 2 coins, 2 letters, 1 postcard, 4 photos, 1 religious book, 1 pocket book, 1 pen holder. Probate: Coupland Eno [father] of 35 Waterway-street Nottingham auctioneer died 11 August 1901 Administration Nottingham 26 August to Julia Coupland widow Effects £365. Probate: Coupland Julia [mother] of 28 Beauvale Road Nottingham widow died 24 March 1902 Probate Nottingham 21 April to Charlie Coupland auctioneer Effects £71. Probate: Coupland Charlie [brother] of 41 Davies-road West Bridgford Nottinghamshire died 7 October 1933 Probate Nottingham 29 December to Gertrude Coupland widow. Effects £1739 1s. 11d.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking his grave at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Bertie Coupland - Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone marking his grave at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle