No. 16031, 9th Battalion, Border Regiment
Died of disease on Tuesday 1 October 1918 (aged 26)
Mikra British Cemetery, Greece (Grave 464)
In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website it is recorded that Private William Cooper (No. 16031) was a nephew of Thomas and Alice Pearson of 3 Bell Street, Old Penshaw, Co Durham.
In Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918 it is recorded that Private William Cooper (No. 16031) was born in Newtownards, Co Down. This is also stated in his short attestation papers where it is recorded that William Cooper enlisted at Shiney Row, Sunderland on 6 September 1914 and, at that time, he declared that he was 22 years 6 months old. Before the Great War he worked as a labourer and it was noted that he was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighed 133 lbs and had a sallow complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.
Private William Cooper (No. 16031) stated that he was a nephew by marriage of Thomas Pearson and when Private William Cooper made his will he left everything left to his uncle Thomas Pearson.
It is noted in his military records that Private William Cooper’s mother’s name was Polly Stewart but her address wasn’t known. There was nothing known about his father, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers or sisters. He declared that he had no wife or children of his own. There were no known blood relatives.
Private William Cooper served in France from 3 September 1915 until 27 October 1915 and on 28 October 1915 he was posted to Salonika. He contracted malaria in October 1916. Military records show that in late September 1918 William was suffering from vomiting, a sore throat and a cough. He was admitted to 28th General Hospital, Salonika, Greece on 28 September 1918. His heart action was weak and he died at 7.30 pm on 1 October 1918. The cause of death was influenza and pneumonia and it was certified that his illness and subsequent death was as a result of military service. His medals – the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal – were sent to his uncle Thomas Pearson.
Private William Cooper (No. 16031) was buried in Mikra British Cemetery in Greece and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
HE DIED SO WE MIGHT LIVE
Private William Cooper (No. 16031) is not commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.