COOPER, James Wesley Brittain - 3382

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Original items held by the Army Museum of Western Australia and community members

Pte James Wesley Brittain Cooper
Conflict World War 1
Service Arm Australian Imperial Force
Unit 48th Infantry Battalion
Service No. 3382
Date of Birth 1892
Date of Death 7th Aug 1916
Relatives Wife - Mary M. Cooper
Brother - Henry C. Cooper
Sister - Annie Cooper

Letter to mother dated 1st August 1916

My dear Mother, These are a few farewell words in case I am killed in the action that I am soon going into. The fighting here is the sternest and most awful that has ever happened, and the casualties are very heavy so there is a big chance of me going under, but I am not afraid for myself, but it cuts me to the heart when I think that I may be severed for ever from you and Mary two of the sweetest and noblest of women. But I pray God that I may be spared to meet you again. I am writing this in reserve trenches, we may be called on at any time now, we are going to advance, so I must close. I hope mother that God may grant you health, prosperity and happiness for the rest of your days, after that I have no fear for you, because I know you will be taken to his eternal home. I hope mother dear that the remainder of my brothers and sisters are always a credit and honour to you and Dad. I could have been better towards you, and at times lately have been filled with remorse because I have not been so. Please tell my brothers and sisters that I love them with all the love that I can as an older brother and bid them farewell for me. If I can possibly get time I will write to Annie. Now darling mother farewell. May God bless and guard you all. With tenderest love from your son Jim xxxxxxxx

Part of letter to father dated 1st August 1916

--- fragment of a wall. Now Dad I must close for it is getting dark and lights are not permited. I have been studying French. I am able now to carry on a fair conversation. This Dad may be the last letter I will write for I tell you candidly the casualties are exceedingly heavy, some of the battalions are left with only 20 men. (don't let mum see this part) I --- for Mary's and Mum's sake. Mary has a lonely time before her if I go under. I sometimes wish I had not met her, when I think what she may have to face. She and Mother are the best in the world. Now my Dear Father I will say "au revoir". I wish you every possible success in your new venture needless to say. This of course combined with good circumstances depends largely on yourself (do not take this latter remark as if I were trying to teach you things). If I do not see you again I wish you and mother a happy and prosperous eve of life and that your children will always turn out a credit and honour to you, which of course they could hardly do otherwise with such a Father and mother. Again Good-bye Dad with love from your Son Jim x

Exhumation Letter 20th February 1929

Mr. H.C. Cooper, Hector Street, Osborne Park, W.A

Dear Sir, With further reference to the report of the regrettable loss of your son, the late No. 3382 Private J. W. B. COOPER, 48th Battalion, I am now in receipt of advice that during the course of exhumation work in the vicinity of Pozieres the Imperial War Graves Commission was successful in recovering the remains of this soldier which have since been interred with every measure of care and reverence in Plot 28, Row D, Grave 7 of SERRE ROAD CEMETERY NO. 2, situated near Beaumont Hamel, France, where a permanent headstone of uniform design will be erected and engraved with his full regimental description and date of death, together with any verse or epitaph previously selected in the form of a personal inscription.

It is the practice of the Commission to notify relatives direct when the headstones are finally in position, and at a later date the opportunity will be afforded you of obtaining a copy of the printed Register containing full particulars of all British and Dominion War Graves in the abovenamed Cemetery.

Yours Faithfully, Captain, Officer i/c Base Records.