Bertie Cope


About Albert

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    15 May 1899
  • Birth town
    Counden, County Durham
  • Resided town
    Castletown, Sunderland, Doncaster, Yorkshire
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Doncaster, Yorkshire
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Coal Miner

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Army Cyclist Corps


Bertie Cope was born on 15 May 1899 in Counden, County Durham to parents George, a coal hewer working in the mines, and Alice (nee Wilcox).  In 1901 Bertie, aged one, was living at 16 Park Street, Hylton, Sunderland with George (42) and Alice (42) and sisters, Alice (10) and Ann Eliza (8).  In 1911, the family were living at 51 Park Street, Castletown, Hylton; George (52) was a miner deputy overman, Alice (52), Alice (20), a post girl, Ann Eliza (18), a dressmaker, Bertie (11) and Beatrice (9), were both at school.

Bertie enlisted at Sunderland on 1 June 1915 and joined the 4th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  He was aged 19 years and one month and gave his address as 57 Park Street, Castletown, Sunderland.  He was 5ft 6in, weighed 124lbs, with a 33in chest.  He served in France from 13 August 1916 to 25 September 1916.  On 15 February 1917, he transferred to the Army Cycling Corps and was posted to the 64th Divisional Cyclists Company and a year later he transferred to the Sherwood Rangers Cyclists.  Bertie passed through Peterborough East Station on 2 May 1917, whilst stationed at Taverham Camp, Norwich, and wrote in the visitors’ book “many thanks for the kindness shown in this rest room”.

He proceeded overseas to France in September 1918 for compulsory transfer to the Army Cycling Corps, returning to England on 18 December 1918.  He was demobilised on 16 January 1919 and gave his address as 2 East View, Castletown, Sunderland.  He was awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

Bertie married Mabel L Sanby in 1917, at Basford Registration District, Nottingham and they had four children Vera (1918), Bert (1920), Sybil (1923) and Laurence (1936).  Sadly, Sybil died in her first year.  In 1939, Bertie and Mabel are living at 106 Dockin Road, Doncaster with two of their children; Bert is an apprentice wagon builder and repairer; other records are still closed.  Bertie was working as a colliery hewer underground.  Bertie died in 1972 at Doncaster.

“The primary roles of the cyclists were reconnaissance and communicating messages. They were armed as infantry and could provide mobile firepower if required.  These duties continued whilst overseas, but also much time was spent in trench-holding duties and on manual work.  Please check out the following two links to find out more about the role of cyclists in the First World War”.

Could Bertie be related to you?  Please get in touch if you can tell us more.


Campaign Medals

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