Index to Members

Frances Cooper and Chippy

Frances Martha Cooper( b 1906)

Frances was a serving member of the British Armed Forces in her own right. She was a Queens Army School Mistress. She joined the service on 1 October 1929 at the age of 23 , after qualifying at Bishop Otter College, Chichester, Sussex. Her first overseas posting was to India in December 1932. She met Cecil D Chritchell in India. He had been posted to Bareilly, in the United Provinces with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. They married at Lahore Cathedral on 1 April 1935. Their marriage lasted only a very short time as he died 8 months later on 24 December 1935. Their daughter Cecille Avril Frances was born shortly after her father's death on 17 January 1936. Frances was not allowed to return to England as she had to complete her 5 year posting. She returned to England in 1937. In 1939 she was again posted to India but the posting was delayed because of the outbreak of World War Two. She stayed in charge of the Army Infants school near Ewshot Camp, Aldershot. The man who was to be her second husband, Alexander E Robinson, had, at about that time, returned from India where he had also been with the DCLI. He was posted to the Highland Light Infantry Regiment, on his return, and posted to Scotland as an Arms Instructor. He came back to Aldershot, met Frances and they were married at the Garrison church, Church Crookham, near Aldershot on 11 October 1939. In October 1939 Frances, still in the Army, was seconded to the Church of England School at Crookham until the end of the war when she returned to Ewshot school - where she stayed until August 1948. She was then posted to the Middle East - to 211 Transit Camp at Moascar, Egypt and then to Greece for three years as Head Mistress at the British Army School (There was Civil War at this time) The Americans took charge of the Army, the school and Frances was seconded to the Americans. In 1951 Frances tour of duty was finished but as her husband was in Cyprus she elected to go there for two years. Unfortunately by then the Regiment had been sent to Egypt. In 1954 Frances managed to catch up with her husband at Moascar, Egypt. She returned home to England in 1954 to Aldershot and left the Army in 1956.

Alexander E Robinson (Also known as "Chippy")

In September 1941 - Chippy transferred from the Highland Light Infantry to join the "Paras" as soon as they relaxed the rules to include married men. He was posted to North Africa and was then parachuted into Sicily and onto the Anzio Beachead as the Allied Army fought its way northwards through Italy. He was "dropped" at Arnhem as the British Army endeavoured to push behind the German front. The Units that were parachuted in were unable to be re-inforced and were just about wiped out by the German forces. Out of 700 troops in 3rd Battalion Chippy was one of only thirty seven who survived. After Arnhem he was commissioned. Following the end of the war he was posted from 1945 until 1948 to Palestine. He was "demobbed" on his return to England in 1948. In 1951 he rejoined the Paras as a Private and was posted to Jordan on the assassination of the King . In 1956 he was a part of the British Army offensive to re-take control of the Suez Canal and was "dropped" at Suez. In 1956 he was commissioned for a second time as a Quartermaster. In 1962 he was awarded the MBE(Member of the British Empire) and in March 1963 he retired from the Army and on 5 June 1963 Chippy and Frances purchased the house "Pales" which is a now a well restored and preserved "Devon Long House" which dates back to the 12th Century. They spent many years working on re-discovering the house and its history.