Alfred Cooper(b 1866 - 1954)
Regimental No 1127
Born in Streatham, joined the Devonshire Regiment - attested at London o n 1st January 1885 at the age of 19 years and 3 months. Whilst in the A rmy he qualified as a "Serjeant Instructor in Musketry", capable of ins tructing in the use of the Maxim and Nordenfelt Machine Gun.
Whilst he was stationed in Peshawar, India on he was admitted to the "T hird Degree of the United Grand Lodge of the Ancient Free and Accepted M asons of England in the light of the Himalayas Lodge No 1448 at Murree, India" on 9 October 1894 and admitted to the "Grand Lodge of Mark Mast ers of England and Wales, the Colonies and possessions of the British C rown" on 1st June 1895 in the Frontier Lodge at Peshawar, India
He served for 22 years and 15 days. Awarded the Long Service and Good C onduct Medal. His rank was Colour Sergeant, he served 4 years and 41 d ays abroad.He was discharged at Exeter on 15 January 1907. He was dis charged at the age of 40 years and 3 months, height 5 ft 9 inches, comp lexion fresh
eyes brown, trade - Labourer. Intended place of residence - 29 Trafford Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon.
His discharge papers showed that he had an "Exemplary character and was a good and reliable clerk"
He married Louisa Harriet Parmenter(b 1870) - (sister of Elizabeth Mary Parmenter)- in Alexandria, Egypt whilst Alfred, a Sergeant, was servi ng with the Devonshire Regiment - on 11 January 1892. They had 7 childr en two of whom died at very early ages. George Alfred(1892) at Alexand ria, Egypt; Marion(1894) at Glianial, Murree, India; Eva(1895), at Cha rat Hills, India; Mildred(1896), Louisa Sophie(1898), Lucy(1901),Alfred Edward(1903) at Exeter. Both George Alfred and Eva died under one yea r old. He returned to England from his various postings with the Britis h Army and lived for a time in Exeter, Devon and then moved back to the family area of Streatham. During the perid 1905 - 1907 he lived at Wo odland Cottage, Mitcham Lane, Streatham.
The family then decided to emigrate to New Zealand.
Alfred and his daughter Marion travelled on the ship Ruahine, departing London on 5 June 1913.
Alfred's w ife, Louisa Harriett with Milred, Louisa Sophie, Lucy, and Alfred Edward travelled on the "Ruahine" also, which departed London 10 August 1914.
***This was thought to be the last passenger ship that left England bef ore the outbreak of WWI.
Alfred worked at Cook's Ice Cream in Queens Street (the main street in A uckland), close to Custom Street. During the Depression, that job coll apsed and after his son, Alfred Edward, married Dorothy Rich his paren ts gave up their Alma Street, Newmarket, Auckland house and moved to Br ookby Road, Clevedon (a small town south of Auckland) to live with thei r daughter, Milred.
Alfred died on 19 February 1954, at the age of 87, of a Stroke. He had spent his last days at a Nursing Home in Papatoetoe, South Auckland.