Frances Martha Cooper( b 1906)
Frances was a serving member of the British Armed Forces in her own rig ht. She was a Queens Army School Mistress. She joined the service on 1 O ctober 1929 at the age of 23 , starting at Bishops Otter College, Chich ester, Sussex. Her first overseas posting was to India in December 1932 . She met Cecil D G Critchell in India. He had been posted to the Barei lly , United Provinces, with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (DCL I). They married there on 1 April 1935. Their marriage lasted only a ve ry short time as he died on 24 December 1935. Their daughter Cecil Avri l 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 he r 5 year posting. She returned to England in 1937.
In 1939 she was again posted to India but the posting was delayed becau se of the outbreak of World War Two. She stayed in Aldershott, in charg e of the Army Infants school at Ushott, Aldershott.
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 D CLI. He was posted to the Highland Light Infantry Regiment, on his retu rn, and posted to Scotland as an Arms Instructor. He came back to Alder shott, met Frances and they were married at the Garrison Church, Crookh am, near Aldershott on 11 October 1939.
In October 1939 the Church of England School at Crookham was taken over by the Army and Frances, still in the Army, was seconded to it until t he end of the war when she returned to Ushott school - where she stayed until August 1948. Following this she was posted to the Middle East - t o 211 transit Camp at Moascar, Egypt. She was then posted to Greece for three years as Head Mistress at the British Army School. Civil war bro ke out and the Americans took charge of the school and Frances was offe red a civil job - but which she turned down. The Army seconded her to t he Americans.
In 1951 Frances' tour of duty was finished but as her husband was in C yprus she elected to go there for two years. Unfortunately he had been s ent to Egypt. In 1954 Frances managed to catch up with her husband at M oascar, Egypt. She returned home to England in 1954 to Aldershott and l eft the Army in 1959.
Alexander E Robinson (Also known as "Chippie")
In September 1941 - Chippie transferred from the Highland Light Infantr y to join the "Paras" as soon as they relaxed the rules to include marr ied men. He was posted to North Africa and then was parachuted into Sic ily and onto the Anzio Beachead as the Allied Army fought its way north wards through Italy.
He was "dropped" at Arnhem as the British Army endeavoured to push behi nd the German front. Because of bad weather the Units that were parachu ted in were unable to be re-inforced and were just about wiped out by t he German forces. Out of 700 troops in 3rd Battalion Chippie was one of only thirty seven who survived. After Arnhem he was commissioned. Foll owing the end of the war he was posted from 1945 until 1948 to Palestin e. He was "demobbed" on his return to England in 1948. He was a Lieuten ant.
In 1951 he rejoined the Paras as a Private and was posted to Jordan on t he assassination of King Faisal. In 1956 he was a part of the British A rmy 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 Mar ch 1963 he retired from the Army and on 5 June 1963 he purchased the ho use "Pales" which is a now a well preserved "Devon Long House" which da tes back to the 11th Century. Chippie spent many hours working on re-di scovering the house and its history.