Alfred Ronald Cope was born on 10th April 1896 at 26, Waterloo Road in Northwich, according to the 1939 Register. However, his baptismal record gives his date of birth as 11th April 1897. He was baptised on 17th November 1898 at Witton-cum-Twambrooks, Northwich. He was the son of Alfred Cope (born Liverpool) and his wife Rhoda (nee Nield) who was born at Northwich.
The 1901 Census showed Alfred living at the house where he was born, with his parents, his sister Hilda (aged 7 years) and his brother William (aged 2 years). His father was a chemical labourer.
Ten years later the family were all residing at 50, Waterloo Road, Northwich. Alfred was working as an errand boy and his father was still employed as a labourer in the alkali chemical works at Northwich.
Alfred attested in 1915 to serve in the Great War. He was given the rank of Private and the service number 240306. He had brown eyes and light brown hair and his occupation was that of labourer. On mobilisation he joined A Company of the 1st /5th Cheshire Regiment from 1st/7th Battalion and was sent to France on 15th February 1915. He was then attached to 14th Brigade in 5th Division (of Regulars). He fought at the Second Battle of Ypres and at Hill 60 in April-May 1915. At the end of November 1915 he became a Pioneer and by mid-February 1916 he had transferred to 56th London Division, which was a formation of the Territorial force. Family records show that he was at the Somme in 1916, the Battle of Arras in 1917, the Battle of Cambrai in late 1917and served through 1918. He was discharged on 27th January 1919 but did not return to England until May 1919.
Alfred joined up again in April 1921 into the 5th Battalion Cheshire Regiment Defence Force, when a State of Emergency was declared by the government. This was as a result of the Triple Alliance (a forerunner of the TUC) calling a strike over a wage dispute. This time he was given the service number 4116690. He was discharged from this duty on 26th October 1921.
In 1926 Alfred married Margaret Tittle at Northwich and in August 1929 a son called Alfred was born.
Alfred’s father died in 1933.
The 1939 Register recorded Alfred and Margaret and their son living at Pickerings O’ Th Boat on the River Weaver. This is an area near the towpath between Dutton Lock and Dutton Viaduct. Alfred was employed as a general labourer in a chemical works.
Alfred’s mother died in 1947.
Alfred Ronald Cope died in 1959 aged 63 years of age. Margaret died in 1973.