Crimean War Veteran John Cope 1828-1914

John & Jane Cope Headstone

Headstone of John & Jane Cope marked for relocation

We are seeking descendants of John COPE, son of John and Mary COPE, was born in 1828 in Coalpit Bank, Shropshire, now known as Ketley Bank. He was baptised on 14 September 1828 at Holy Trinity Church Dawley, Shropshire.

John joined the Army on 23 September 1851 and was posted to the Coldstream Guards as a Private. He was posted to the Crimea serving in Alma, Inkerman and Sevastopol between 1854 and 1855 and was severely wounded in the neck and shoulder by a musket ball on 19 August 1855 at the during minor action at during the siege of Sevastopol. Florence Nightingale wrote to Jane about his condition and recovery as it she who nursed him back to health. In his son’s obituary this letter was mentioned as treasured family possession.

He married Jane LAWRENCE on 16 March 1857 in Shifnal Parish, possibly St Peter’s Church Priorslee, Jane was born in Oakengates c 1828.

From the time of the 1861 census until 1891 John and Jane lived in Oakengates, with John working as a Labourer in the Ironworks, possible type of work being restricted due to his war wound.

By the time of the in 1891 John, Jane and their children had moved to New St, St Georges, still a Labourer in Ironworks. The census in 1901 shows John  and Jane still living in New St, but now living on his own means, most likely his army pension.

John’s wife Jane died 7 July 1903 aged 77 and was buried at St Georges Church.

In the 1911 census he is living at 89 Industry Rd Darnall, Sheffield, Yorkshire aged 83, the home of his daughter Edith and her family, he is noted as being an Army Pensioner. He died on 17 January 1914 aged 86, although headstone has 84, at the home of his daughter Edith in Glasgow.  John Cope was buried with military honours at St Georges Church with the inscription “Crimean War Veteran”.

John and Jane COPE had 4 children:

John Crimea COPE (1857-1939)

Thomas Alfred COPE (1859- 1907)

Peter Ernest COPE (1863- )

Edith Ellen COPE (1866 – 1951)

Children of John and Jane Cope

John Crimea COPE was born in 1857 in Coalpit Bank, Shropshire and baptised on 4 October 1857 in Wombridge, Shropshire. 

John married Mary Jane TONKS on 26 March 1891 at St Georges Church, St Georges Shropshire. The census in 1891 shows him living at New St, St Georges with his parents, although listed as married Mary Jane is not listed. By the time of the census in John and Mary Jane had moved to 10 Duke St St Georges. The censuses show that he was working as a Boiler Riveter.

John Crimea Cope, known as “Crim”, was also a famous athlete from the 1880’s, held the World Record in 1889 for the ¾ mile Steeplechase at 3 mins 29.1 seconds.

John died on 19 February 1939 at his home in Freeston Avenue Priorslee Shropshire aged 81, he was buried at St Georges Church on 23 February.

John Crimea and Mary Jane COPE had 3 children:

Alexander Crimea Cope TONKS (1890-1967)

Alfred COPE (1892- )

Lilian Maud Alison COPE (1904-1982)

Thomas Alfred COPE was born in 1859 in Coalpit Bank and baptised on 2 October 1859 in Wombridge Shropshire. Thomas died in Springs, Transvaal, South Africa on 31 July 1907 leaving a wife and 3 children.

Peter Ernest COPE was born in 1863 in Coalpit Bank. Shropshire, also known as Ernest Peter COPE. Peter was a boilermaker he joined the Boilermakers Trade Union in 1890, in the 1901 census he was working in Middlesbrough, however by the 1911 Census he had moved to Sheffield. Peter was also a noted cyclist.

Edith Ellen COPE was born on 19 December 1866 in Coalpit Bank.

Edith married John Birch NEESHAM in 1885 in Wellington. By the time of the census in 1911 they were living at 89 Industry Road Darnall, Sheffield, Yorkshire.

John Birch NEESHAM died on 4 March 1936 in Glasgow.

By the time the 1939 register was taken on 29 September 1939 Edith, now a widow, was living at 17 Stradbroke Ave Sheffield, Yorkshire with her son Frederick. Edith died in Glasgow in 1951.

John and Edith Ellen COPE had 7 children:

Sarah Ethel NEESHAM (1885-1911)

Alice Mary NEESHAM (1887- )

Mabel Annie NEESHAM (1890- 1946)

Evelyn May NEESHAM (1892- 1983)

Dorothy Alma NEESHAM (1904- 1979 )

Alfred George Birch NEESHAM (1907- 1989 )

Frederick Walter NEESHAM (1909-1994)

Grandchildren of John and Jane Cope

Alexander Crimea Cope TONKS was born in late 1890, before John Crimea Cope and Mary Jane Tonks were married circa in St Georges, Shropshire. Alexander died in early 1967 with his death being registered in Wellington.

Alfred COPE was born in 1892 in St Georges Shropshire. In the 1911 Census Alfred is a Gunner in the Royal Field artillery stationed in Farnborough  Hampshire.

Lilian Maud Alison COPE was born on 4 January 1904 in Woodford, Northamptonshire and was baptised on 31 January 1904 at St Mary the Virgin Woodford, Northamptonshire.

Lilian married Frederick JONES in 1929 and by the time the 1939 Register was taken on 29 September 1939 they were living at 6 Freeston Avenue Priorslee, Shropshire. Lilian died in 1982 in Hillingdon, Middlesex.

Frederick and Lilian Maud Alison COPE had the following child:

Sylvia Alison JONES (1929-2005).

Sarah Ethel NEESHAM was born in 1885 in St Georges. She married William KIRK on 27 September 1910 in Attercliffe, Yorkshire and died in December 1911 in Sheffield, Yorkshire aged 26. She was buried on 26 December 1911 at the Park Municipal Cemetery, Tinsley, Sheffield Yorkshire.

Alice Mary NEESHAM, was born in August 1887 in St Georges and was baptised on 24 August 1887 in St Georges Church. Alice married Ralph BIRCHENOUGH in Maryhill Glasgow in 1913.

Mabel Annie NEESHAM was born in January 1890 in St Georges and was baptised on 12 January 1890 at St Georges Church. Mabel married Harry Herbert BROOKE on 21 February 1921 at St George’s Church Maryhill, Glasgow. Mabel died in Glasgow in 1946.

Evelyn May NEESHAM was born in April 1892 in St Georges and was baptised on 27 April 1892 at St Georges Church. Evelyn died in Glasgow in 1983.

Dorothy Alma NEESHAM was born in 1904 in St Georges Shropshire. Dorothy married Abner WOOD in Glasgow in 1934. Dorothy died in Glasgow in 1979.

Alfred George Birch NEESHAM was born in 1907 in Darnall, Sheffield Yorkshire. Alfred married Janette SELKIRK in Glasgow in 1943. Alfred died in Glasgow in 1989.

Frederick Walter NEESHAM was born on 2 April 1909 in Darnall Sheffield Yorkshire. Frederick married Mary THOMSON in Glasgow in 1938.

Great Grandchildren of John and Jane Cope

Sylvia Alison JONES was born on 10 September 1929 in Wellington, Shropshire. She married Donald John MITTON in 1950 in Wellington and died in 2005 in Hillingdon, Middlesex.

Descendants of John COPE

The reason for the search for descendants is due to St Georges Church planning to relocate 7 headstones away from the spot marking the graves and to put against a wall elsewhere in the churchyard in order to create a communal area for events, which some local people are finding distasteful.

If you are related to any of the above or know of someone who is related then please get in touch, my contact details can be found here. Contact Me.

Updated 2 April 2017