George William Lawson Cooper
George William Lawson Cooper was born in Orange in September 1892 to William and Agnes Cooper. George was the fourth child of six born to the couple. When George was a young boy the family moved to Sydney, where his father became the Warrant Officer at the Rifle Range in Randwick.
As a boy George attended Crown Street Public School. After leaving school he became a linotype engineer with the Daily Telegraph. George enlisted on 28 August 1914, just three weeks after recruitment opened. He embarked in October, a Private with the 3rd Battalion.
In April 1915 George joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in preparation for the landing at Gallipoli, and in May was promoted to Corporal. George was reported missing in action following the battle of Lone Pine in early August.
In December 1915 George’s father wrote to Base Records office in Melbourne enquiring as to the whereabouts of his son, who had written home religiously until the Battle of Lone Pine. When he hadn’t received a reply by January 1916 George’s sister Mabel (whose husband Dennis was on active service) wrote a follow up letter. She said: “One of the returned 3rd [Battalion] told us my brother did not answer the roll call on 9th August. The anxiety is telling very much upon my mother who is quite ill with worry … One can’t calmly sit by and watch a good mother fretting.”
It wasn’t until June 1918 – almost three years later – that Corporal Cooper was officially declared killed in action. He has no known grave.