Private Wilfred Coop

10th (Scottish) Battalion, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)

Wilfred Coop, son of the late John Hague Coop of Ashton-under-Lyne, was Sixth Form Master at the Birkenhead School from 1906 till 1914. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and St. John's College Cambridge where he was a Classical Scholar.

He took a Second Class in both parts of the Classical Tripos. Though more than most people he disliked the idea of fighting and had little natural aptitude for a soldier's life, he was ill at ease until he had joined the ranks of the Liverpool Scottish in November 1914. After a very short period of training he crossed to France in January 1915, and died of wounds received at Hooge on June 16, 1915.

It may be said of him that he was a model Sixth Form Master. Judged by the success of his pupils in Scholarship examinations at the Universities, his record at the School was a remarkable one. Few can point to two Classical Scholarships in one year at Trinity College, Cambridge. But he was something more than just a great teacher. He inspired his pupils with a genuine keenness on their work, as well as with a deep affection for himself. Owing to his very retiring disposition he was not very well known to the majority of the School, but those who did know him felt that they owed more to him than they could say, and all respected and admired him for his keenness on the School, his simplicity, and the obvious beauty of his character. Those who knew him even slightly realised what a sacrifice he was making in leaving the work he loved for a life that was entirely distasteful to him. His loss is among the heaviest that the School has been called upon to bear.

Kind permission of Old Birkonians (Memorials)