(45)  Hubert Stephen de Burgh Copinger


(45) Hubert Stephen de Burgh Copinger


Stephen was born on 19th February 1885, in Palmerston North, New Zealand, the son of the Anglican clergyman, Herbert Edward Copinger.

When he was quite young the family returned to England, part of his childhood was spent in Edinburgh and he went to Ellesmere School in Shropshire. He tried his vocation with the Society of the sacred Mission at Mildenhall, Suffolk, later known as the Pelham fathers. He he met and was influenced by their famous founder, Father Kelly.

Having decided that this was not the life for him he emigrated to Canada where he seems to have had a number of jobs including working in a bank. It was while he was in Canada that he became a Roman Catholic and went to a Jesuit College to test his faith. Here he was also teaching. Finally deciding that the priesthood was not for him hereturned home.

Next he went to Germany where he taught English. He gave classes in Krupps factory and it was in Germany that he met his future wife, Jane Trinita McSwiney, who was also teaching English, they were married in Germany on 25th May 1912. They returned to England in 1913 when he worked in Government offices. During the war he joined the Irish Guards with whom he saw action in France and was later in the Army of Occupation on the Rhine stationed at Cologne. His only son, Hubert Stephen Augustine was born on 25th September 1918.

After demobilisation he obtained a post in St. Mary's Grammar School, Walsall, later at Middlesbrough High School and then at Stockton Grammar School. Inn 1929 he became head of his own preparatory school at Horsham, Sussex. Ths was a financial failure and closed in 1938. After this Stephen had various posts in schols and during the second world war worked for a time at the War Office.

Later he was on the staff of Rossall School and his last post was at a private school in Newcastle. Here he became very ill and, after nine months, he died in a London nursing home on 17th May 1949.

In 1937, Stephen, his wife and son all by mutual consent, left the Roman Catholic Church and became Anglicans, this was a step that was never regretted and Stephen, always a man of sincere religious conviction, died a devout member of the Church of England.



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