(46) John Patrick Copinger.
John Patrick Copinger was born on 28th August 1888.
In the First World War he served as a Second Lieutenant with the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. He fought with the 5th British Army under General Gough in the battle of Passchendaele.
This battle was fought between 31st July and 6th Nov 1917. It was part of the Ypres salient with the object of breaking through to the Belgian Coast, turning the German right and preventing an attack on the French Army. Two months' of preparation which were observed by the enemy and ten days' artillery preparation sacrificed surprise, churned up the surface and destroyed the drainage system. Several days of constant heavy rain flooded the thousands of shell holes and turned the fields in front of the ridge of Passchendaele into a quagmire in which men and horses could drown. The advance was met by a system of strong pill-boxes backed by strong counter attack forces and an increasing use of mustard gas. In consistently bad weather the mud was appalling and losses were very heavy. He was killed on 10th September 1917 one of the total of 500,000 who lost their lives in the mud that was Passchendaele.
John's body lies in grave E.14 in Plot XVI in the New Irish Farm Cemetery North East of Ypres, (now named Leper). The cemetery contains the bodies of 4,500 soldiers who, after the armistice, were reburied from the battlefields north-east of Ypres.
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