Joseph Cooper Private 41877 - 1st Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment Died on Sunday 28th April 1918, age 19. Buried in Dueville Communal Cemetery, Italy Joseph Cooper was born in the winter of 1898, the son of railway worker William and Harriet Cooper (née Evans) who in 1901 lived on the High Street. Joseph had two older siblings (Amy and Ada) and four younger (Alice, Elizabeth, William and Frederick). By 1911 the family had moved to Willey Lane, where their neighbours were the family of Albert Armstrong (a steam roller driver) and, widow Jane Slinn and her son (who also worked on the railways). In WWI Joseph was first with the North Staffordshire Regiment and then the South. He was taken from the mud and fog (and cold and rain and poison gas) of Flanders in 1917 to reinforce Italian troops who were taking a beating from the Austrians and Germans in the Austro-Italian Alps at the Battle of Caporetto (Twelfth Battle of the [river] Isonzo) 24 th  October – 7 th  November 1917 [Caporetto is now technically in Slovenia, although thought by some to be still Italian]. It is often forgotten that Italy was on the Allied side throughout WWI. In the spring of 1918  Joseph Cooper and  his comrades were on the march again climbing rapidly (twenty minutes climb, ten minutes rest) towards the snow and fighting high in the Alps (“they became the first British troops to cross the pre-war boundaries into enemy territory. They advanced so fast that it was two days before their rations caught up with them”), but Joseph was struck down and left behind. The Casualty Clearing Stations had begun using the village school at Dueville in the early months of 1918. Joseph died on the 28 th  April 1918 aged 19 and was one of the first to be buried in the extension to Dueville Communal Cemetery. He is buried in Plot 1, Row A, Grave number 7. The inscription chosen by his parents reads: -
‘Gone But Not Forgotten          Rest In Peace’