Reginald Cooper



Reginald Cooper

Reg recently moved into a care home at Laidley, Queensland, where he was only a 15 minute drive from his daughter, Sue, and her family. Sadly Sue wrote again to tell us that he had died on 28th December, 2015, shortly after his 92nd birthday.

In 1941, aged 17, he joined the Home Guard, qualifying as a signaller and instructor. In October 1942 he enlisted in Royal Signals, trained as an Operator, Wireless & Line (OWL) at Catterick and was posted to Dover. On 2nd November, 1944, he sailed for India, eventually arrived at Comilia on 28th December on posting to 4th (Indian) Air Formation Signals. As he said ‘Be mindful of the fact that I was a Wireless Operator, BII , posted to a unit that provided ground communications on advanced airstrips. I wonder how we managed to win the war!’

In spite of being a ‘square peg in a round hole’ he soon found his feet in the stores and vehicle maintenance – his civilian trade. After the Japanese surrender he moved with a detachment to Hong Kong, arriving on October 3rd, 1945, where their first job was to restore communications at Kai Tak airport. By this time he had risen in rank to L/Sgt and employed as CQMS. 4 (Ind) AFS returned to India and their commitments in Hong Kong were assumed by 19 AFS on June 30th, 1946.

Three months later he was flown to Rangoon to assume the post of SQMS, 1 Sqn, and finally left for the U K and demobilisation in May 1947.

Reg married Olive in March 1948 and emigrated to Australia with his parents and twin sisters, arriving just before Christmas. After various jobs Reg & Olive bought an orchard at The Summit, Applethorpe, Queensland, which they ran until their retirement late in their eighties when they moved into Stanthorpe. Reg and Olive had 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Apart from farming Reg was a side-drummer with the Stanthorpe Pipe Band, member of The Summit Local Producers Association, member of the Rural Fire Brigade, on the School Committee of the Applethorpe State School, a Justice of the Peace, a Freemason, an active member of his Anglican Church and skillful bowls player. He led a full and rewarding life.

God Bless Reg.
We will remember you !
John Hill.