Caleb Cooper, Queen’s Cove

Taken from The Random Guardian, page 35, April 1969

Cooper, Caleb

Most every edition of our local papers tell of some well known wartime hero that belongs to the Random area but so far no one has written on such a person from Queen’s Cove. After some enquiries, your correspondent found that in the area there are plenty of citizens who served their country well in wartime. This month let us salute a well known and well liked gentleman from our own community and known to us all as ‘Uncle Cale’.

Mr. Cooper enlisted in the Royal Navy at St. John’s on February 8, 1912 at the age of 18 and was called to active service on August 4, 1914 after spending two years on the Calypso. Leaving November 14 aboard the H.M. S. Frankonia, he landed in Liverpool and from there to Devonport. During the year of 1915 he served on the H.M.S. Ambrose and later on the 4 funnel cruiser H.M.S. Sutlej which carried him to action in Br. West Africa along with Gibraltar and other Mediterranean missions. Mr. Cooper has sailed 500 miles across the equator, spending 21 days in the land of the Midnight Sun – Iceland where he and the other crew members were relieved by the H.M.S. India which was sunk shortly after by an Austrian submarine.

After spending this lengthy time at sea he was given a well earned leave arriving in St. John’s June 24, 1917, He finally reached home on November 4 and sailed again on December 4 arriving in Halifax on the day of the explosion. He served here on the H.M.S. Gulf CD-20. Finally on the 23rd of December he was discharged and returned to him home where he was later employed by the C.N.R. for 34 years.

Mr. Cooper had seen lots of action during the First World War and found himself close to Davey Jones’ Locker on several occasions for his ships were torpedoed three times. He remembers well arriving in Liverpool on war ships that were scarred with the marks of war. Despite all this Mr. Cooper says he was lucky as all five ships on which he served were sunk by enemy submarines after he had left them. He was decorated three times for his service and received the War for Civilization Medal, the King George Medal and the 1914-15 Star. Today, both Mr. and Mrs. Cooper are active members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 27, Clarenville.

Mrs. Cooper is the daughter of the late Robert and Sarah Miller, St. Jones Within. She was born July 13, 1890. Mr. Cooper was born March 8, 1894. The Coopers were married in Cochrane Street United Church by Rev. H. Whitemarsh on October 30, 1912. The Coopers were the parents of 9 children, 2 of whom served in World War II.

We should all be proud of Mr. and Mrs. Cooper and we wish them many more years of continued good health and happiness.




Transcribed by Lester Green, October 2015

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.