"Valerie Chadwick's
Lancashire Fusilier


Valerie Chadwick
Musical Director of The Rochdale Festival Choir.

The left hand Medal is the Afghanistan Medal
1878 - 1880
Great Great Grandad

Great Grandad 9198 L/Cpl Charles E. Coopes 2nd/6th LF

Grandad 15593 Pte William H. Coopes

Uncle 3449289 Fus Frank Coopes 2 LF killed in rear guard Action before Dunkirk

Rochdale Festival Choir
Concert Tour 2006

The Rochdale Festival Choir celebrated its fifth European Concert Tour last weekend by giving a performance in the Cathedral of Saint Michael in Brussels, Belgium.
The highlight of the tour, however, was a concert of religious music in the town of Waarmaarde. Here in the cemetery of the church of Our Lady the Virgin lie 18 young soldiers of the Lancashire Fusiliers who fell in battle on 20th May 1940.
One of these soldiers, Frank Coopes of Rochdale, is the uncle of the choir's musical director. His sister Peggy, now 84 years old, is also a member of the choir.
Musical Director, Valerie M Chadwick, this year contacted the Dean of the church in Waarmaarde asking permission to give a concert there in memory of Frank and the other courageous young men who were killed and lie buried in this pretty village church yard.
The request was warmly welcomed and thus flags were flying and church bells were ringing as the choir arrived in its double decker touring bus!
The performance won a standing ovation from a much appreciative audience of Belgian people who saw this day as a landmark for the history of their village .Emotional speeches and presentations were made along with a sincere bond of friendship.
The choir then went on to sing at the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres where hundreds of people from all over the world regularly congregate to remember those killed in both world wars.