Musical Director of The Rochdale Festival Choir.
Great Great Grandad
Great Grandad 9198 L/Cpl Charles E. Coopes 2nd/6th LF
The left hand Medal is the Afghanistan Medal
1878 - 1880
Grandad 15593 Pte William H. Coopes
Uncle 3449289 Fus Frank Coopes 2 LF killed in rear guard Action
|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
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.