Emma Elizabeth Folson Cooper was not just a daughter of the regiment, she was now a sister, wife and mother of the regiment as well, and she had had no say in any of it!
Her father, Henry Folson, had been Quartermaster for most of his career, but in 1895 had been made an honorary Captain of the Coldstream Guards just before his retirement.
Her one brother, William, was a Battery Sergeant-Major in the Royal Field Artillery (and would be promoted to Lieutenant before the war was over).
Her only son, Herbert Longfellow Cooper, had been nabbed as soon as he was old enough for the ASC by the biggest recruiter after Lord Kitchener, her husband. *
The eponymous Lt Col Henry Longfellow Cooper was running the Wessex Division of the Royal Army Service Corps. Before the war, he had been a granite merchant and, much as she loved him and appreciated his charm, he was a man of granite in more ways than one: he was someone no one could say ‘no’ to.
She had lost track of how many young men ‘the Colonel’ had managed to recruit into the ASC, not just since war broke out but in earlier years as part of the Territorials. He was a sort of Pied Piper of Hamelin, luring what were little more than children with his siren songs to go off to fight . Not that she had ever dared mention the parallel to him…
They had been living since they came to St Mary Bourne more than a decade ago at Wakes Wood, a large house at the north-east end of the village. Now that Herbert and his sister had left home, she and Henry were rattling around in it and she had finally persuaded him that they would be much better off at the charming house called Butler’s next door. There just remained the question of finding a buyer for Wakes Wood in the current market (not many people were looking for what was virtually a mansion in 1914).
* Identification of Herbert, the Coopers’ son is not absolute, but no other likely candidates have been found, and it seems entirely in keeping with his father’s reputation that he should have joined the RASC.