Monday, October 27, 2014

P-5378 L/Cpl William Cottingham, Military Foot Police

In April 1917 Chailey Parish Magazine notes Cottingham, L-Corpl W, Mil Foot Police and this entry is then repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.  The National Archives lists him as P-5378 Lance Corporal W Cottingham, Military Foot Police. 

W Cottingham is probably William Cottingham who was born at Chailey in 1887 and whose birth was registered in the December quarter of that year.  He was the son of William and Esther Cottingham of South Common Chailey and at the time the 1901 census was taken, was living at Chailey with his family.  The household comprised William Cottingham, head of the household, aged 53 and working as a tile maker, his 46 year old wife Esther Cottingham and their five children: James [Louis] Cottingham, aged 16, a brickyard labourer, William, aged 13, a brickyard labourer, his twin brother George Cottingham, aged 13, working as a carter boy on farm, Frederick [Samuel] Cottingham, aged nine, and finally Alfred Cottingham aged six.  The 1891 census also shows a daughter, Edith Cottingham aged five in 1891 but I could find no record of her on the census taken ten years later. 

All of the Cottingham brothers, (with the exception of George who was medically unfit), served during the First World War.  Frederick was killed in 1916 on the opening day of the battle of the Somme.  The brothers were also distantly related to Thomas Cottingham.
Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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