Letters from a dead airman

This is a fragmentary collection of letters which were sent home by Eric Harold Cooper, while serving with the RAF. Most of the letters are undated, and contain mundane information, rarely anything that could have any military value. Eric, lost his life while serving with 214 Squadron, and is buried with his crew, and that of a second   ( Canadian) aircraft in the Protestant Churchyard in Werkendam, Holland. As the years pass, he recieves less and less visitors, and no longer from his beloved sisters,May, Eva and Ivy, who have such an important role in the letters of Henry Hallam and May Cooper. I do not know if his girlfriend ever visited, this is lost in the mists of time. His mother, who never stopped grieving for her son, was never able to visit the final resting place, she was too frail, and as a widow, could not afford it.

Ironically writing to his mother (Born Wed night), he said:

               " I wish you wouldn't worry when you hear of these bits of raids, good lor, there's nothing in them at all, we have some real fun over there, it's just sheer bad luck for those that don't come back."


photo : Eric Harold Cooper as a young volunteer recruit in R.A.F. uniform



These letters are arranged in the order as I scanned and labelled them as pdf ( Adobe portable document format ), as most of them had no date. Just click on the file name and the file should open.

I have included these letters as they were from the elder brother of Lily May Cooper, and form a significant thread of the story fabric, reminding us that there were many 'that don't come back',


Bournemouth Westcliffe

Bourn Wed Night

Chipping Mon Night

Chipping Sun Night

Evanton Fri Night

Evanton Monday

Evanton Tues Night

(fragment) Notepaper with RAF logo

Hawarden Thurs

Oakington Fri Night

Stradishall 1942 04 21

Stradishall Sat Night (possibly) 1942 07 11

Stradishall Sat Night1

Stradishall Thurs Night

Thurs night 2

Sgt Coopers last known letter just before his death, 21st July, 1942 to his sister, Lily Cooper.


This part of the site is dedicated to the work of Carol & John Edwards who  have dedicated so much time and effort to the memory of 214 Squadron, and have produced the excellent web site    214Squadron RAF.  Please visit it!

Their websites' goal is:

                                            " To combine all information, documents and pictures held by both the 214 website and 214 Squadron Association into one collection, both for the purposes of preservation and to make all known information accessible to all"

I agree, and wholeheartedly support this sentiment.  Eric Hallam Poumailloux March 24  2011.


photo : Sgt Eric Harold Cooper (left )  and two (unknown ) friends


Letter from Corine Koek: secretary Historische Vereniging Werkendam en De  Werken c.a.

Exerts from the Imperial War Graves Commission relating to the burial place of Sgt. Eric Cooper, in Werkendam, Holland.

Roll of Honour, No. 3 Group Bomber Command RAF 193-1945                 (pdf)

Letter from King George the Sixth

A visit in 1962 to the Werkendam War Graves by surviving relatives.

Letter from Wing Commander Smythe

Cutting from the Newark Advertiser   (  link to the late  Father Henry Cooper )

Letter from the Royal Air Force Record Office.

Eric Harold Cooper, Memorial inside St Oswalds' Church, East Stoke, Near Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Eric Harold Cooper, Commemorative Scroll.

Aerial photographs of war time R.A.F. Stradishall aerodrome.

Calendar for 1942

Sgt Eric Cooper.. his records explained with maps of flight paths. Courtesy of Mr. Richard Hallam, nephew.

Post Office Telegram dated 24 July 1942


Detailed information of the fatal raid on Duisberg, and details of the crash site, Werkendam, Holland.


Notes: British aircraft & 214 (FEDERATED MALAY STATES) SQUADRON RAF



2015: The Commonwealth War Graves: Werkendam, Holland. The peaceful resting place of Sgt Eric Cooper, RAF.


Arie and Nel Seton: Honoured Dutch resistance workers, Werkendam