Lance Corporal Patrick Francis O'Coffey- Loyal Edmonton Regiment

Discussion in 'Canadian' started by Polish _Jar_O'Pickles, May 13, 2016.

  1. I am a Grade 11 High School student who is writing a soldier biography on this man that was a former student of my school ( St. Joseph High School in Edmonton,Alberta, Canada). I am looking for information about where he was when he died ( July 28, 1943), anything about his personal life and any other information that would not be classified as basic information (i.e date of birth, Date of enrollment, etc.)

    As a side note: My Social class is doing the same project but, with different former students who have served and lost their lives during World War ll.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Patrick Francis O'Coffey
    BIRTH 1920 • Alberta, Canada
    DEATH 28 JULY 1943 • Sicily, Italy

    Name: L-Cpl Patrick Francis O'Coffey
    Death Date: 28 Jul 1943
    Cemetery: Agira Canadian War Cemetery
    Burial or Cremation Place: Agira, Provincia di Enna, Sicilia, Italy

    Patrick Francis O'Coffey in the Canada, WWII Service Files of War Dead, 1939-1947

    Name: Patrick Francis O'Coffey
    Birth Place: Edmonton Alberta
    Residence: Fort McMurray Alberta.
    Service number: M15971
    Force: Army
    Regiment: Loyal Edmonton Regiment, R.C.I.C.
    Rank: Lance Corporal
    Next of Kin: Frank Laurie O'Coffey
    Relationship: Father

    If you/your school apply for his service records then there is further information available

    Polish _Jar_O'Pickles and CL1 like this.
  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    TD beat me to it so some of this repeats the post above.

    What you really need to look at is the Ancestry genealogy website, someone at your school must have access, where you can get hold of over 40 pages of his service details including his ‘soldiers service book’ and a copy of the letter advising his parents of his death.

    His attestation paper was 23 Sept 1939
    DOB 30 Sept 1920, Edmonton, Alberta
    Religion: RC
    Trade: Carpenter
    Height: 5’ 9”
    Weight: 159 lbs
    Medium complexion
    Eyes blue

    Etc. etc, etc

    As a student I am sure that you are much more adept at web searching than most so I feel sure that you have already uncovered the following, nevertheless, I will put some links here.

    He is buried at Agira, Sicily:'COFFEY,%20PATRICK%20FRANCIS

    This site suggests that the Loyal Edmonton Regt were part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade in the 1st Infantry Division:

    The regiment fought at Agira between 24 – 28th July 43:

    This gives a reasonably detailed account of the action:

    Lieutenant John Alpine Dougan (who is mentioned above) also gets a mention in this book and it also describes some of the individual platoons:

    See page 33 of this:

    Happy hunting
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Polish

    Perhaps you could tell us the name of your school and where it is?? - maybe you could explain a little more about the project, are others finding out about different servicemen/women who are ex school??

  5. I have revised my original post.
  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Thanks for that - have you had any luck with his records from the Canadian Archives??

  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  8. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    I didn't see the original version but the revised one is definitely the right way to go about asking for help. From the looks of things several of your classmates have posted search queries. As a History teacher myself I applaud the fact that fellow members of my profession are encouraging young people to engage with their local history and realise that people from their neighbourhoods had a part to play in the World Wars. I do however, wish that they would give their students a few tips on how to research. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people on this forum and more than a few veterans who can help if you ask the right way.

    So, a few tips based on my own experience...

    Before I first posted a request for help on the site I did a search of the forums for the information I was looking for. I was interested in finding out about my great grandfather who was a prisoner of war so I also browsed the relevant forum here to see if someone had already posted it. When I was sure I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for I then posted a question and gave as much information as I had to help people out. If people can see you tried to find out for yourself they are more likely to want to help.

    I did a World War One project with my students a couple of years ago that was similar to yours - as others have pointed out the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website is an excellent place to start. Not only can you usually find dates and places of death, serial numbers etc but you can also download a certificate with the info on it and sometimes graves registers and other documents. From there can often turn up medal cards, service records and so on. Local newspapers often reported on casualties so a search of the relevant archives can turn up stories and sometimes photos. Other information can sometimes turn up - I found some of my ancestors had been in trouble with the law!

    Have you checked to see if the Loyal Edmonton Regiment has a museum or website? They will have good information and might be able to put you in touch with local veterans.

    Finally, have you checked your local library to see if they have a local history section? Our library in Aberdeen was able to provide us with lots of useful information on soldiers from the city who had served in WW1 and put us in touch with local historians.

    Good luck with your assignment. As a way of saying thanks your class could always collect your research and share it back here in its own thread and that way others who might want to know about the men from Alberta who gave their lives could benefit from your work.
    CL1 likes this.

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