Our second reunion, organised by Jackie and Geoffrey Cooper, took place in Ross on Wye on the 15th August 2015.
LTR: Steve (Kath), Pauline (Herbert), Lawrence and Sarah (Doris), Geoffrey (Norman), Allan (Marjorie), Jacqueline and Derek (Kath), Roy (Olive), Kathy (Marjorie), Philippa - seated (Herbert), Ken (Marjorie), Jacqueline(Norman), Uncle Herbert and Steve (Marjorie).
There are 2 photographs, the picture left, shows 'first' cousins, the one below is a group photo.
Thanks, as always, goes to brother Steve for these.
The following is a report of our reunion, which appeared in 'The Citizen' on 2nd August 2005:
Four generations of a family which sprang from one Forest of Dean couple came together at the weekend for a grand reunion.
Almost 100 descendants of Walter Henry Cooper and Beatrice Mary Bailey all gathered at Upton St Leonards on Saturday, with many returning to the county for the event. The couple, who lived at Viney Hill near Lydney, had 12 children - Walter (known as Bill), Donald, Gordon, Herbert, Norman, Florence, Olive, Kathleen, Marge, Eva, Doris and Elsie.
Bill, the eldest child, was born in 1910 and the youngest, Norman, was born in 1926.
Five of the siblings are still alive - Bill, Herbert, Flo, Doris and Elsie. Herbert was at the family reunion to represent the brothers and sisters who between them bore 30 children.
The Citizen photographer left before
Aunty Rosina (Uncle Gordon's wife) and family arrived and I am compensating by including the family group photograph, right.
This is one of many photos taken by brother Steve.
Jacqueline Dorling, daughter of Norman, helped to organise the reunion and said she had been planning it for years.
She said: "I have always wanted to do it - for about 20 years I have thought about getting all my cousins and their families together. I have 30 cousins on my dad's side, so I have never had the space to do it."
Mrs Dorling contacted her cousin Norma, daughter of Doris, who had the space to hold the reunion at her home in Upton St Leonards. She agreed to host the event and provide a barbecue and food for all the guests.
Mrs Dorling added: "When I was younger, my parents would take me to see my cousins, but as we have grown up and had our own families we lost touch.
"This has brought everybody back together. I have been planning this in my head for years, and it has taken a year to plan this actual day."
Cooper family members came from across the county, including Lydney, and from as far away as Northamptonshire, York, Dorchester and Bath.
From the first generation there was Herbert - the only one of Walter Cooper's children who came to the event - and from the second, his children, nephews and nieces.
The children of those nephews and nieces made up the third generation and then their children, the great-grandchildren of the 12 brothers and sisters, were the final generation at the barbecue.
The widow of Gordon Cooper, Rosina, also came to the party. She had been pregnant with their son Gordon - who also came to the party - when her husband died after his boat was torpedoed during the Second World War. She never remarried after his death.
Herbert Cooper, 80, said: "My father was a miner. I still live in the old family home. When I was little, some of my older brothers and sisters had already left home. But it was a three-bedroomed house and times were hard, so we had to squeeze into a bed together.
"It is lovely to have everyone together and see people I have not met in a long time."
The local Citizen newspaper attended and in their next publication printed a photograph similar to the one immediately above.
They captioned it:
Once in a decade reunion
The Coopers of Yorkley have gathered for the first time in 10 years for a special family reunion.
Jackie Dorling, nee Cooper, and brother Geoffrey organised a reunion with their Dad, Norman's side of the family in Ross on Wye on Saturday. Norman was the youngest of 12, but the only remaining sibling is Jackie's Uncle Herb, who is 92 years old.
"There are 31 cousins on my Dad's side and we don't always get the chance to get together" said Jackie, 59.
"The last reunion we had was 10 years ago but it was such a lovely day we are already planning the next".
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