Kent England Research
Genealogical Research in Kent, England, specialising in South West Kent
In the 1891 Census, George Frederick Copus (1868-1949), my great-grandfather, is shown as aged 22, a Colonial Government Clerk, born in Lambeth. He was still living at the family home, 22 Clapham Road, Kennington, Lambeth (RG 12/399/folio 11), with his parents Cyrus Copus (aged 49, an Undertaker, born in St. Pancras) and Louisa Copus (aged 48, born in Marylebone). The other four children listed, all also born in Lambeth, included his favourite brother Walter Henry Copus (aged 18, a Brassfinisher).
Walter Henry Copus (1873-1949), son of Cyrus and Louisa Copus, later wrote very touchingly about family life around this time, and the following is an extract from his reminiscences, transcribed by his grandson Stuart Viner:-
"When I say that my brother G [George Frederick Copus] was the bright boy of the family I mean it in all sincerity. At school he got the prizes and at home he never shirked doing his share. He had a great sense of duty to the family life, far more than I am afraid most of us had. Individually and collectively right through his life the rest of the family owe him more than we shall ever be able to repay.
"After school he obtained a position in an architect’s office and trained to be an architect but being offered a good position in a Colonial Government office he gave up architecture and trained to be an accountant. In this occupation and at the same office he remained until he retired but not before he received at the hands of King George at Buckingham Palace the order of Commander of the British Empire for services rendered during the war of 1914-1918. During this period as Financial Adviser of the New Zealand Government he was responsible for raising two loans amounting to several million pounds. He also had the unique experience of being a co-signature to a cheque of £575,000. It was stated in the papers at that time that this was the largest cheque that had been put through the banks.
"He never forgot his early training as an architect and later on in life designed and built the two houses he afterwards occupied. He was a good cricketer both with batting and bowling. His best performance was obtaining six wickets for only one run - this was on the Oval. Anyone who has played on a wicket like the Oval that gives little assistance to the bowler will appreciate the performance. He was then playing for a team called St. Marks against a team called the One and All. Members of this team were almost without exception members also of the Surrey Club and Ground and were a very strong Eleven. Tennis also was a game in which my brother was very good and hard to beat. His chief hobby was gardening."
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