An extract from the above private publication, with the kind permission of June's son, Tony Cope who is my 4th cousin.
Both Edwin & Charles were small men sharing the same lustrous brown eyes and they
trained in accountancy and law respectively. Edwin was the most
popular of men and the soul of generosity. He was also brave. Ernest
was handsome but lacked his brother’s courage. As a lawyer he was a
careful man, a fine historian and he had a pleasant baritone voice. He
was a good golfer and was a captain of St Helens Golf Club, and for
many years was an executive with the ‘Saints’, the St Helens Rugby
Both men loved the same woman, Bessie Gerard, a large
and stately, hospitable and loving, woman. Edwin won her.
Both men went to the First World War. Edwin saw action in
Mesopotamia and was both injured and severely ill with disease to
the extent that he was left for dead in a corner of a field hospital.
Family legend has it that among the dead on stretchers there was a
movement and an orderly exclaimed “that little bugger’s alive”. Small
and tough, Edwin survived.
Ernest joined the Royal Flying Corps
and was drafted to Canada. My mother told me that the day before
embarkation the troops were given a lecture on the dangers of venereal
disease (VD), which so alarmed Ernest that he was left with a fear of sex.
Edwin returned from the war as did Ernest.
After their wartime experiences, the two brothers could not face
a lifetime of work in an office in their professions. Together they
opened a furniture retailers, ‘Griffins’ in the centre of St Helens,
and they also opened ‘The Barlow Motor Company, ’a garage
with a Ford Licence situated near the Toll Bar in Prescot Road
St Helens. The businesses gave them a pleasant lifestyle. Edwin died possibly in his eighties, and his funeral at which he instructed that no
church minister should attend, was one of the largest held in St Helens.
Ernest emigrated from the UK to South Africa at the age of eighty
for ‘his health’ and to join his married sister, my mother Hilda and
her husband. He lived in an apartment in the same building until my
father’s death. He then moved in with my mother for some years, but
after his 90th birthday she requested him to leave and he lived in a
beach front hotel where he died. He kept his mind alert until his old
age by repeating all the major capitals of the world and their rivers as
an exercise before breakfast. Neither he nor Edwin had children