Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Both the Royal Navy and the Coastguard Service feature prominently in the history of the Cogger family though William Allen joined neither, opting instead for the army.
A connection to maritime life in Portsmouth can be traced back to William Allen's great-grandfather, James Cogger who was born in Kent in 1813 but had already moved to Portsmouth by the time of the 1841 census. He wasn't actually included in that census as he was probably working at sea as a rigger, but his wife Elizabeth did appear, living in Hawke Street, Portsea with two children Emma (b. 1832) and James Allen (b. 1839). There is no record of a marriage between James and Elizabeth which may explain why the relationship doesn't seem to have lasted for long as at the 1851 census James is listed as living with his wife Anne at 4 St. Mary's Street, Portsea. Again there is no record of a marriage. James Allen was still with his father as were two girls who may have been Anne's children.
There is no conclusive record of the family in the 1861 census, though it's possible they were living at Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight. In 1863 James Allen married Mary Evans in Portsmouth and three years later they had their first child Catherine. About the same time he took up a career as a Coastguard, his first recorded posting being to Holy Isle in Northumberland where he and Mary lived in the Coastguard community. Whilst there a son, William and a second daughter Matilda were born, in 1869 and 1871 respectively. James's job probably took the family from Holy Isle to Yorkshire before the 1881 census recorded the family back in Portsmouth, living at the South Parade Coastguard Station. By that time two more sons, Joseph and Frederick had been born.
The 1891 census records the family still living at the Coastguard Station whilst James had been promoted to Chief Officer. His son William had by then joined the Royal Navy and was serving as an Armourer. In 1894 William married his wife Maud, probably in Scotland as she came from Queensferry. William and Maud were living at 203 Albert Road, Southsea at the 1901 census and at 27 Maxwell Road, Southsea for the 1911 census. During this time they had three boys, James (b. 1896), William Allen (b. 1899) and Thomas (b. 1903).
William Allen Cogger was just 15 years of age when the Great War broke out and would not have been eligible to enlist. It is quite possible however that he lied about his age as CWGC records still overstate his age by two years. He joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was posted with them to Gallipoli in July 1915. He survived there for 3 months before losing his life in October, aged 16 years.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list William Allen Cogger, Private, 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 05/10/1915, age 18. Named on the Helles Memorial (Panels 35 to 37). Son of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Cogger, of 2, Maxwell Rd., East Southsea, Portsmouth.
William Cogger is also commemorated on the Trinity Methodist Church WW1 Memorial and the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
September 2014