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Mrs. George Robert Copping (Emma Louise Black)

Emma Copping, née Black (1862 - 1915), 53 ?, was wife of George Copping, president of the Reliable Knitting Company and the founder of the G. R. Copping and Sons Manufacturing Company. Emma and George were traveling aboard Lusitania together. Both Emma and George were lost when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk on 7 May 1915. George's body was recovered, hers was not.

Life


Emma Louise Black was born in 1862 in Wellington County, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Hiram Black and his wife Eliza Ann Black (née Tovell). On 22 July 1885, Emma married George Copping in Guelph, Ontario. They had two sons, Norman Judson Copping and Russell Verner Copping. While George and Emma lived in Toronto, they also had a country house in Peterborough, Ontario, where they lived at 788 Aylmer St. This residence was a large house whose size was disguised by its appearance as a bungalow. Emma was once chairwoman of the grounds committee of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

Lusitania


When World War I broke, the Coppings' son Norman served in the Royal Grenadiers Regiment. George assisted the war effort through his business. In the spring of 1915, George and Emma Copping booked first class (saloon) on the Cunard liner RMS Lusitania for their trip to England. Their ticket number was 13104 and they stayed in cabin E 75 on the starboard side. Their steward was Alfred Wood. On 7 May 1915, the German submarine U-20 torpedoed and sunk the Lusitania. The ship sank in 18 minutes. George and Emma Copping were among the victims. Steward Alfred Wood recalled giving his lifejacket to Emma Copping. Percy Rogers, also of Toronto, having just swam to a collapsible boat after his lifeboat upset, saw George clinging to a rope in an exhausted state. George's last words to Percy were, "My wife is gone and I can't hold out much longer." One report had mistakenly placed George and Emma on the list of survivors, but both died in the Lusitania disaster. George's body was recovered, #150, and buried in Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery on 2 June 1915. Emma Copping, while her body was not recovered, is memorialized on the family stone there.

A marriage from the tragedy


Emma and George's son, Norman Copping, and his wife Virginia Norton Copping became involved with the Lusitania survivors and family association in Canada. Through this association they met Sir Albert Edward Kemp and Celia Wilson Kemp, maternal grandparents of lost Lusitania passenger John Harrison Chattan Stephens. Norman Copping died in 1921, and Celia Wilson Kemp died in 1924. After years of working together for the association, Sir Edward Kemp and Virginia Norton Copping developed a bond though the tragedy. Sir Edward Kemp and Virginia Norton Copping married in Toronto, and they had one daughter. Contributors Andrew Elliot, Canada Cherie Jones References Elliot, Andrew. "Home's owner perished on passenger ship Lusitania." The Peterborough Examiner. Web. 4 August 2011. <http://www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?archive=true&e=914757>. Jones, Cherie.  ”Emma Louise Black Copping.”  Find-A-Grave.  Web. 4 August 2011.  <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmid=46822884&GRid=63380117&>.

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