You are not logged in.
HMS Peregine, RNAS Ford in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- HMS Peregine, RNAS Ford during the Second World War -

Naval Index
skip to content

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.

If you enjoy this site

please consider making a donation.

    Site Home

    WW2 Home

    Add Stories

    WW2 Search

 WW2 Features


    Allied Army

    Allied Air Forces

    Allied Navy

    Axis Forces

    Home Front

    Prisoners of War

    Allied Ships

    Women at War

    Those Who Served



    The Great War


    Add Stories

    Time Capsule

    TWMP on Facebook

    Childrens Bookshop


    Your Family History


    Contact us




World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

HMS Peregine, RNAS Ford

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Peregine, RNAS Ford

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Copping Clifford Frederick Lewis. Pte.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.


  • The 1st of September 2017 is The Wartime Memories Project's 18th Birthday. If you would like to send us a present, a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web.
  • To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
  • Looking for help with Family History Research?   Please read our Family History FAQ's
  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.
    If you enjoy this site

    please consider making a donation.

  • We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Research your own Family History.

Dec 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 237716, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.


We are aware of the issue with missing images, this is due to the redesign of the website, images will reappear as soon as the new version of the page is completed, thank you for your patience.

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.

Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.

If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

Pte. Clifford Frederick Lewis Copping Royal Sussex Regiment

In April 1940, my father Clifford Frederick Lewis Copping of Southcroft Rd Tooting, South London lied about his age to join the army and enlisted in the Royal Sussex Regiment. He was just 17 and had become Private 6405092 Copping. He spent the first few weeks training (I think) near Wincanton and then six weeks guarding a railway tunnel and had a short spell in Northern Ireland.

One incident that happened during this period was when a barrack bully kept picking on someone for no reason and my dad didn't like the way it was going, so he floored the guy with one punch. Just as the guy hit the floor the Regimental Sergeant Major happened to pass by and asked who was responsible for the blow. My Dad owned up and was immediately placed on the regimental boxing team! A few days later he found himself in the ring sitting opposite someone by the name (I think) of Tonner - who happened to be from a family of very good amateur boxers on civvy street. All my Dad can remember is the bell sounding for the first round and then the lights suddenly went out! His budding army boxing career had sadly been terminated.

Back to the war his unit was posted to HMS Peregrine RNAS Ford Aerodrome in Sussex. Here he was stationed in an anti-aircraft gun pit and assigned the job of radio operator. Whilst at Ford - he volunteered to undertake "Glider Pilot Training" which I understand went on near High Wycombe. Had he been accepted and completed the training he would almost certainly seen action in both Normandy and Arneham.

During the Battle of Britain, on 18th August at about 4.30 pm the airfield was attacked by a squadron of Junkers 87B "Stuka" divebombers. The Germans had mistakenly thought it to be an operational base rather than the training station it was. One of the Stukas attacked his gun pit and dropped its bomb just short of its target. The explosion killed the British officer in charge of my father's pit instantly and when the rescue party arrived they found my Dad buried up to his neck in sand from the punctured sandbags surrounding him. He recalled them saying "Here's Copping's head -where's the rest of him?" After digging him out he was found to have numerous shrapnel wounds all over his body and some burns to his back. As he lay on a stretcher waiting for transportation to hospital he heard the "last rights" being read out and thought he was going to die - only to realise that it was in fact some poor devil next to him instead. Altogether 18 people were killed in this air raid and there were a number of casualties. He later found out that the pilot of the Stuka was killed in action whilst flying on the Russian Front.

He spent the next 11 months in hospital at Chichester (where unbeknown to him at the same time his future wife Mavis was evacuated in a house whose garden backed onto the hospital). During his time in hospital he was given a lot of quinine which rotted his teeth and caused him to be toothless by the time he was 21! Having also been burned he also received treatment at the famous burns centre at East Grinstead and received pigskin grafts pioneered by the famous Dr McEndoe.

At the end of his hospitalisation he was deemed "unfit for service" on health grounds and honourably discharged. He spent the rest of war working for the London County Council LCC driving bombed out families and their possessions to safer parts of the country.

In 1948 he married my mother Mavis Woodard, also of Tooting and they had three children. He worked for both Martin's and Barclays Banks and retired early to care for my mother who had MS. He died in June 2000.

Gary Copping

Recomended Reading.

Available at discounted prices.


    The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

    This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

    If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.

    Hosted by:

    The Wartime Memories Project Website

    is archived for preservation by the British Library

    Website Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
    - All Rights Reserved