Fred Copeman

From Kaiserreich

Fred Copeman (1907- ) is the Commander-in-Chief of the Republican Navy in the Union of Britain.


Fred Copeman was born in the Wangford Union Workhouse near Beccles in East Suffolk, England, in 1907. His mother and brother, George, were also residents. Initially, the Copeman brothers were the only children in the workhouse but, in 1916, Fred (aged nine) and George were moved from the workhouse to the Children's Home in Ravensmere Road, Beccles. It was here that Copeman befriended his first dog, a stray he called "Bonnie". Shortly, afterwards, George was sent to Canada to make a fresh start by the children's charity, Barnardo's, and Fred "never saw nor heard of him [again]".


The focus of care at the time was to make boys swiftly self-sufficient and so, aged 12, Copeman was sent to Watts Naval School at North Elmham, Norfolk, to prepare for a life at sea. After two years, he was duly enlisted in the Royal Navy and was sent to HMS Ganges, an onshore naval training base near Shotley in Suffolk. HMS Ganges had a mixed reputation in the Royal Navy, both for its reputed harsh methods of training boys in order to turn out professionally able, self-reliant ratings and for the professionalism of its former trainees. From HMS Ganges, Copeman was sent to the Mediterranean Fleet, which was based in Malta. The poverty of the Maltese had a profound impression on him. It was here that he learned to box, earning money as a heavyweight prizefighter. He also narrowly missed the chance to become an officer, spending three weeks in Malta's Corradina prison for a "a practical joke" that went wrong. When the 1925 British Revolution erupted he led the mutiny aboard his ship and managed to return the vessel to England.

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