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Mary Emery HISCOCK (née TEAGUE, later COPE) (1890-1932)

Known As
Mrs Hiscock
Biographical Details

Mary Emery Hiscock, née Teague (1890-1932), was the widow of Captain Ernest Henry Hiscock (1892-1917) who was a colleague of Cyril Sladden in the 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.

Mary Emery Teague was born in 1890 at Claines, Worcestershire, the eldest of six children of Frederick Nathan Teague, a joiner, and his wife, Elizabeth. Mary lived with her family at Waterworks Road, South Claines, in 1891 and at Somers Road, Claines, in 1901. In 1911 she was working as Assistant Schoolmistress at an Elementary School.

Mary married Ernest Henry Hiscock on 25th October 1914 at Coventry Barracks. Just two months earlier, on the outbreak of the First World War, her new husband had obtained a commission with the Worcestershire Regiment.

Whilst Ernest Hiscock was serving with the army, Mary also undertook war service and served with the Scottish Women’s Hospital in Serbia. The Scottish Women's Hospitals (SWH) for Foreign Services was founded in 1914 to provide nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, cooks and orderlies for a number of places overseas. In December 1914 a hospital was despatched to Serbia where the conditions were dire. Over 1,000 women from many different backgrounds and many different countries served with the SWH. Only the medical professionals received a salary; non-medical staff such as orderlies, administrators, drivers, cooks and others received no pay at all (and were in fact expected to pay their way).

Mary was in Serbia when she heard of the death of her husband on 25th January 1917 in Mesopotamia. She returned to England and tried to pick up the threads of her life again. In September 1917, Mary enrolled with the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps. Also enrolling at the same time was Mela Brown Constable, the fiancée of Cyril Sladden who had served alongside Captain Hiscock in Mesopotamia. She begged Mela to ask Cyril if he would write with any details about her husband. Cyril wrote a letter which Mela forwarded to Mary.

In November 1917, Mary was made an Assistant Administrator. Mela was surprised that she had not been made a Unit Administrator as she had so much experience, but put it down to the mental strain caused by her husband’s death. It seems that Mary did ultimately become a Unit Administrator as the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps roll of women entitled to the Victory and British War Medals, listed her as a Unit Administrator, serving from 6th October 1917 to 25th July 1918, having previously served in Salonika.

Mary married for a second time on 31st July 1918 at Trinity Church, St Marylebone, London. Her new husband was Arthur Hawtayne Cope, whom she said was “devoted to her and willing to marry her knowing that she cannot give her heart wholly to him”. They had two sons, both born in Surrey: Anthony Neil Hawtayne Cope (1920) and Hilary Arthur Robin Hawtayne Cope (1926-1945).

On 31st Oct 1930 Mary left Southampton on a boat bound for Morocco where she was intending to live. Her companion was 60-year-old Fanny Bertha Prendergast; both had lived at 44 Stanhope Gardens, London, as their last address. Arthur did not accompany them.

Mary died on 24th March 1932 at the British Hospital, Port Said, Egypt. Her will described her as of Somers Road, Worcester, and the wife of Arthur Hawtayne Cope. Her widowed husband married again two years later; he died in 1976.

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