18799 Sergeant James Cooper, DCM, MM.

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1st Battalion, Border Regiment. Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in the London Gazette of 12 March 1919. Awarded the Military Medal in the London Gazette of 11 November 1916. Cooper was a native of Burnley, Lancashire.

The citation for the Distinguished Conduct Medal published in the London Gazette reads, "For conspicuous gallantry and initiative near Courtrai on the 14th October 1918. When his platoon was held up by enemy machine-guns he worked well forward under heavy fire, located the guns, and returned. In the attack on these guns he was one of the first to reach them, and killed two of the enemy gunners, the remainder surrendered. He did fine work."

Cooper was living at New Bedford in the USA at the outbreak of war and returned to the UK around Christmas 1914 and enlisted into the 1st Battalion, Border Regiment with whom he had previously served for over 8 years including active service in South Africa during the Boer War.

Several weeks after Cooper's return to the UK his wife and child followed, sailing on the ill fated "RMS Lusitania" on which they would lose their lives when the ship was sunk on the 7 May 1915 by the German U Boat - U 20. James Cooper swore he would get his revenge.

Cooper joined his battalion in Gallipoli on the 14 September 1915.

The award of the Military Medal was reported to be for the following incident, "At 8.30 am on the morning of 8 November 1915, Cooper and several of his comrades were under fire from the Turkish trenches when he jumped up and shouted to the men to stop firing. He ran over 120 yards to the nearest enemy trench and jumped into it surprising 3 men at their breakfast, he shot one and as the others tried to escape falling over one another he shot them. Then turning to his right he shot another man who was taking aim, he then shot a fifth man. He got calmly out of the trench and toddled back. All the Turks near by were so excited that they stood up breast high on the parapet to fire at him, the men in our lines bagged several more as Cooper returned untouched".