James Cooper was born in Birmingham in 1840 and died there on 9th Aug 1889. There is a memorial to him at Warstone Lane Cemetery.
On 7th May 1867 at the island of Little Andaman in the Bay of Bengal, James Cooper, with three other privates and Assistant Surgeon Douglas took a boat through dangerous surf to rescue 17 men who were trapped on a beach and in danger from the natives armed with bows and arrows. They made the difficult trip three times to achieve success. This was the last time that the VC was awarded to soldiers for risking their lives without the enemy being directly present.
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