The King's Royal Rifle Corps

Sergeant Edward Cooper VC

On 16th Aug 1917 at Langemarck, Belgium, enemy machine guns from a large concrete blockhouse 250 yards away were holding up the advance of the battalion on the left and causing heavy casualties to 21 year-old Cooper's battalion. With four men he rushed towards the blockhouse, but although they fired at it at close range the machine guns were not silenced, so Sergeant Cooper ran straight at them and fired his revolver into an opening in the blockhouse. The machine guns ceased firing and the men in the blockhouse surrendered. Seven machine guns and 45 prisoners were captured.

Edward Cooper was born in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham on 4th May 1896. He joined the 12th Battalion KRRC and was promoted to sergeant at a very young age. As well as the Victoria Cross he was awarded the French Medaille Militaire. Because of his leadership qualities he was commissioned and reached the rank of Major. He lived to the age of 89 and died on 19th Aug 1985 in Stockton.

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by Stephen Luscombe