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Preston war museum wants to reunite medal with soldier’s family

Posted on - 23rd July, 2017 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Garrison, History, Preston News
Private Cooper's medal with museum curator Jane Davies
Private Cooper’s medal with museum curator Jane Davies

A final call is being made to try and reunite the medal of a war hero with his family.

Private Alfred Cooper’s 1914-1918 honour from the First World War sits at the Lancashire Infantry Museum.

He served with the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment and the current owner has approached the museum – at Fulwood Barracks – for help reuniting it with Private Cooper’s relatives.

Museum curator Jane Davies said: “We often receive medals donated by families who wish to see them given the recognition, and preserved and displayed with the respect, that they deserve.

“They are added to our medal collection, which is recognised as one of the finest in the country.”

“On this occasion, before donating it to the museum the current owner of Private Cooper’s 1914-1918 War Medal wishes to make one last effort to return his medal to his family, if they wish to have it.

“We fully support this. Medals should always remain with the family until there is no longer any interest, after which we are very pleased to care for them.”

Read more: Fulwood Barracks from the beginning – a short history

What’s known about Private Cooper?

He enlisted on 30 October 1914. His service number was 21052. He left to join his battalion on the Western Front in France on 5 May 1915. Just two months later, on 6 July 1915, he was in the trenches at Pilckem Ridge in the Ypres Salient when he was shot, suffering compound fractures to his left leg.

Evacuated to Britain by hospital ship, he must have spent 1916 in hospital and recuperating. However, his wound must have been sufficiently serious for him to be discharged from the Army, as no
longer fit for service, on 10 January 1917. He therefore probably survived the war, but almost certainly with permanent leg injuries.

The East Lancashire Regiment recruited mainly, but by no means exclusively, from Blackburn, Burnley, Accrington and the other towns of East Lancashire. Increasingly as the war went on, however, soldiers would have been drafted in from all over the country. It is nevertheless most likely that Alfred Cooper came from somewhere in Lancashire.

Read more: Preston veteran receives highest French honour for D-Day role

Anyone with information about Alfred Cooper or who his descendents might be should contact Ms Davies on 01772260584 or email enquiries@lancashireinfantrymuseum.org.uk

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