Aubrey Cosens

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Aubrey Cosens
Aubrey Cosens VC.jpg
Born (1921-05-21)21 May 1921
Latchford, Ontario
Died 26 February 1945(1945-02-26) (aged 23)
Mooshof, near Uedem, Germany
Buried at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, The Netherlands
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service 1940 - 1945
Rank Sergeant
Unit The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Battles/wars World War II  
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross

Aubrey Cosens, VC, (21 May 1921 - 26 February 1945) was a Canadian (born in Latchford, Ontario) recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Military service[edit]

Cosens was 23 years old and a sergeant in The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada[1] during the Canadian Army's involvement in the Second World War.

On the night of 25-26 February 1945 at Mooshof near Uedem, Germany, Sergeant Cosens assumed command of the four survivors of his platoon whom he placed in position to give him covering fire. Running forward alone to a tank, he took up an exposed position in front of the turret and directed its fire. When a further counter-attack had been repulsed, he ordered the tank to ram some farm buildings into which the Germans attackers had retreated. He went in alone, killing several of the defenders and taking the rest prisoners. He then dealt similarly with the occupants of two more buildings, but was shot by a sniper when he went to report back to superior officers.

Legacy[edit]

Aubrey Cosens was mentioned in Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, albeit misspelled.[2]

"Little ships, the ones named for foot sloggers: Horatius, Alvin York, Swamp Fox, the Rog herself, bless her heart, Colonel Bowie, Devereux, Vercingetorix, Sandino, Aubrey Cousens, Kamehameha, Audie Murphy, Xenophon, Aguinaldo --"

Grave/memorial at Buried at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands. Plot VIII. row H. Grave 2. Headstone.

Photo by Geoff Winnington-Ball - Jul 2000

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