James Cooper (VC)

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For other people named James Cooper, see James Cooper (disambiguation).
James Cooper
James Cooper VC plaque.jpg
Memorial plaque at Warstone Lane Cemetery
Born September 1840 (1840-09)
Birmingham, England
Died 9 August 1889 (1889-08-10) (aged 48)
Buried at Warstone Lane Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Rank Private
Unit 24th Regiment of Foot
Battles/wars Andaman Islands Expedition
Awards Victoria Cross

James Cooper VC (September 1840 – 9 August 1889) was an English 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.


Cooper was about 27 years old and a private in the 2nd Battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot (later The South Wales Borderers), British Army during the Andaman Islands Expedition.

On 7 May 1867 at the island of Little Andaman, eastern India, in the Bay of Bengal, Private Cooper was one of a party of five (David Bell, Campbell Mellis Douglas, William Griffiths, Thomas Murphy) of 2/24th Regiment. They risked their lives in manning a boat and proceeding through dangerous surf to rescue some of their comrades who had been sent to the island to find out the fate of the commander and seven of the crew, who had landed from the ship Assam Valley and were feared murdered by the cannibalistic islanders.

The Cross was not awarded for bravery in action against the enemy, but for bravery at sea in saving life in a storm off the Andaman Islands.

Cooper is buried at Warstone Lane Cemetery, in Birmingham.

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