Major General Clifford Coffin
10 February 1870|
Blackheath, London, England,
|Died||4 February 1959
Torquay, Devon, England
|Buried||Holy Trinity Churchyard, Colemans Hatch, East Sussex|
|Years of service||1888 - 1924|
|Commands held||25th Infantry Brigade|
|Relations||Isaac Coffin (father)|
Major General Clifford Coffin VC, CB, DSO & Bar (10 February 1870 – 4 February 1959) was an officer in the British Army and was a 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.
Born in Blackheath, the son of Lieutenant General Sir Isaac Coffin. He was educated at Haileybury and Imperial Service College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Royal Engineers. He served in the Second Boer War and was mentioned in dispatches.
On 31 July 1917 in Westhoek, Belgium, when his command was held up in attack owing to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, Brigadier-General Coffin went forward and made an inspection of his front posts. Although under the heaviest fire from both machine-guns and rifles and in full view of the enemy, he showed an utter disregard of personal danger, walking quietly from shell-hole to shell-hole, giving advice and cheering his men by his presence. His gallant conduct had the greatest effect on all ranks and it was largely owing to his personal courage and example that the shell-hole line was held.
He served as Commander-in-Chief, Ceylon and ADC to King George V. He later achieved the rank of major general and was Colonel Commandant Royal Engineers. During World War II he was the chairman of the executive council of the British Empire Service League and Temporary Major General with the 36th Ulster Division.
He died in February 1959 and is buried at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Colemans Hatch, East Sussex. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Engineers Museum in Chatham, Kent. In 2012, his grave was renovated by the Victoria Cross Trust.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- The Sapper VCs (Gerald Napier, 1998)
- VCs of the First World War - Passchendaele 1917 (Stephen Snelling, 1998)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clifford Coffin.|
- Royal Engineers Museum Sappers VCs
- Location of grave and VC medal (East Sussex)
- Clifford Coffin at Find a Grave
F. A. MacFarlan
H. W. Higgingson