|Cooper||C D||Lieutenant Colonel||Charles Duncan Cooper was born on 25 June 1849, son of Brigadier-General G L Cooper, Royal Artillery, who was killed during the relief of Lucknow. He was educated at Christ College, Finchley, and began his military career at 19 years of age as an Ensign in the 2nd battalion, 103rd Regiment (Royal Bombay Fusiliers). He remained with that regiment, which became the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in 1881, throughout his career. He served as Adjutant to the 4th battalion (Dublin City Militia) from 1885 to 1889. When the Boer War broke out in 1899, he was ordered to South Africa in command of the 2nd battalion. After arriving there, and upon the wounding of the regimental commander, Cooper was breveted a full Colonel and took overall command. The Dublin Fusiliers formed part of General Sir Redvers Buller's Western Field Force, comprising some 30,000 men, which was pushing its way to Natal to relieve the besieged garrison in the town of Ladysmith. During the advance he took part in the action at Lombard's Kop, the battle of Colenso, Spion Kop, Vaal Krantz, Tugela Heights, and Pieter's Hill. At Colenso the Dublins, led by Cooper, suffered very badly. General Hart, commanding officer of the Irish Brigade, of which the Dublins were a part, was of the old school and thought that correct assault tactics meant a repeat of parade ground drill in the face of the enemy. Cooper, however, had witnessed the effect of Boer Mauser fire in previous attacks and knew that to march shoulder to shoulder into battle was tantamount to suicide; especially so inasmuch as at Colenso the Dublins were to advance along a very narrow front against an entrenched enemy. Cooper spread his men out at intervals and ordered them forward. General Hart saw this movement and beckoned Cooper to his side. “Sir, you will close ranks to the proper order” “General”, Cooper replied, “I fear the consequences, but do it I will” The Dublins suffered a great many casualties in the attack, and they found themselves trapped in the open throughout the entire day before they could safely extricate themselves. Shortly after the battle of Pieter's Hill, advance mounted units of Buller's army made their way into Ladysmith. The siege was over and the Dublin Fusiliers were specially selected to march into Ladysmith at the head of the relieving force, and Colonel Cooper, on horseback, was the first man to enter the town. Cooper was promoted to the rank of local Major-General in March 1900, and given command of the 4th Infantry Brigade which he took through the operations in Natal, including the battle of Laing's Nek. In July 1900 he was appointed General Officer Commanding the Heidelberg sub-district. He was mentioned in Buller's despatch of 30 March, 1900, ‘a thoroughly good officer who led his regiment thoroughly well', and again on 9 November, ‘was appointed to command on General Lyttleton's promotion. An excellent regimental CO, has proved himself equally valuable in command of a brigade, and shown himself to be a resolute, capable commander'. He was subsequently appointed a Companion of the Bath in recognition of his services during the Boer War. With the end of hostilities, Cooper was sent home to command 102nd regimental district, Naas, in 1903. In 1905 he was promoted Brigadier-General in command of the North Irish Regimental grouped districts, and retired from the army in 1906 as a Major-General. He was made Colonel of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers on 13 March 1910, a position he held until his death on 31 July 1922.|
CB (m) (b/b converted to n/b), QSA (5) CC TH RofL Tr LN (Major Gen CB RDF), KSA (2) (Colonel CB Staff), 1902 Coronation, 1911 Coronation, Royal Dublin Fusiliers Regimental Medal, gold, inscribed on the edge (Maj Gen, CB), the suspension dated ‘1662-1911', with gold ribbon bar inscribed ‘Colonel 13th March 1910', and gold top suspension brooch inscribed ‘Old Toughs'. DNW 30 Jun 98 £5,000.
Source: List of CB recipients. Various sources
|Royal Dublin Fusiliers|