Spoon saved life of Great War soldier
A Devon man has shown off the precious heirloom that saved his grandfather’s life in the First World War – a piece of cutlery.
The silver spoon was with a bible in Henry Cooper’s top left jacket pocket when he was hit by a bullet during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
The round went through the book but was deflected and slowed down by the spoon.
Henry, 20, spent months in hospital in Southampton recovering from the gun shot wound, although his family believe that but for the spoon he would not have survived.
The item, given to Henry by his father before he went to war, was kept in the family and decades later went to war again.
The spoon was given to Rod Cooper by his mother as a good luck charm when he deployed to Iraq with The Royal Lancers in the Gulf War of 1991.
“She gave it to me as a token of good luck and asked me to keep it my pocket,” said Mr Cooper, 57, of Paignton.
“I’m not overly superstitious but it seemed harmless and like a good idea. I didn’t show it to many people really while on deployment.
“My troop and crew knew about it because they knew I didn’t want to lose it,” said the former Warrant Officer 2. “I took it on further tours later.”
Fortunately he was never shot during his 32 years in the army but he made sure the spoon was also put to its intended use.
“It came in very useful as it’s big. I ended up using it as a ‘racing spoon’ because I could fit so much in it.”
Rod Cooper with the spoon that saved the life of his grandfather in the First World War