Pinning names to the medals
I read with great interest on page 98 in the May issue of your magazine the many daring exploits of Captain Adolphus Richard (Dick) Cooper, the late father of reader Pat Hews, who I hope will be encouraged to write a book about him. I can’t think of anyone with such an amazing military career in the service of two ccountries spread over bboth world wars.
As a reminder to rreaders, Dick Cooper, wwho was fluent in seeven languages, was suuccessively in the Frrench Foreign Legion at ththe age of 16 during the Gallipoli campaign of 1915, a Gunner with the British artillery in France during the latter part of the First World War, later a merchant seaman, who then rejoined the French Foreign Legion between the wars. When the Second World War broke out he became an honorary Captain in the British SOE (Special Operations Executive) as an agent behind enemy lines in North Africa, was captured and a PoW in enemy-occupied France, later escaping with help from the French Resistance, then after medical treatment in Britain he was back as a British secret agent behind enemy lines in Sicily and Italy during the final years of the Second World War.
Being fascinated with medals from an early age, I was keen to identify the 13 ribbons displayed on Dick Cooper’s chest in his portrait and trust that I’ve got them correct for the benefit of other readers. However, I invite Pat to correct me on any instances where I’m mistaken. So here goes, from top to bottom...
British War Medal 1914-20 (Br); 1939-45 Star (Br); Africa Star (WW2 Br); Italy Star (WW2 Br); 1939-45 War Medal (Br); Croix de Guerre with Silver Star for