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Predicate Object 1981 1981-01-01T00:00:00.000Z 1981-12-31T00:00:00.000Z Collection of Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira, N1937 2016-03-21T00:00:00.000Z 1 2019-10-25T03:36:43.711Z 3D 60 British War Medal 1914-20 Awarded to Lieut. Thornhill Cooper, NZ Engineers Tunnelling Coy, WW1 47592 Lieutenant Thornhill Cooper, NZ Engineers Tunnelling Company, 1NZEF, WW1 Mine manager Thornhill Cooper applied to enlist with the NZ Tunnelling Company in January 1917. He was a married man with three children and the Minister of Defence enquired whether he was making suitable provision for his family and whether his wife had consented to his enlistment. In response Thornhill Cooper assured the department that his wife had given her consent to his leaving and that, if able to gain a commission as Lieutenant, he would be in a position to “make suitable provision for his family. Cooper’s initial appointment was as an NCO on probation. He was required to spend 6 weeks in camp, and prove himself suitable for a Commission. He was not however, required to sit a qualifying examination. It is unclear whether Cooper did prove himself or whether the need for experienced tunnellers was so great that the rules were bent for he was appointed as Lieutenant despite an unfavourable report which stated that he was “very small in stature and has no idea of Drill,” and unlikely to “ever make an officer”. Lieutenant Cooper embarked as a Lieutenant with the 5th Reinforcements NZ Tunnelling Coy on 26 April 1917 and spent the next two years on the Western Front. He later wrote that his two years’ service with the Tunnelling Coy gave him experience in various branches of Military engineering including “construction and repair of roads and trenches; making of dugouts, and machine gun positions; bridge building, mine tunnelling; placing mines for destruction of roads and bridges; finding and removal of German mines; and various other works incidental to modern warfare.” Following his discharge from active service Thornhill Cooper remained, for a time, on the Reserve List of Officers. He also applied, unsuccessfully, for a permanent position with as an Engineer Officer. Reference: Service Record of 47592 Thornhill Cooper, Archives NZ Correspondence: T Cooper to HQ NZMF 2.5.1919 and 2.6.1919, applying for a position as Engineer Officer. British War Medal 1914-20, WW1 Awarded to Lieut. Thornhill Cooper, NZ Engineers Tunnelling Coy, NZEF. circular silver medal; plain, straight non-swivelling suspender; with ribbon obverse: coinage head of King George V with the legend GEORGIUS V BRITT: OMN: REX ET IND: IMP: reverse: naked figure of St. George on horseback facing right. The horse is trampling on an eagle shield and cross bones symbolic of death; above the horse’s head is the sun, symbolic of victory. Around the edge are the dates, 1914 and 1918 ribbon: broad orange watered band down the centre, bordered with white, black and blue stripes named on edge: 47953 LIEUT. T. COOPER. N.Z.E.F. medal, campaign
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