Next of Kin plaque: Private Harold Herbert Cooper, 15 Battalion, AIF

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Albert Bapaume Area, Gueudecourt
Accession Number REL/09445
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bronze
Date made c 1921-1922
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bronze next of kin plaque, showing on the obverse, Britannia holding a laurel wreath, the British lion, dolphins, a spray of oak leaves and the words 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. Beneath the main figures, the British lion defeats the German eagle. The initials 'ECP', for the designer Edward Carter Preston appear above the lion's right forepaw. A raised rectangle above the lion's head bears the name 'HAROLD HERBERT COOPER'.

History / Summary

Born in Bundaberg, Queensland, Harold Herbert Cooper was employed as a clerk when he enlisted in the AIF at Rockhampton on 20 August 1915. After initial training he was assigned as a private, service number 3114, to reinforcements for the 15th Battalion. Cooper left Brisbane aboard HMAT A69 Warilda in October.
In February 1916 in Egypt he contracted paratyphoid but recovered to move with his battalion to France in June. On 26 July he was evacuated to hospital in France and then to England for hernia surgery, missing the battalion's first major action at Pozieres. He remained in England for convalescence and then further training before rejoining his battalion on 29 January 1917. Cooper was killed three days later, on 1 February, at Guedecourt near Bapaume. He was intitially buried at Switch Trench Cemetery at Flers, but his body was reinterred after the war, at the Guards' Cemetery, Lesboeufs. Cooper was twenty-seven.

This commemorative plaque was sent to his father, Walter Cooper, in April 1922.