F. H. Cooper.

  A newspaper entry dated the Dec 11 1914 - Drummer Captures German Trumpet.

Drummer F. Cooper, of the Bedfordshire Regiment, and son of Mrs. Cooper, of St. Germain Street, Huntingdon, is lying wounded at Vernon Hospital Songbell, Cheshire. He was shot in the right arm by a rifle bullet at Ypres. Although he lost his cherished bugle, he captured a fine trumpet belonging to the Prussian Guard, which he has brought back.

His brother, T. V. Cooper, who is acting Sergeant bugler to the Hunts. Cyclist Reserve Battalion, visited him a few days ago, and found the bullet had been extracted.

Drummer Cooper was involved in an action on Nov. 11 in a fierce bayonet charge on the Prussian Guard. The Bedfords had to leave their trenches to repel the attack and sustained 115 casualties that night, but next morning there were stated to be 700 dead Germans between the British Lines and the Germans’ first trench. He had been in other bayonet charges, and once, through a Regiment retiring from their trench, the Bedfords had to retake it at the point of the bayonet. So fierce had been the fighting that the Bedfords had been in a trench18 – 20 day’s at a time without being relieved, and they had been entrenched as close as 130 yards from the Germans whom they could hear talking. It was difficult to get ammunition and rations, and the work had to be done at night.

A striking instance of German treachery came under his notice. “About 30 Germans,” he said “came to give themselves up. They were holding up their hands as they came and our officer sent a party to receive them. As soon as our men went out the Germans threw themselves on the ground, disclosing others behind who immediately opened fire. Half of our party were knocked over and then the Germans ‘bunked off.’
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. . Martyn Smith ©