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A most unusual grouping of awards and documentation to Zulu War veteran Corporal G. A. G. Cooper, 17th Lancers, afterwards a long served postman who added the I.S.M. to his accolades - and including an extremely rare surviving copy of Seven Months with the 17th (D.C.O.) Lancers in South Africa, by Private A. Walker
South Africa 1877-79, 1 clasp, 1879 (No. 2282 Pte. G. Cooper, 17th D.C.O. Lcrs.), contained in an old leather case; Imperial Service Medal, G.V.R., star-shaped issue (George Ap G. Cooper), silvered-bronze, in its Elkington & Co. fitted case of issue, very fine and better £1200-1500
George Ap (as in patronym) George Cooper appears to have served in the same Troop as Private A. Walker during the Zulu War, the former having made one or two annotations to the text of his copy of Seven Months with the 17th (D.C.O.) Lancers in South Africa that suggest he shared in the same patrol work - thus an account of a patrol of 35 men from ‘A’ Troop sent out shortly before the battle of Ulundi.
A rather charming glimpse of Cooper in later life is to be found in a letter he sent to the editor of the North Hertfordshire Mail in February 1916:
Being a constant reader of your paper I was delighted to read in your last week’s issue a piece of poetry from the open of an ex-C.M.R., which related to the Zulu War, in which I also took part up to the final battles of Ulundi. I also should like to buckle on my sword again, but alas, like Mr. Lathom, I am too old to go, being the same age, 60.
G. Cooper, late 17th Lancers.’
sold with the following related documentation and photographs:
(i) The recipient’s copy of Seven Months with the 17th (D.C.O.) Lancers in South Africa, by Private A. Walker, published in Mhow, Central India, 1880, 41pp., the top of the preface inscribed in ink, ‘Corpl. G. Cooper, 17th Lancers, late 5th Royal Irish Lancers’, front cover separated, and back cover lacking, and worn overall, but an extremely rare surviving copy of a little known history.
(ii) A large framed and glazed photograph of a 17th Lancers Annual Dinner and Reunion of Old Comrades, London, 21 October 1905; and another large framed and glazed photograph of the recipient in his latter years, wearing his South Africa and Imperial Service Medals, together with a smaller studio image of the same.
(iii) An old print from the Illustrated London News, August 1879, depicting the 17th Lancers before the battle of Ulundi; the above cited newspaper cutting, and a picture postcard of Ickleford Church, in which village Cooper resided in late life.
(iv) General Post Office certificate of appreciation on the recipient’s retirement, London, 1915, in the name of ‘Mr. George Ap George Cooper’, for faithful service ‘rendered to the State during a period of more than 30 years’, signed by the Postmaster General.