Private James Cooper V.C.

As is quite well known, Warstone Lane is the proud resting place of an early recipient of the Victoria Cross which was made in 1867 to Private James Cooper who, with a party of others ‘gallantly’ assisted the rescue of a landing party from the ship “Assam Valley” who were missing on the Little Andaman Island. Sadly James Cooper’s resting place is in section P number 1428, a public grave which means a memorial is not allowed so a plaque has been placed at the rear of the former cemetery offices in Warstone Lane, close to the war memorial. James Cooper V.C. died 1882 in what was described at the time as "extreme poverty" and the following notice appeared in the Birmingham Daily Mail:


To the Editor of the Birmingham Daily Mail.

Sir, - A gallant soldier, who for distinguished bravery was awarded the Victoria Cross, has just died at Hockley, after a lingering illness there of two years, leaving a widow and three children, aged ten, five, and two years, utterly destitute. The poor fellow contracted the disease (consumption) whilst serving in India. Extreme poverty and anxiety soon completed the work.

I therefore venture, through you, to appeal to some of your generous and sympathising readers to assist the poor destitute widow and orphans; and I shall be glad to receive the smallest contribution in stamps or otherwise.

I am, sir, yours faithfully,

ARTHUR TINKLAR, Captain R.N., Governor of H.M. Prison,

H. M. Prison, Birmingham, November 16 1882

Placed on the rear of the Cemetery Lodge wall

at The Church of England Cemetery

Warstone Lane

Click to enlarge