For the Record

John Patrick Cooper's personnel file in the British War Office, which his sister Veronica received, shows that he enlisted in the British Army on April 23, 1942, at a recruiting center in north London.

Dakia Karpel
Dalia Karpel
Dakia Karpel
Dalia Karpel

John Patrick Cooper's personnel file in the British War Office, which his sister Veronica received, shows that he enlisted in the British Army on April 23, 1942, at a recruiting center in north London. He declared his age to be 18 and gave his date of birth as December 28, 1923; in reality, he was 17. His file states that he refused to be immunized. He is described as tall and sturdy, with blue eyes and brown hair. Religion: Catholic. Cooper served in the Home Guard for a year and on April 23, 1942 became an army truck driver in the Middlesex Regiment. On May 14, 1943, he and his unit were shipped to North Africa, where he served until July 1944, and afterward in Europe. In June 1945 he was tried for returning late to his base. In November 1945, when his unit was in Milan, he went AWOL and was arrested and tried. He spent 21 days in prison.

Cooper was discharged from service in December 1946 in England, with three medals to his credit: the Italy Star, the War Medal for 1939-1945 and the Defense Medal. The summation in his file is impressive. But Cooper did not reacclimatize to civilian life. In October 1947 he returned to the British Army as a driver. A month later he was sent with his unit to Palestine. On February 11, 1948, he was tried by a military court for "violating a legal order" and jailed for a month. The army record shows that he was officially declared a deserter on June 9, 1948.

Cooper's comrades in 1948

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