Oldest TA Veteran dies aged 105


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Apparently it's not that bad for your health (as long as you survive the War, that is):

Oldest TA Veteran Dies Aged 105

Alastair Bruce May 29, 2009 7:24 PM

It was a gentle end to a lifetime of service. In 1924, at the age of 20, he signed up in Oldham, Lancashire, and was mobilised at the outbreak of the 2nd World War to serve in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Africa and Italy.

Last year he attended a number of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Territorial Army. His presence was an inspiration to a new generation of volunteers, most of which have seen service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He will be greatly missed by his family - which includes all serving and past members of the TA.

I spent time chatting with him last year when he was sat amongst a group of fascinated young soldiers. He was bright eyed, loving every minute but, like many veterans who have risked all for the country, his eyes welled up with memories of TA mates long gone.

In April this year, he celebrated his 105th birthday. His local TA unit took him a cake and thanked him for his voluntary service.

Just last year, Edwin said, "I loved every minute of my involvement with the TA and would join them tomorrow if they would have me, but at my age now I wouldn't be of any value to them". How wrong he was, he was greatly valued to the end and his example will never be forgotten. He was a noble example of his generation.


RIP old Soldier, and (from a rather selfish TA viewpoint) nice to see us getting some decent publicity for once - well done whoever noticed this old chap and sorted out his visits, etc.
I saw him last year at the TA100 parade at Whitehall. Real shame to hear he's gone.
RIP terrier.
bobos said:
Was he near retirement age for the TA.

bet he could still do his mile & half faster than me :lol:

where was he living?
i can vaguely remember an oldtimer in the news last year from south wales(or at least living here)
getting a cake form his local TA unit for a big birthday


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MoD Web here

Britain's oldest Territorial Army soldier, Edwin Cooper, of Abergele, Conwy, died at the age of 105 on Friday 29 May 2009.

Mr Cooper's birthday, in April this year, was marked by a visit from local serving Territorial Army soldiers, who brought a cake and helped him to celebrate a lifetime of service.

They wanted to thank him for taking part in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Territorial Army last year, which was called TA100.

Brigadier Tom O'Brien, the Director of Reserves (Army) and the senior serving Territorial, said:

"None of us will forget Edwin's enthusiastic contribution to TA100 or the generation of service that he represented. He was five years older than the TA itself and he just embraced every part of the celebrations.

"In a way he was a figurehead for the TA and for all our veterans and he was a magnet for all serving Territorials."

Describing the TA unit that went to Edwin's home this April to mark his 105th birthday, Brigadier O'Brien said:

"I am so glad that we were able to join his family in marking his 105th birthday this year. He was very special and we will miss him enormously but we will never forget the generation of volunteers he came from and all they did for this country."

Edwin Cooper signed up as a TA volunteer in Oldham, Lancashire, in 1924, aged 20, and was called up the day war broke out, in 1939, to train in Folkestone for service with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

He saw active service in North Africa with the Duke of Wellington Regiment before fighting up the Italian peninsula with the First Army until the end of the Second World War.

Edwin Cooper said of his service:

"I learnt many things in the TA and I am extremely proud of being a member. The comradeship was great. We could count on each other without a doubt. I loved every minute of my involvement… and would join them again tomorrow if they would have me."
Having fought in North Africa Mr Cooper's regiment landed at Anzio in January 1944.

By the time the beachead was relieved in May 1944, the DWR had sustained several hundred casualties according to the Regimental Medical Officer Dr Alistair Paterson RAMC , who is still with us.

[ In fact 1Bn DWR sustained 10.85% of the Divisional casulaties at Anzio, having 39 officers and 921 other ranks killed or wounded]

As a medic, Mr Cooper would have been very much in the thick of it......

Rest In Peace, " D-Day Dodger "

'In Arduis Fidelis'

Le Chevre
Sad to hear this. A few of the posters on the Trail magazine forum had been in touch with his family and were trying to help him with one of his final wishes- to climb Snowdon. Sadly he passed on before this could be done.
RIP Edwin.
afcass said:
Sad to hear this. A few of the posters on the Trail magazine forum had been in touch with his family and were trying to help him with one of his final wishes- to climb Snowdon. Sadly he passed on before this could be done.
RIP Edwin.
thats the badger!

i'm taking the family to north wales in july
(sun holiday :oops: )
think i'll go up snowdon for him then then

RIP Edwin

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