An Old Collection of Medals Relating to The Great War

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Date of Auction: 19th June 2013

Sold for £850

Estimate: £350 - £450

Three: Lieutenant C. J. Coker, Welsh Regiment, who was killed in action in the trenches near St Eoi by a German sniper on 22 June 1915

1914-15 Star (Lieut., Welsh R.); British War and Victory Medals (Lieut.); Memorial Plaque (John Cadwallader Coker) note order of first two names on plaque, extremely fine (4) £350-450


Lieutenant Cadwallader John Coker was born in 1892 and educated at Wellington College and Oriel College, Oxford. He was killed in action in the trenches at St Eloi by a German sniper on 22 June 1915. His Commanding Officer wrote: ‘At daybreak he saw a German outside the trench and got up to shoot him. Unfortunately he remained above the parapet too long, and he was shot through the head and killed instantaneously.’

He had previously been wounded at Hooge on 24 May 1915 and the Medical Officer in writing of this said: ‘Your son was slightly wounded on Whit Monday in a street which was heavily shelled by the enemy. About 40 officers and men were hit in a short time. Mr Coker refused all attention until the others were seen to, helped to carry and dress them, and set a magnificent example to the rest of the wounded by his pluck and coolness. It hardly struck me at the time, it was so entirely what one would have expected of him. He was a fine type of officer and gentleman.’ Had he lived one day longer he would have obtained his temporary captaincy.