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MIC Border Regiment - Help please.


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Private John Cooper Holmes, 1974. Border Regiment.

Can some one help me understand his MIC please.

I notice that he qualified for the 1914 star, so I am guessing he served in France 1914.

But I notice that he doesn't have a SWB so what could have happened after 1914 ?

And what is all that in the middle of the card mean.


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I assume most of the writing on the card is about the mistake with his name and having it amended.

He landed in France the day the 1/5th Bn Borders deployed so likely he was a pre war TF soldier.


1/5th (Cumberland) Battalion
August 1914 : in Carlisle. Army Troops attached to East Lancashire Division. Moved to Barrow.
26 October 1914 : landed at Le Havre and attached to Lines of Communication. [Official History of the war mentions attachment to Jullundur Brigade in Lahore Division].
5 May 1915 : came under orders of 149th Brigade in 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
20 December 1915 : transferred to 151st Brigade in same Division.
12 February 1918 : transferred to as Pioneer Bn to 66th (2nd East Lancashire) Division.
7 May 1918 : transferred to 97th Brigade in 32nd Division and absorbed the cadre of the regiment's 11th Battalion (Lonsdale).

War Diary available here. Unfortunately it appears period between Oct 14 and May 1915 is not available:





Tim D

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Thank you Tim, I didn't know David had posted the question on Rootschat.

Regards Mike.

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It looks like he returned his 1914 star for a name change, the back of the card indicates the return, the bit in red is a certified receipt voucher which "brought to charge?" does it mean changing the name was brought to their attention? and changed and reissued in the blue part under issue voucher 131/G.

As said above his pair is obviously on another card.

All free on Ancestry to search for at the moment!



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Link to second card above Robert.


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First, may I thanks deacs for posing part of my dilemma on this forum, and for his help on another forum.

The full mystery is as follows.

I recently was fortunate to find a box containing several family medals

Amongst the medals were the following 5

War medal & Victory medal marked John Cooper 240420 5th Border Rgt

1914 Star marked J C Holmes 1976 5th Border Rgt

War medal & Victory medal marked J Cooper 423536 10th London Rifles

There were also a set of War medal, Victory medal & 1914/1915 Star marked A Cooper 10734 2nd Border Rgt

The confusion starts because the family name is Holmes with Cooper being a second name as per all birth and marriage certificates I have

Alfred although officially Holmes was know as Alf Cooper, he was killed in action 11th March 1915, 2 days before his 19th birthday and is commemorated on our local Cockermouth memorial and on the Le Touret memorial as Alf Cooper

I have always known that Alf's father John (my G Grandfather) was also in WW1, family stories are that his wife Helen made him join to look after their son. John Holmes was known as Jack Cooper.

At first I presumed that all 5 medals were my G Grandfathers but couldn't understand why he was in 2 regiments. He was born in 1869 so was 45 at the outbreak of was in 1914.

My Grandfather also John was always known as John Holmes. I have no recollection whatsoever of being told he was in WW1, but being born in 1898 and 16 at the outbreak of war, it is possible and would explain the 1914 star having a name change.

My questions now are, if young John had his name changed on the 1914 star, why not on his other 2 medals

If young John was awarded a 1914 star and his brother a 1914/1915 star, would they have sent territorials (the 5th) to the front before regulars (2nd)

If the 2 medals marked 10th London Rifles are John & Alfred's fathers, why would he sign up to a regiment as far from home as possible.

I'd love to identify exactly who's medal is who's so that I can have them framed correctly so that future generations aren't as confused as I am


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Long Long Trail will answer one of your queries re 5th & 2nd -

Both were overseas in 1914 - 5th were "lines of communication troops" guarding German POW's.

2nd were involved in fighting in 1914 (1st Border were in Burma) so I would suggest that the 1914/15 Star marked 2nd Border was awarded to a man who went overseas as a reinforcement well after the Battalion went abroad.

FYI - the actual medal rolls are now available on Ancestry. May throw some more light on the matter.

If I was a betting man I would say 1914 Star is not for "young John" but your the 45 year old great grandfather.


Steve Y

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Welcome to the forum David I hope someone can come along and help you try to understand all of this.

Regards Mike.

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Hello Steve Y, thanks for your input, its greatly appreciated

Your comment "5th were lines of communication troops" guarding German POW's. 2nd were involved in fighting in 1914" makes sense to me. One of the John's was guarding German POW's and Alfred was fighting.

BUT, if it was John senior on guard, why did he only change his name on one medal when he was happy to be known as Cooper. That would leave his son John who was know as Holmes joining the 10th London as Cooper, why would he do that

I'm sorry for my why,why,why, but its so frustrating not knowing who's medals are who's


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