13 March 2024

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Commander Edgar Cookson,
Royal Navy ( HM Gunboat "Comet" )

  • Victoria Cross
  • Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )
  • China War Medal ( 1900 )
  • 1914 - 15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914 - 20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914 - 19 ) + MiD Oakleaf

The Victoria Cross and Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ) awarded to Lieutenant Commander Edgar Cookson, Royal Navy, has been sold at auction by Noonan's of London.

The sale estimate was between £180,000 and £220,000. The sale hammer price realised £220,000. The identity of the purchaser has not been revealed.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 21 January 1916 ], Kut-el-Amara, Mesopotamia, ( Iraq ), 28 September 1915, Lieutenant Commander Edgar Christopher Cookson, Royal Navy ( HM Gunboat "Comet" )

In recognition of the following act of most conspicuous gallantry during the advance on Kut-el-Amara.

On the 28th September 1915, the river gunboat "Comet" had been ordered with other gunboats to examine and, if possible, destroy an obstruction placed across the river by the Turks.

When the gunboats were approaching the obstruction a very heavy rifle and machine gun fire was opened on them from both banks. An attempt to sink the centre dhow of the obstruction by gunfire having failed, Lieutenant-Commander Cookson ordered the "Comet" to be placed alongside, and himself jumped on to the dhow with an axe and tried to cut the wire hawsers connecting it with the two other craft forming the obstruction. He was immediately shot in several places and died within a very few minutes.

Edgar Cookson's mother was presented with her son's Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 29th November 1916.

For the award of the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )

[ London Gazette, 13 September 1915 ], Near Qurnah, Euphrates River, 9 May 1915, Lieutenant Commander Edgar Christopher Cookson, Royal Navy ( HM Armed Launch "Shushan" ).

Lieutenant Commander Cookson was conducting a reconnaisance up a creek of the Euphrates river, west of Qurnah in the armed launch "Shushan" on the 9th May 1915, when he was heavily attacked by Arabs concealed in the reeds.

Although severely wounded early in the action, he resumed command after his wounds were temporarily dressed, and succeeded in most ably extricating the vessell from a most perilous position under heavy fire.

Edgar Cookson died as a result of his wounds on the 28 September 1915 and is buried in the Amara War Cemetery. His Name is on the cemetery Memorial Wall.


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Iain Stewart, 13 March 2024