914: Sgt James Cookson (dispatch notice; citation)
James Cookson was my maternal grandfather. He was from Lytham, Lancashire and volunteered for the Army aged 16 (really 15). He served for the duration of the war with the North Lancashire Regiment Territorials, 1/4th Batallion.
On 13th November 1916, he was mentioned in a dispatch from General Sir Douglas Haig “for gallant and distinguished services in the field." At this time he was recorded as No 314, L/C J. Cookson. 1/4th Bn (TF).
On 1st March 1918 he received a Citation A L’Ordre de L’Armee signed by Marshal Petain. He also received the Croix de Guerre and I have seen a reference in a book about the North Lancashire Regiment which refers to Sgt Cookson being congratulated on his Croix de Guerre.
The reason for the citation and medal is written in French on the certificate and translates thus:
"On the 1st March 1918 being part of a patrol led by two officers, one of whom was killed and the other injured helped the latter to carry the body of the first to the English lines despite a violent bombardment. He was then joined to a detachment that was coming out and he took part in the advance guard of an attack on an enemy post. His courage and his contempt for danger served as the very best example to the men."