Robert Neville Cooper

Private Robert Neville Cooper, M11786
Calgary, Alberta
The Canadian Scottish Regiment

Private Cooper is sponsored by the City of Calgary.
Private Cooper était parrainé par City of Calgary.

Robert Neville Cooper was born on 28 July 1923. He was born in Verdun, Quebec, Canada. He was the second oldest to a brother and a sister and he had two half-sisters and a deceased brother. He was born to Albert Cooper and his mother, who passed away sometime before 1937. His brothers were, Albert George Cooper and the deceased David Cooper. His sister was, Patricia Ruth Cooper and he also had two half-sister, Margaret Gertrude Cooper and Carol Anne Cooper. Before Robert joined the military he worked as an upholsterer. Robert enlisted in the army, on 29 April 1940. He served with the Canadian Scottish Regiment.

Taken on strength (TOS) to the regimental depot of the Calgary Highlanders on 29 April 1940 Robert was transferred to “A” Coy of the Canadian Scottish Regiment on that same day. On 6 June 1940 he was posted to first headquarters for initial training. Later that summer, he was admitted to hospital camp on 1 August 1940 and for five days he was in the infirmary until discharged on 6 August.

Once discharged Robert continued his training and qualified as a signaler on 14 August 1940. For his efforts and success in his course he had his first leave on 30 September 1940. In his military record he had a six multiple day leaves.   He also had a seven day privileged leave on 12 June 1942. On the 31May he was granted regiment pay of $1.15 per day. He was awarded Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and clasp on 21 June 1943.

On 6 June 1944 Robert landed on Juno Beach in the area of the Normandy beach code named the “Mike Green” sector. They landed at about 7:50am. When the Canadian Scottish Regiment landed they raced 75-100 yards up the beach while taking fire from a machine gun and mortar fire. The Can Scots moved across the beach with the objective to attack the Chateau Vaux.  At 4:30am 37 officers and 815 men stirred from their sleep when they heard the public announcement system aboard the landing ship bark “wakey, wakey.”  At 0700am the landing craft assault, loaded with soldiers of the regiment, were lowered from the mother ship to the water in final approach to the Normandy landing area.  At 0750 am “C” Company touched down to the west of Courseulles-sur-Mer on the Normandy coast to take out the pillbox.  “C” Company was working with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles to clear out this nest of German soldiers.  Once the beach exits were discovered the company made its way to their objective of the road junction just past the beach area.  The men of “C” Company did this despite heavy mortar, machine gun, and sniper fire. It should be noted that one of the landing craft from “B” Company suffered a direct hit on final approach to the beach area and many fatalities occurred before the Company had reached shore.

Shortly before 9:00 the rest of the Can-Scots came ashore under sporadic mortar fire.  It took the Scots one hour to clear and move past the beach.  As they moved off the beach there was a camouflaged German 88 firing, the machine gun destroyed vehicles.

Then a platoon led by Bernie Clarke crawled up a knoll about 75 yards away from their position, the platoon nabbed several Germans. They then ran into a gun emplacement encased in concrete with hay piles on the roof for camouflage. They opened the door to the emplacement and threw in a grenade; German soldiers surrendered and came out of their slit trenches, everyone surrendered. The Vaux and Ste. Croix was the headquarters for the Germans 726 Regiment’s 2nd Battalion, The Can Scots “A” and “C” coy were sent to support the Winnipeg Rifles in Ste. Croix-sur-mer, the Winnipeg Rifles were in danger of being overrun by the Germans. A platoon would then rush to the enemy positions and would have to fight hand to hand, with enemy supporting fire coming from the area on the northern outskirts of Ste. Croix.

Artillery fire was brought down on the enemy positions, and with supporting tanks the Winnipeg took the task of stamping out the remaining resistance. The Can Scots ‘A’ and ‘C’ companies would push towards Colombiers-sur-Seulles. ‘D’ company moved one platoon each up to Pont de Reviers and Colombiers on the left, and ran into Germans leaving Ste. Croix the Can Scots took many prisoners.At around 4:30 in the afternoon after they crossed the river Seulles at Colombiers, they arrived at ‘Elm’ which was code name for the Creully-Pierrepont road which is four miles away from the beaches, and kept going but were slowed down due to enemy scattered motar and machine gun. They did flush out German stranglers.  By night time the Can Scots were six miles inland.

The Can Scots dug in their forward positions around Pierrepont, as they expected a counter-attack. On D-day the Canadian Scottish had 87 casualties but captured 200 prisoners and killed a good number of the enemy.

Robert is buried in the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Military cemetery, grave 12, row f, plot 2. Robert left his possessions to his father Albert Henry Cooper. Robert received a 1939-1945 star award, France-Germany star, Defence medal, War medal and Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with clasp.

 

Written by: A student at the Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute in Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Rédigé par : Un élève de Smiths Falls District Collegiate Institute, Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

REMEMBER TODAY, REMEMBER ALWAYS.

THIS TRIBUTE PROFILE CONTAINS AVAILABLE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON ONE OF THE CANADIANS WHO DIED ON JUNO BEACH ON 6 JUNE 1944. THE PROFILE ALSO RECOGNIZES THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION WHO GENEROUSLY SPONSORED THIS SOLDIER, AND INCLUDES A MESSAGE OF THANKS AND REMEMBRANCE FOR THEIR SACRIFICE. THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE SOLDIER’S NATIVE TONGUE AND HAS BEEN COMPILED BY THE LEST WE FORGET PROGRAM AND, IN SOME CASES, THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED WITH THE SOLDIERS.  DUE TO THE INCONSISTENCY OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND THE SPARSE AVAILABILITY OF FIRST-HAND WITNESSES, WE KNOW MORE ABOUT SOME THAN OTHERS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE ANY MATERIAL OR HELP IN OUR EFFORTS TO PRESENT THE BIOGRAPHIES IN BOTH FRENCH AND ENGLISH, PLEASE CONTACT: JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.

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CE PORTRAIT CONTIENT DES INFORMATIONS BIOGRAPHIQUES RELATIVES À L’UN DES CANADIENS QUI SONT MORTS SUR LA PLAGE JUNO, LE 6 JUIN 1944. IL PORTE ÉGALEMENT MENTION DE LA PERSONNE OU DE L’ORGANISATION QUI A GÉNÉREUSEMENT PARRAINÉ CE SOLDAT, AINSI QU’UN MESSAGE DE REMERCIEMENT EN SOUVENIR DE SON SACRIFICE. CES INFORMATIONS SONT DISPONIBLES DANS LA LANGUE MATERNELLE DU SOLDAT ET ONT ÉTÉ COMPILÉES PAR LE PROGRAMME LEST WE FORGET ET, DANS CERTAINS CAS, GRÂCE À LA GÉNÉROSITÉ DES PERSONNES LIÉES AUX SOLDATS. EN RAISON DE LA DISPARITÉ DES DOCUMENTS HISTORIQUES ET DES RARES TÉMOINS DE L’ÉPOQUE, NOUS NE DISPOSONS PAS DE LA MÊME QUANTITÉ D’INFORMATION SUR TOUS LES SOLDATS. SI VOUS SOUHAITEZ COMPLÉTER NOTRE DOCUMENTATION OU NOUS AIDER DANS NOS EFFORTS POUR PRÉSENTER LES BIOGRAPHIES EN FRANÇAIS ET EN ANGLAIS, MERCI DE CONTACTER : JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.