Personal info

  • Name: Frederick George COPPINS
  • D.O.B: 25th October, 1889
  • D.O.A: 9th August, 1918
  • D.O.D: 30th March, 1963
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Corporal, 8th Battalion The Manitoba Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Battle of Amiens (second day), France 9 August 1918

9 August 1918

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The First World War 1918 

On 9 August 1918, the second day of the Battle of Amiens, the Allies continued their successful advance eastwards. III Corps was deployed between the Ancre and the Somme; from here the Australian Corps manned the line south to the Amiens-Chaulnes railway, where they handed over to the Canadians, who were responsible for the sector running south to the Amiens-Noyon road, where they met up with the French. 37th Brigade, 12th Division, was at the north of the line, just south of the Ancre. In the fighting on the 9th they attacked Morlancourt and moved east towards the old Outer Amiens Defence Line. It was for his gallantry in the attack on Morlancourt that Sergeant T J Harris, 6th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), was awarded a posthumous VC. Meanwhile, south of the Somme, beyond the Amiens-St Quentin road, as part of the Australian Imperial Force, 8th Battalion (Victoria) was involved in the advance towards Lihons. North of Rosières-en- Santerre, Private R M Beatham, with the assistance of Lance Corporal Nottingham, attacked and captured four enemy machine-guns. He was killed when bombing a further machinegun. Further south still, the Canadian Corps also made significant gains. South of Vrély, Canadian troops of 2nd Brigade took part in the capture of Warvillers, where Sergeant R L Zengel, 5th Battalion The Saskatchewan Regiment, and Acting Corporal A P Brereton and Corporal F G Coppins, 8th Battalion The Manitoba Regiment, distinguished themselves in the capture of machine-gun positions, Zengel south-west of the village, and Brereton and Coppins at Hatchet Wood to the north.

Citation

 For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, during an attack, his platoon came unexpectedly under fire of numerous machine guns. It was not possible to advance or to retire, and no cover was available. It became apparent that the platoon would be annihilated unless the enemy machine guns were silenced immediately. Cpl. Coppins, without hesitation, and on his own initiative, called on four men to follow him and leapt forward in the face of intense machine-gun fire. With his comrades he rushed straight for the machine guns. The four men with him were killed and Cpl. Coppins wounded. Despite his wounds he reached the hostile machine guns alone, killed the operator of the first gun and three of the crew, and made prisoners of four others, who surrendered. Cpl. Coppins, by this act of outstanding valour, was the means of saving many lives of the men of his platoon, and enabled the advance to be continued. Despite his wound, this gallant N.C.O. continued with his platoon to the final objective, and only left the line when it had been made secure and when ordered to do so. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 24 September 1918. 27 September 1918, Numb. 30922, p. 11430

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