Cooper M – 1913

BB Gazette Vol.22 No.2 – The Brigade Executive has awarded the Cross for Heroism to Sergeant Marshall Cooper, aged 16, 47th Aberdeen Company, for rescuing a child from drowning, at the risk of his own life.

Aberdeen Daily Journal 15th November 1913 – CULTER BOY’S HEROISM REWARDED – The areas, galleries, and orchestra seats of the Aberdeen Music Hall were crowded in every part last night, when the local Battalion of The Boys’ Brigade held its annual concert. Fully 2000 boys were on parade. Lord Provost Maitland, who wore his uniform as Lord Lieutenant of the County and of the City, and was received by the Brigade with the General Salute, presided.

During the evening, Sergeant Marshall Cooper, of the 47th (Culter) Company, was presented with the parchment of the Royal Humane Life-Saving Society, and the highest distinction which can be conferred by the Boys’ Brigade on a member – the bronze medal for gallantry in saving life. The Brigadier, Mr G. Bennett Mitchell, read a statement describing how Sergeant Cooper, even though he could not swim, went into the Leachar Burn at Culter and rescued a four-year-old from drowning. Marshall assisted under the most trying and dangerous circumstances, and after getting the infant ashore applied artificial respiration – of which he had a very superficial knowledge – for twenty minutes before the child showed signs of coming round.

Lord Provost Maitland, in handing over the parchment, said he felt very proud to have a part in such a ceremony, and prouder of the fact that a boy of the Aberdeen Brigade had distinguished himself in the way Sergeant Cooper had done. They had heard the narrative of his plucky, prompt, and courageous act; he was not looking for adventure, but was at the time, as boys usually were when on holiday, searching for fun. An opportunity had come to him for which he was not looking, but which he had proved himself equal to. At the risk of his own life and without thinking of himself, but only of the rescue of the child whose life was in danger, he pressed forward and succeeded in bringing it to safety. His act was not only in the highest degree creditable to himself, but would be an inspiration and a splendid example to the members of the Brigade in the future. It gave him (the Lord Provost) great pleasure to present Sergeant Cooper with the parchment of the Royal Humane Life-Saving Society as a permanent reminder of the noble act he had performed. Not only his own Peterculter Company felt proud of him, but all his comrades in that great assembly took pride in the fact that they had among them a young hero who had done his duty when occasion arose. (Applause.)

Major-General Woolcombe, C.B., commanding the Highland Division of the Territorial Force, pinned the medal of the Boys’ Brigade on Sergeant Cooper’s breast.

BB Gazette Vol.22 No.4 – ABERDEEN BATTALION – … The Battalion Concert of 1913 will also be remembered for another interesting event which took place that evening. This was the presentation of the Royal Humane Society’s Parchment and The Boys’ Brigade Cross for Heroism to Sergeant Marshall Cooper of the 47th Aberdeen (Culter) Company. On 6th August last Sergeant Cooper, at great risk to his own life, rescued a child of four from drowning. He had very great difficulty in bringing the child to land, and after effecting a landing he had to apply methods of artificial respiration for twenty minutes before the child showed any signs of life. Lord Provost Maitland handed over the Royal Humane Society’s Diploma to Sergeant Cooper, and General C. L. Woolcombe, C.B., General Officer commanding the Highland Division, pinned the B.B. Cross for Heroism on his breast.

Boys Brigade Cross for Heroism


Share This

This account has been complied using records held in The Boys’ Brigade Archive Collection, local and national newspaper archives and other sources. If there are any omissions or errors we sincerely apologise, and request that you come forward with this information, so that this can be corrected.

Heritage -
Newsletter of The Boys' Brigade Archive

Heritage is the newsletter of The Boys’ Brigade Archives. Volumns 1 and 2 were published in print form by the BB Archive Members Association. Volumn 3 onwards is a digital newsletter sent to supporters of the BB Archives monthly.


The Boys’ Brigade Archive Trust relies on supporters to further the preservation and promotion of the Heritage of The Boys’ Brigade, ensuring that is is accessible and relevant to future generations of young people. If you are able to support our work though a financial donation, by the donation of artifacts, photographs and paperwork of by volunteering please click on the links below. If you wish receive our monthly newsletter please sign up. We look forward to hearing from you and advancing the work of The Boys’ Brigade Archive Trust.

Whats' new

Our volunteer researchers are constantly developing content for The Boys’ Brigade Virtual Museum.

Links to our brand new content can be found below.