1st Lieutenant
Henry Towry Miles Cooper

Henry Towry Miles Cooper (Gentleman Cadet)
Father's Name: The Reverand Henry John Cooper
Born: Old Windsor, Berkshire
Age at date of Commission: 16 years

Made Second Lieutenant (Pronouced "Left - Tenent" rather than the Yankee pronunciation of "Loo-Tenant") on 23 April 1855.  Served at Portsmouth, HQ, from 23 April 1855 to 4 March 1856.

Supplement, April 10, 1858]         THE ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS             373


(Top picture caption: Officer's quarters, provisional battalion Royal Marines on the walls of Canton.  Bottom picture caption: The old landing place, Canton.)

The cozy quarters of the officers of the Provisional battalion of Royal Marines given above were perched on the walls of Canton.  It was here that our Artist spent a few days and nights, as he says, "very picturesquely."

The Old Landing-place, Canton, with its Babel-like confusion , is then described by the Times correspondent:--"The point is where a shallow streamlet or drain falls into the river, about a mile to the east of the south-eastern corner of the city wall.  Suburban water-side hovels once covered the area upon which the promiscuous crowd now raging, and shooting, and pushing, and struggling; but those hovels are now only heaps of rubbish.  Twenty or thirty ships' boats have their bows against the bard: the Commissariat lords, the General's chop-boat (which in the confusion was once seized upon by a French ship-of-war and taken down the river), several gun-boats, and the Commissariat lie off the river.  Packages innumerable, baggage and bales, barrels and cases, munitions of war and munitions for the stomach, are piled about in mountains . . . . Everybody wants and escort, and everybody wants a troop of coolies.  Oh those patient, lusty, enduring coolies!  It was a valuable legacy which Colonel Wetherall left us, that Coolie Corps.  They carried the ammunition on the day of the assault close up to the rear of our columns, and when a cannon shot took off the head of one of them the others only cried "Ey yaw!" and laughed, and worked away as merrily as ever . . . .

The French are already passing in strong bodies, carrying up their heavy baggage to the front.  Ever and anon some gaping Chinaman is urged by curiosity to approach the crowd.  Quick as lightning Johnny Frenchman seizes him by the ear, pops the end of a bamboo pole upon his shoulder, gives him a kick in the rear, and makes him trot off, a pressed porter, amid the jeers of our Commissariat coolies. When a long pile of baggage-carriers has been formed an escort is given and away they go through the dangerous débris of wrecked houses which intervene between the landing-place and the East-gate." A new landing has been made at the south-east point of the city by Capt. Hall, which, by way of compliment to that energetic officer, is called Hall's terrace.

Made 1st Lieut. on 11 August 1858.

China and San Juan from 5 March 1856 to 23 July 1867.

"The San Juan difficulty still remains unsolved and three Marine Officers that I know have been wasting their existance there for three years and still no prospect of relief".

- - Lt. Anderson RE, 2nd May 1862

Made 2nd Captain on 3 August 1867 while at Portsmouth, HQ, from 24 July 1867.

Made Captain on 3 November 1868.


Embarked at Plymouth. Served in China 1856.  Present at the capture and blockade of the Canton River, landed for protection of factories, destruction of War Junks in Fashtan Creek, 1st June, 1857.  Assault and Capture of Canton.  Expedition to the North.  Capture of Forts at the mouth of the Pei-ho River.  Served at Vancouver's Island 7 years in the Joint Military Occupation with the United States of the island of San Juan.  Served as Aide de camp to the Governor of British Columbia in the Chilcoten Expedition against the Indian Tribes. Seconded (vide Board letter, 20 Jan 1868.)

China medal with Clasp for Fashtan '57, Canton '57 and Taku Forts '58. (received 26 October 1863)

Placed on Retired List, "own request", upon the Annuity which his service entitles him to receive under Order-in-Council, 5 February, 1872.  Board letter, 15 February 1872.

Commenced Retired Pay (122 Pounds Sterling per Annum) 20 April 1872.

Appointed Collector of Customs for the Settlement on the Gambia -
According to Gazette 11 June 1872.

Application for step of Honorary Rank not entertained, in consequence of the length of time which has elapsed since this officer was placed on Retired List (26 January 1874)

D. D. at Bathurst, Gambia, 9 January 1877.  Obituary in "US Gazette", 10 February 1877 and "Times" 22 feb 1877.

"On the 9th Jan., at Bathurst, Gambia, West Coast of Africa, Henry Miles Towry Cooper, late Capt., Royal Marines, and Acting Administrator at Bathurst, only son of the Late Rev. Henry John Cooper, Rector of Ewhurst, Surrey, aged 38."

H. T. M. Cooper - Personal effects: under 1,500 Pounds Sterling 21 March.  The Will of H. T. M. Cooper, formerly of 96 Ledbury Roar, Bayswater, but late of 24 Tavistock Crescent, Westbourne Park, both in the County of Middlesex, formerly a Captain in the Royal Marines who died 9 January 1877, at Bathurst River Gambia West Coast of Africa was proved at the Principal Registry by Emeline Louisa Cooper of 24 Tavistock Crescent, Widow the Relict the sole Executrix.