Crimea (1) Sebastopol (Captain W. Jesser Coope, 57th Regiment.) contemporary engraved naming;
QSA (2) Cape Colony, Wepener (Capt: W. Jesse-Coope, Brabants Horse);
KSA (2) (Capt: W. Jesser-Coope. S.A.M.I.F.);
Turkish Crimea 1855, Sardinian issue (Captain W. Jesser Coope, 57th Regiment);
Turkey, Medal for the Defence of Plevna 1877, silver (Colonel Jesser Coope Imperial Ottoman Gendarmerie) naming impressed in small capitals;
Turkey, Order of Osmanieh, 3rd class neck badge, silver, gilt and enamels, green enamel damaged on several arms;
Turkey, Order of the Medjidieh, 3rd class neck badge, silver, gilt and enamel
William Jesser-Coope was born at Exmouth, Devon, on 1 February 1835, son of the Rev. William John Coope, sometime rector of Falmouth. Educated at Winchester, Jesser-Coope entered the 57th Foot as Ensign on 17 February 184; Lieutenant, 15 September 1854; Captain, 26 February 1856. He served in the Crimean War, being present at the attack on the Quarries, in the storming party on the Redan on the 18th June, for which he was mentioned in despatches, and also on the storming party on Kinburn. Placed on half-pay in November 1856, he transferred to the full pay of the 1/7th Royal Fusiliers on 23 October 1857, and to the 64th Foot on 3 March 1863.
Retiring from the Regular Army in 1871, on the reorganisation under Lord Cardwell, he was selected as an Inspector in the Imperial Ottoman Gendarmerie, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, under Baker Pasha. He assisted in the distribution of relief organised by Lady Burdett Coutts in the Balkans during the Russo-Turkish War. For the Turkish Army in the field he organised a stretcher service, but was captured with his staff at Telisch, and detained as a prisoner of war at Nizhny-Novgorod, being released in January 1878. He was present at the review of the Russian Army at St Stephano, and an article by his pen was published in The Times describing that historic event.
At the conclusion of the Boer War in 1881, he went to South Africa with Lord Roberts to establish a system of co-operative military colonies along the Transvaal border as a protection against Boer aggression, which he foresaw. The scheme, which received considerable support in this country, finally came to nothing. On the outbreak of the South African War of 1899 he raised, at General Brabant’s request, the ‘B’ Squadron of Brabant’s Horse, which he commanded. He was present at the siege of Wepener, where he entrenched the Mill Post at Johannesburg and held it throughout the siege. On being invalided out of the service after the battle of Friksburg, he was given command of the Boer prisoners of war interned in Ceylon at Diyatalawa Camp.
Colonel Jesser-Coope was a frequent correspondent to The Times, whose cordial support he received in his efforts to secure British paramountcy in Swaziland and Amatongaland. It was owing to his action that the latter country was proclaimed a protectorate.
Jesser-Coope married, in about 1860/61, Mary Moran, by whom he had 6 children, a son and daughter born as twins at Falmouth in 1862, after which the family appear to have gone to New Zealand for a few years, where their next two sons were born, Anthony Bridges Jesser-Coope in Auckland in 1868, and John Charles Jesser-Coope in 1870. The latter was a notable pioneer in Mashonaland in 1890 and a Lieutenant in the Jameson Raid of 1895. Two daughters were born in 1872 and 1876, in England and France respectively, sometime after which his wife died. Jesser-Coope married secondly, in February 1902, Madge, only daughter of the late Arthur Gasalee-Smyth, of Sydney, New South Wales.
William Jesser-Coope was the author of three books: A Prisoner of War in Russia (1878), The History of the Imperial Ottoman Gendarmerie (1880), and Swaziland as an Imperial Frontier (1892). He died at Alverstoke, Hampshire, on 23 November 1918, aged 82.
Jesser-Coope - Baden-Powell, who was also involved with Swaziland in these times described him thus, "has a shady character in Swaziland: is said to have got cattle from natives, and money, on pretence that he was an emissary from Queen Victoria".
A Biographical Register of Swaziland to 1902, HM Jones, University of Natal Press, 1993
Enlisted 1st BrH (32834) 1 February 1900 in East London. Discharged, time expired, 4 April 1901 in Cape Town. Conduct good. Re-enlisted 19 April 1901 in Cape Town. Discharged, time expired, 21 October 1901 in Cape Town. Conduct very good. Address after discharge: PO, East London. Also served SALH (38068) 10 November 1901 to 25 May 1902. Aged 37 in 1901. Nationality: English. Trade: Painter. 5'6" with a dark complexion, brown eyes and dark hair. Single. No distinctive marks. NOK: Brother, 8 Edna Street, Higher Crumpsall, Manchester. Conduct in SALH very good. Settlement of £37 10s. KSA from SALH.
I was quite interested in this medal until I went onto Ancestery, do you know how many Taylors served in South Africa-I found 4 different E.H.Taylors in all sorts of units before I gave up searching in frustation. Taylor is a very common surname I found out.