L/Cpl. Harry James (aka Harry) Cohen

(S/N 7640081)

Prt. Harry James (aka Harry Cohen), formerly of REME, served with HQ Troop of No.6 Commando from 11th July 1941.

Prt. Harry James was posted to HQ Special Services Brigade on 1st October 1942, and so did not take part in the North African campaign.  However, as a Lance-Corporal he returned to the ranks of No.6 Commando’s HQ Troop in late 1943.

L/Cpl. Harry James was reported as being Killed in Action (KIA) on 12th June 1944, aged 26 years, whilst serving as the HQ Commando Armourer at Le Plain during the 12th Parachute Division attack on Bréville-les-Monts, when a shell caused a direct hit on the cookhouse.

Harry was the son of Mrs Lilian Anne James (previously Cohen), of 4 Charles Street, Epping, and Isaac William Cohen, of 21 Solescombe Road, Leyton 10.  He was laid to rest in Ranville War Cemetry, Calvados, France. Grave IVA.P.12.

The inscription on his headstone reads:

‘We are very proud of you Harry.  Time will not dim our happy memories.’

He had been serving for four years at the time of his death, which was reported in the West Essex Gazette on 29th July 1944. He was described as a first-class marksman and was popular in the services as a singer and impersonator. He had also been a chorister at Epping Church.

He was awarded:

  • 1939-1945 Star
  • France & Germany Star
  • Defence Medal.
  • War Medal