John Bernard Coggins

Information received from Mike Coggins 03/03/2021

My father, John Bernard Coggins b 5 June 1899 in Blackburn, 6 Bn South Wales Borderers (Pioneers) attended an Instructors Anti-Gas course at Prees Heath between 12 Sep 1918 to the 20 September 1918. At that time he was a LCpl. He was awarded a First Class Certificate of Instructor.

42nd (Anti-Gas) Western Command Centre, Prees Heath.

He was lectured by Capt Douglas, Capt Laithwaite and 2 Lt Hild.

His notes, about 120 pages, with beautiful coloured crayon drawings & diagrams are in a book which about 20 years ago I indefinitely loaned, with his WW1 medals, to Winterbourne Gunner where they undertake the NBC Instructors Courses. They typed up his notes and use them as an introduction to their current course. The course notes can be accessed on my FB Page and also on the Western Front Association website. Frank Baldwin, who recently retired as Chair of the Battlefields Trust, also used/uses his notes, particularly the coloured diagrams, on Sandhurst Cadets tour of the WW1 battlefields.

To view the notebook visit Mike’s facebook page

Incidentally, you are probably wondering my age. I am 62.

Once this current malaise is over I intend to visit the Brecon Museum as they have records of where he was in hospital. He was shot in the neck and gassed (probably chlorine) as he fell into a trench where barbed wire ripped off his gas mask. This was in a counter attack on Ploegsteert on the 10 April 1918. He was a private at that time. He was dragged out by a French Canadian to a first aid casualty station.

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