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Leslie and Sylvia Coussins, Eric and Marilyn Benson
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Leslie Coussins War record:
The Military Medal.
THIS MEDAL WAS INSTITUTED ON 25 MARCH 1916 AND AWARDED
N.C.O's AND MEN FOR INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE ACTS OF BRAVERY
IN THE FIELD, WHICH WERE CONSIDERED INSUFFICIENT TO MERIT THE AWARD OF THE 'DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL'.
THERE WERE 115,600 MM's AWARDED DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR AND 15,000 IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
SINCE 1993 THIS MEDAL HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED AND
THE MILITARY CROSS.
THE OBVERSE DEPICTS THE BUST OF THE KING WITH HIS LEGEND
'GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX ET INDIAE IMP:'
THE REVERSE BEARS THE CROWNED ROYAL CYPHER AND THE WORDS
'FOR BRAVERY IN THE FIELD' WHICH IS ENCLOSED WITHIN A
THE MEDAL HANGS FROM A SCROLLED SUSPENSION AND A DARK BLUE EDGED RIBBON WITH TWO NARROW RED STRIPES DOWN A WHITE FIELD.
Corporal D Cousins
who was awarded a Military Medal
on 18/11/1944 at Pinwe
6th Battalion South Wales Borderers
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 22 MARCH, 1945 1545
No. 5571823 Lance-Corporal Leslie Cousins, The
South Wales Borders (Roukenglen, Renfrewshire).
3760SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 19 JULY, 1945
The London Gazette of 22nd March, 1945 "(No. 36994).
For No. 5571823 Lance-Corporal Leslie COUSINS, The' South Wales Borderers, substitute No. 5571823
Lance-Corporal Leslie COUSSINs, The South Wales'Borderers.
Leslie Coussins served in the Burma Campaign against the Japanese forces. In one area there was a Japanese Sub Machine gun nest located in a very difficult position and this had already caused fatalities in his squad including the death of a close friend of Leslie. He managed to get close enough to the nest and jumped in, He shot two of the five Japanese soldiers and then his gun jammed. He did not hesitate and clubbed the other three to death. I think that the newspaper seemed to tone that down. However always remember never to upset a boy from Glasgow.
Leslie told me afterwards that he was disgusted with everything about war and the fact that he was traumatised by this event for most of his life. He only remembers a red haze when the event took place. Essentially he did not want to talk about this and the event troubled him for a very long time. We did eventually discuss it though. While the enemy was just that, killing young men of any culture that were trying to kill you was not something that you got used to I suppose. In today's language we call this 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Syndrome' but in those days you just got on with your life and dealt with this. It was not easy for him. The newspapers had a small article about this event and the fact that Leslie was a war hero and had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the direct line of fire. We have managed to find a part of that newspaper cutting.
We have now located another branch of the family, the line down from Morris
Cussins, brother to Hyman and Abraham. One of his great grandsons is Michael
Adelman and he found a part of a newspaper cutting which we are very grateful
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 9 MAY, 1944
Able Seaman Leslie Cousins, P/JX.350038
(Sheffield). We think this may be another Leslie Cousins-We are not sure though. I did hear that he had served in more than one theatre of war.
What I remember about my Uncle Leslie Coussins.
He loved Al Jolson and knew all his songs. He was a commercial agent for a toy company and his Son in Law Eric eventually took over his accounts. Leslie fought against alcoholism and eventually succeeded and became clean. His buddy was Roddy MacMillan who was a great Scottish actor, famous for his role in the television series Tales of Para Handy, about a tug boat captain. Roddy was also a recovered alcoholic and mentored Leslie through this period. Leslie was a fighter and was proud of his achievement. in defeating many of his demons. He did that by taking one day at a time.
Leslie contracted cancer in later years and I arranged for him to attend a friend of mine who is a Kung Fu Master and Chinese Medicine specialist. For two years Leslie came to my office in Edinburgh and received special deep Chinese massage from my friend and special herbs from China that Aunt Sylvia boiled to make a drink that would keep the cancer at bay. Sylvia never did like the smell though.
After two years Leslie was getting tired with all this and decided just to let nature take its course. He attended therapy sessions to think positively and really tried everything that he could to fight this disease. I last saw him in his house in Bolyn Road when visiting with his brother and my dad, Jack.
Leslie was a great friend of mine and we always had a good relationship as middle sons. I remember him and my glamorous Aunt Sylvia with love and when I watch the video on the video pages I smile at this memory of them.
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