21st Division 1914-18...a divisional history

Lt-Col Clifford Coffin, VC


Clifford Coffin was an Engineer officer. Holder of the VC, CB, DSO and bar, Coffin was an older officer being 47 yoa when he was awarded the Victoria Cross. At the time in command of the 25th Brigade on 31st July 1917 at Westhoek, he went foward to his troops at to investigate the hold up. With utter disregard for his own safety he walked amongst his men and the trenches going from shell hole to shell hole often one would assume in open ground. By his example the line was held.

Originally acting CRE of 21st division on 1st June 1915, he was later promoted Lt-Colonel and confirmed in that position on the 9th June 1915, holding that position until 1st Jan 1917. Later he took over temporary command briefly of 64th Brigade when General Gloster was sick. Coffin later went on to be a Major-General.


This picture, courtesey of Terry Denham, shows no markings of a VC winner, it says much of the man that he is buried in a simple grave. The condition of which can be seen has deteriated some and does not give the respect that should be bestowed upon a Victoria Cross winner.