Lt-Colonel N B Elliott-Cooper VC DSO MC

Neville Bowes Elliott-Cooper, aged 28, commanded the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers when they were fighting near Cambrai in November 1917. On 30th Nov, when his battalion was east of La Vacquerie the Germans broke through their forward line. As the enemy approached, Elliott-Cooper mounted the parapet, unarmed, and called upon the reserve company and men from the battalion HQ, about 120 men, to follow him. They headed straight towards the enemy and unnerved them enough to drive them back 600 yards. He was yards in front of his men when he was severely wounded, but he was able to order his men to withdraw when he realised that they were outnumbered. He knew he would be left behind and taken prisoner but wanted to save as many of his men as he could. He died in captivity in Hanover, on 11th Feb 1918.

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by Stephen Luscombe