- Name: William Richard COTTER
- D.O.B: 5th Feb, 1882
- D.O.A: 6th Mar, 1916
- D.O.D: 14th Mar, 1916
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Acting Corporal, 6th Battalion The Buffs (The East Kent Regiment), 37th Brigade, 12th Division
Hohenzollern Redoubt, near Haisnes, France 6 March 1916
6 March 1916
The First World War 1916
The Hohenzollern Redoubt was a German strongpoint, south-west of Haisnes and north of Loos. It had been attacked on 25 September 1915, the opening day of the Battle of Loos, and mostly captured (see Corporal J D Pollock VC, 27 Sept 1915) but was lost again on 3 October. An attempt to recapture it on 13 October failed and by the end of the year the British held only its western face. On 2 March 1916 three mines were exploded under its defences and the British mounted a fresh attack. The Germans counter-attacked on 3 March, an action that lasted four days and on 18 March they launched a final assault and drove the British back to their original front line.
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. When his right leg had been blown off at the knee, and he had also been wounded in both arms, he made his way unaided for fifty yards to a crater, steadied the men who were holding it, controlled their fire, issued orders, and altered the dispositions of his men to meet a fresh counter-attack by the enemy. For two hours he held his position, and only allowed his wounds to be roughly dressed when the attack had quieted down. He could not be moved back for fourteen hours, and during all this time had a cheery word for all who passed him. There is no doubt that his magnificent courage helped greatly to save a critical situation.