Bill Cotton award.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by m kenny, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

  2. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Using the free search engine at either findmypast or Britishnewspaper archives searching the name William Cotton, it seems to indicate there is an article about this incident at Villers Bocage in the Daily Mirror, issue 19th June 1944. Doesn't appear to be any photographs with the article.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    For their skill and bravery in defending Villers-Bocage, Lieutenant Cotton was awarded the Military Cross and Sergeant Bramall the Military Medal

    There are also a couple of pictures of him. I guess if you checked out the citation for his MC that would answer your question :)

    Also came across this:

    13/6/44 Regt move forward at first light towards VILLERS BOCAGE 8157, A Sqn leading, followed by A Coy RB. No opposition and A Sqn reach feature East of VILLERS BOCAGE (area 8358). Column split at 823578 by two Tigers, RHQ brewed up completely. A Sqn continue and take up battle positions. B Sqn hold town but unable to get through to A Sqn. 1000 - A Sqn surrounded and attacked by Tigers and infantry. Call for immediate assistance, but none could get through.
    1030 - CO, who was with A Sqn, reports position untenable, withdrawal impossible.
    1035 - All stations go off the air. B Sqn ordered to hold village at all costs. 4Tp B Sqn, with infantry and A/Tk guns under Lt L Cotton MM, after a 6 hour street battle, destroy 4 Tigers and 3 Mark IV.
    1600 - B Sqn reports village still held by us, but infantry in area 820575. 1/7th Queens attack, but fail to clear opposition. B Sqn Leader (now acting CO) ordered to withdraw Regt to 780580. This carried out without further loss. C Sqn cover withdrawal.
    Major IB Aird takes over command of Regt, Major EP MacColl 2i/c, Capt FA Jarvis MC commands B Sqn, Capt KH Hiscock commands C Sqn.

    17/6/44 Shelled at 0030hrs; 2 ORs killed, 2 ORs wounded.
    Capt FA Jarvis MC, to be Major commanding B Sqn; Capt KH Hiscock to be Major commanding A Sqn (temporarily commanding C Sqn until arrival of new CO). Lt L Cotton MM, to be Captain.


    edited to add:
    stolpi likes this.
  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    His Immediate MC was passed by 2 Army on 12 July 1944, gazetted 31 August 1944 - I don't know if he could have had it awarded between those dates.

    As he's surrounded by Jocks, it looks like he went to Monty, rather than Monty going to the regiment; there's nothing in the Sharpshooters' history.
  5. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    The IWM B Series has this as photos B10001-B10009 where Cotton (MC), Sgt White (MM) and and 2nd Lt Bramall (MM)from 3/4 CLY get medals alongside Cpl Turner (MM) and Fus Halliday (MM) from RSF. Sgt Cambell (MM) HLI and Sgt Murray (MM) of the Seaforths. They are not online nor can you find them with the search engine. The number (B10000) means it is September 1944.
    Also the sequence of photos of Cotton/CLY just after Villers

    4 in all

    June 17th 1944

    B5681 4 men cooking in front of Cromwell

    B5682 Cotton on Old Bill


    B5684 Cotton with periscope

    B5683 (below)is rarely seen and if anyone has a good copy I would be interested.

    stolpi likes this.
  6. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    There is (I think) a mention in the War Diary of HLI that awards were presented by Monty on 15 September.
    Can anyone confirm?
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I can have a look at their history later...
  8. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    3/4 CLY note in their War Diary 16-19 September 'In reserve to 15th (Scottish ) Div.'
  9. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Was he any relation to the Dance Band 'Wakey Wakey' Billy Cotton or the TV Executive Bill Cotton?
  10. Hi Michael,

    Monty did visit 15 Div on 15 Sep 44:

    15 C-in-C visited 15 Div and presented medal decorations to officers
    and ORs receiving immediate awards

    Unfortunately the Movements of C-in-C prior to 24 Aug 44 are not in these files.

  11. Gonzo

    Gonzo Junior Member

    Excuse my ignorance, but in the photo in post 5, is that a coloured band round the beret?
  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Yes - 4 CLY wore a green band around the base of their berets and as a badge backing. There is a very clear photo of one of the POWS showing the detail - will try to dig it out later...
  13. Gonzo

    Gonzo Junior Member

    Thanks. As they say, you live and learn.
  14. idler

    idler GeneralList

    'Scottish Lion on Patrol' (15 Recce) has some more photos (from the regimental association archives) of this occasion and confirms the 15 Sep date.
  15. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Better late than never...

    Bild 101I-720-0305-30A.jpg

    From the Bundesarchiv website, but they don's seem to support permalinks.
  16. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

  17. idler

    idler GeneralList

  18. Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
    stolpi likes this.
  19. idler

    idler GeneralList

    It was a nickname that probably owed a lot to this chap:
    Billy Cotton - Wikipedia

    I don't think there's much truth in his wife being called Polly...
  20. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Those were the days - along with the Black & White Minstrels and only 2 channels of TV


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