Lieutenant Colonel NEVILLE BOWES ELLIOTT-COOPER
Unit 8th Royal Fusiliers
Awards V C, D S O, M C
Buried at HAMBURG CEMETERY
Youngest son of Colonel Sir Robert Elliott-Cooper, K.C.B.
When he was 28 years old, and a temporary lieutenant colonel commanding the 8th Royal Fusiliers he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 30 November 1917 east of La Vacquerie, near Cambrai, France during the Battle of Cambrai.
Citation – An extract from “The London Gazette,” dated 12th Feb., 1918, records the following particulars
“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Hearing that the enemy had broken through our outpost line, he rushed out of his dug-out, and on seeing them advancing across the open he mounted the parapet and dashed forward calling upon the Reserve Company and details of the Battalion Headquarters to follow. Absolutely unarmed, he made straight for the advancing enemy, and under his direction our men forced them back 600 yards. While still some forty yards in front he was severely wounded. Realising that his men were greatly outnumbered and suffering heavy casualties, he signalled to them to withdraw, regardless of the fact that he himself must be taken prisoner. By his prompt and gallant leading he gained time for the reserves to move up and occupy the line of defence.”
Neville was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd. Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) on 9th October 1908 and served in South Africa, Mauritius and India. After the outbreak of war he was attached to 8th. Battalion of the Regiment which arrived in France on the 1st June 1915 and took part in the battles of Loos, the Somme and Arras. Neville won the Military Cross at the Hohenzollern Redoubt, near Bethune on the 23rd April 1916 for: ‘’Conspicuous ability in organising an attack and consolidating craters subsequently gained. He has shown great ability in many difficult situations’’ This was gazetted in The London Gazette on the 14th May 1916. He won the Distinguished Service Order for: ‘’Rallying his Battalion when it had become temporarily disorganised and leading forward a patrol of twenty men under very heavy fire returning to his Brigadier with twenty prisoners and vital information.’’ This was gazetted in The London Gazette on the 18th July 1917.
Neville was taken prisoner with a serious wound to the hip and sent to No. 1 POW Camp, Lazarette near Hanover. He was treated by the German doctors in attempts to save his life. He was operated on by Professor Schlange on 28th December for a bullet that has entered the stomach and splintered against the hip bone. The pain was severe and they were unable to stop the internal bleeding and pus and that the wound was now septic. He died at 11.30pm.
Inscription – DIED A PRISONER OF WAR AT HANOVER FROM WOUNDS RECEIVED IN ACTION AT CAMBRAI
His brother, Major Gilbert D’Arcy Elliott-Cooper, Royal Fusiliers, died on 7 March 1922 from the results of wounds received in action on 13 August 1915 aged 42 years.
He was great-grandson of Capt J Elliott who circumnavigated the globe with Captain Cook.