Victoria Cross awarded to Edward Mott, 1917
Victoria Cross, 1917
The design of the Victoria Cross is very simple, showing the crowned lion insignia of the British Army, and the inscription ‘FOR VALOUR’, which was suggested by Queen Victoria herself. It is made from the metal of guns that were originally believed to have been Russian cannon captured in the Crimea, but are now known to have been Chinese.
This medal was awarded to Sergeant Edward Mott (1893-1967), of the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment. On 27 January 1917 the Battalion in company with the 1st Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers had orders to attack a section of the enemy position south of Le Transloy, known as Landwehr Trench. An artillery barrage of 96 eighteen-pounder guns, with support from 30 Australian howitzers preceded the attack which began at 5:30 a.m. along a 750-yard front. By 7:00 a.m 117 prisoners had been taken and the first and second objectives had been captured with light casualties. But consolidation on the flank proved difficult because of the frozen ground, enemy shelling and pernicious sniping. It was here that Mott became the Border Regiment’s first V. C. of the War.
The citation in the London Gazette, 9 March 1917 read:‘No. 9887 Sergeant Edward Mott, 1st Battalion Border Regiment For most conspicuous gallantry and initiative when in attack, the company to which he belonged was held up at a strong point by machine gun fire. Although wounded in the eye Sergeant Mott made a rush for the gun and after a fierce struggle seized the gunner and took him prisoner, capturing the gun. It was due to the dash of the non-commissioned officer that the attack on the left flank succeeded.’
Mott was also awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and 1914-15 Star, and his
V. C. is displayed with them in the Museum's physical Exhibition. The group was purchased by Lester Watson from the London dealers Baldwins, at some point before 1928.