DM VR (5237 Dmr: J. May. 2nd Gordon Highrs:);
IGS 1895 (20 Punjab Frontier 1897-98, Tirah 1897-98 (5237 Pte. J. May 1st Bn. Gord: Hrs.);
QSA (2) Elandslaagte, Defence of Ladysmith (5237 Pte. J. May, Gordon Highrs:)
DCM VR (Pte. J. Cottle. Durham Lt. Infy.);
Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 5 clasps, Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing’s Nek, South Africa 1901 (2792 Pte. J. Cottle. Durham Lt. Infy.) unofficial rivets between State and Date clasps;
1914-15 Star (13105 Sjt. J. Cottle. R. Ir. Fus.);
British War and Victory Medals (13105 W.O. Cl. 2 J. Cottle. R. Ir. Fus.)
Provenance: Spink, July 2010.
DCM London Gazette 8 February 1901 (in joint citation with 4154 Private G. Bennett and 5754 Private J. S. Parker): ‘On the 24th February, when the enemy would not allow us to remove our wounded, and fired heavily on any one who tried to do so, these three men all brought in wounded men.’
James Cottle was born in Bristol, and attested for the Durham Light Infantry in 1887. He served with the 1st Battalion in South Africa, 24 November 1899 - 7 July 1901, during which period Cottle’s battalion took part in the storming of Vaal Krantz (5 February 1900):
‘Their final charge that day was carried through in a way worthy of the battalion. The words of Sir Redvers Buller are, “The men would not be denied.” Their losses were heavy: 2 officers and 12 men killed, 6 officers, including Colonel Fitzgerald, and 76 men wounded...
The battalion took part in the last and successful attempt to relieve Ladysmith, and was almost constantly engaged between 13th and 27th February. On the 18th the battalion and the 1st Rifle Brigade attacked and carried the ridge between Monte Cristo and Green Hill, and losing no time, captured the Boer laager. The 4th Brigade, were on the left in the final assault on the 27th. The battalion’s losses during the fourteen days were approximately 2 men killed and 51 wounded. Six officers and 13 men were mentioned in despatches for good work in the relief operations, 3 men getting the distinguished conduct medal - another man of the Mounted Infantry got that medal for excellent work at Alleman’s Nek - and in General Buller’s final despatch 12 officers were mentioned.’ (British Regiments in South Africa 1899-1902 by J. Stirling refers)
Cottle was discharged in July 1901, only to re-engage for service during the Great War. He served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers in the Gallipoli theatre of war from 7 August 1915 (wounded and entitled to Silver War badge). Cottle advanced to Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant in January 1916, and was discharged in October 1918. He died in Dublin in 1947.