Lieutenant Colonel Oliver C S Watson, VC DSO

Lieutenant Colonel Oliver C S Watson, VC DSOFor most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Rossignol Wood on the 28th March 1918.

His command was at a dangerous point, where continuous attacks were made by the enemy in order to pierce the line. A counterattack had been made against the enemy position which at first achieved its object, but as they were holding out in two improvised strong points, Lieutenant Colonel Watson saw that immediate action was necessary, and he led his remaining small reserve to the attack, organising bombing parties and leading attacks under intense rifle and machine gun fire.

Outnumbered, he finally ordered his men to retire, remaining himself in a communication trench to cover the retirement, though he faced almost certain death by so doing.

The assault he led was at a critical moment, and without a doubt saved the line.

Both in the assault and covering his men's retirement he held his life as nothing, and his splendid bravery inspired all troops in the vicinity to rise to the occasion and save a breach being made in a hardly-tried and attenuated line. Lieutenant Colonel Watson was killed while covering the withdrawal.