The Buffs

Crimean War

Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel F. F. Maude: For his conspicuous bravery during the final attack on the almost impregnable Redan on the 8th September, 1855, when he was in command of the ladder and covering party of the 2nd Division. Placing himself well in front of all, exposed to shot, shell and death dealing canister, he led his men right into the Redan. On looking round he found only nine or ten men to support him, all the rest having fallen before the enemy’s fire, Nothing daunted, he rushed for a traverse, which he held, although dangerously wounded, and only retired when all hope of support was at an end.

Private John Connors: For his conspicuous courage and devotion to duty during the assault on the Redan on the 8th September, 1855. He got inside the Redan at great personal risk, and seeing an officer of the 30th Regiment surrounded by the enemy, he rushed to his assistance. He immediately shot one of the Russians, ran his bayonet through another, and then for some time carried on a hand-to-hand encounter against great odds until support arrived.   


Corporal James Smith: On the night of 16th / 17th September 1897, Corporal Smith, with a party of The Buffs, responded to Lieutenant Watson’s call for volunteers, and followed that officer into the burning village of Bilot, driving off the enemy with the bayonet. Afterwards, although wounded, he continued firing steadily and coolly, and also helped to carry the wounded to the place prepared for them. When Lieutenant Watson left, in order to fetch assistance for the wounded, Corporal Smith held the position till the officer’s return, exposing his life freely in watching the enemy and directing the fire of his men

 World War I

L/Cpl William Reginald Cotter VC

Acting Corporal 6th Battalion The East Kent Regiment, The Buffs

On March 6th 1916 C Company of 6th Battalion The Buffs who had been grappling for most of the winter, despite horrendous losses, staunchly for a hold on the flooded and pounded holes by the Hohenzollern Redoubt, attacked a crater. During this attack L/Cpl. William Cotter, a one eyed reservist, had most of his right leg blown off and was wounded in both arms. In this condition he somehow managed to rejoin his section 50 yards on, and for two hours inspired his men to withstand a series of counter-attacks, even hurling grenades himself. Fourteen hours passed before he could be removed to hospital and seven more days before he succumbed to his terrible wounds. Throughout this period, as indeed throughout his service in France, he raised the hearts of all who saw him by his amazing buoyancy of spirit. This “marvellous man”, as General Gough described him, won the Victoria Cross.

This brave soldier was buried at Lillers Communal Cemetery, France.

World War II

Major Anders Lassen V.C., M.C. & Two Bars

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:- Major (temporary) Anders Frederik Emil Victor Schau LASSEN. M C. (234907)

“In Italy, on the night of 8th/9th April, 1945, Major Lassen was ordered to take out a patrol of one officer and seventeen other ranks to raid the north shore of Lake Comacchio. His tasks were to cause as many casualties and as much confusion as possible, to give the impression of a major landing, and to capture prisoners. No previous reconnaissance was possible, and the party found itself on a narrow road flanked on both sides by water. Preceded by two scouts, Major Lassen led his men along the road towards the town. They were challenged after approximately 500 yards from a position on the side of the road. An attempt to allay suspicion by answering that they were fishermen returning home failed, for when moving forward again to overpower the sentry, machine gun fire started from the position, and also from two other blockhouses to the rear.

Major Lassen himself then attacked with grenades, and annihilated the first position containing four German and two machine guns. Ignoring the hail of bullets sweeping the road from three enemy positions, an additional one having come into action from 300 yards down the road, he raced forward to engage the second position under covering fire from the remainder of the force. Throwing in more grenades he silenced this position which was then overrun by his patrol. Two enemy were killed, two captured and two more machine guns silenced. By this time the force had suffered casualties and its fire power was very considerably reduced. Still under a heavy fire Major Lassen rallied and reorganised his force and brought his fire to bear on the third position. Moving forward himself he flung in more grenades which produced a cry of “Kamerad”. He then went forward to within three or four yards of the position to order the enemy outside, and to take their surrender. Whilst shouting to them to come out he was hit by a burst of Spandau fire from the left of the position and he fell mortally wounded, but even whilst falling he flung a grenade, wounding some of the occupants and enabling his patrol to dash in and capture this final position.

Major Lassen refused to be evacuated as he said it would impede the withdrawal and endanger further lives, and as ammunition was nearly exhausted the force had to withdraw.

By his magnificent leadership and complete disregard for his personal safety, Major Lassen had, in the face of overwhelming superiority, achieved his objects. Three positions were wiped out, accounting for six machine guns, killing eight and wounding others of the enemy and two prisoners were taken. The high sense of devotion to duty and the esteem in which he was held by the men he led, added to his own magnificent courage, enabled Major Lassen to carry out all the tasks be had been given with complete success.”