Nicholas Cottam

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Nicholas Cottam
Born 1951 (age 62–63)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1973-2008
Rank Major-General
Commands held 5th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Operation Banner
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire

Major-General Nicholas Jeremy Cottam CB OBE (born 1951) was a senior British Army officer who went on to be Military Secretary. He is now the Registrar of St Paul's Cathedral.

Military career[edit]

Cottam was commissioned into the Royal Green Jackets in 1973.[1] He became Commanding Officer of his Regiment and was deployed in Northern Ireland in the early 1990s being appointed to the OBE[2] and mentioned in despatches for his service there.[3] In 1994 he went to South Africa as part of a Commonwealth Peace Keeping Force.[4]

He became Director of Personnel Services in 2001 for the Army[5] and went on to be General Officer Commanding 5th Infantry Division in 2003[6] and Military Secretary in 2005.[6] In that role he increased the retirement age for officers in the Territorial Army to 60[7] and carried out a review of the Reserves recommending that they be used for augmentation as much as for maximum effort.[8]

Cathedral Registrar[edit]

In 2008, following retirement from the Army, Cottam became Registrar of St Paul's Cathedral,[9] a post he still holds. In this position he returned to global prominence during the 2011-2012 Occupy London protests outside the cathedral buildings. He was called upon to lead the public response of the cathedral community to the protests, and to head public statements following the successive resignations of three members of the cathedral's clergy,[10] including the Rt Revd Graeme Knowles, the Dean of St Paul's, who resigned following the backlash against his Chapter's resolution to forcibly evict the Occupy London protesters, the Revd Canon Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor, who resigned due to his opposition to the Chapter's majority decision, and the minor cleric Fraser Dyer, who resigned from a part-time chaplaincy role. Cottan spoke out against the unruly behaviour of the protesters, who he said had in some instances desecrated the cathedral.[11] Cottam was widely reported to have been furious at Giles Fraser's decision not to support agreed policy, and to resign from the cathedral staff.[12]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46125. p. 13473. 12 November 1973. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 52137. p. 9153. 14 May 1990. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 53453. p. 16388. 11 October 1993. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  4. ^ Reports of the African National Congress 11 February 1994
  5. ^ Families lobby for Deepcut inquiry BBC News, 29 October 2002
  6. ^ a b Debrett's People of Today
  7. ^ Dad's Army fills officer shortage The Times, 9 October 2005
  8. ^ Reserves Review TA Quarterly, April 2009
  9. ^ Appointments Church Times, 14 November 2008
  10. ^ "Dean of St Paul's Cathedral resigns with 'great sadness'". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "Blasphemous 666 sign was daubed on St Paul's pillar: Registrar says Cathedral has been 'desecrated' by protesters". Daily Mail. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "The struggle for St Paul's". The Daily Telegraph. 30 October 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Arthur Denaro
General Officer Commanding the 5th Division
Succeeded by
Andrew Farquhar
Preceded by
Freddie Viggers
Military Secretary
Succeeded by
Mark Mans