William Anderson (VC)
|Died||13 March 1915
|Years of service||1905 - 1912, 1914 - 1915|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
William Anderson VC (November 1885 – 13 March 1915) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Anderson was born in Dallas, Moray and raised and educated in Forres. He went to Glasgow and was employed as a car conductor with the Corporation Tramways for several years. He moved to Newcastle upon Tyne where an elder brother of the family was serving with the Yorkshire Regiment (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own) and enlisted in the same battalion in 1905, serving in it for a period of seven years in Egypt and India. After his service expired Anderson returned to Glasgow and was employed in the Elder Hospital in Govan. He had been there only for a year before deciding to emigrate to South Africa. However, before he could leave war broke out and he was called up as a reservist and went to the front in France with the British Expeditionary Force.
For most conspicuous bravery at Neuve-Chapelle on 12th March, 1915, when he led three men with bombs against a large party of the enemy who had entered our trenches, and by his prompt and determined action saved, what might otherwise have become, a serious situation. Cpl. Anderson first threw his own bombs, then those in possession of his three men (who had been wounded) amongst the Germans, after which he opened rapid rifle fire upon them with great effect, notwithstanding that he was at the time quite alone—The London Gazette, 21 May 1915
Anderson was eventually killed in action on 13 March, but his remains were never found. He is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial.
- "Victoria Cross For A Forres Soldier". Forres Gazette. 1915-07-07.
- Anderson, William, Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- Scotland's Forgotten Valour (Graham Ross, 1995)
- VCs of the First World War - The Western Front 1915 (Peter F. Batchelor & Christopher Matson, 1999)