ARCHIVE “Boys I don’t want to go back”

Harry Cator VC MM 

Captain 7th Bn. The East Surrey Regiment

1894 – 1966


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Harry Cator came from, Drayton, Norwich, Norfolk,  He died aged 72 in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

On the 9th April 1917 Sergeant Cator, after his platoon had suffered many casualties from enemy machine-gun, advanced with another across open ground under fire, until his companion was killed.  Sergeant Cator picked up a Lewis gun, he reached the German trench where he attacked and killed the entire crew. He continued to hold the end of the trench, enabling a bombing squad to capture 100 prisoners and 5 machine-guns.


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An article in the Cooee Magazine explained during his stay at Beaufort War Hospital, on the 23rd July 1917 he was honoured with the Victoria Cross. He went the investiture with his wife and when he returned his fellow comrades from the Beaufort congregated at the station to welcome him back.  The ‘boys in blue’ carried him on their shoulders to a waiting car. On arrival at Beaufort the band of the 1st Battalion Bristol Volunteer Regiment assembled outside his ward (no 8) and played “See the Conquering Hero Comes”. The music was followed by a complimentary special supper organised by Sister Lowe.

He concluded his speech saying: “Boys, I don’t want to go back, you don’t want to go back, but if we go we’ll go back as Britishers. We are winning now, boys, and Germany knows it , and we who are recently back from the front know it.”

In 1916, he had also won the Military Medal for rescuing the wounded on the Somme while under fire.