SCOTT, Oliver Edward

No.8438, Private, Oliver Edward SCOTT
Aged 27

1st Battalion, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
Killed in Action between 26th August - 8th September 1914

An Old Contemptible

Oliver Edward Scott was born in Bury St Edmunds in 1886 (Bury St. Edmunds Q1-1886 4A:729) , baptised in St John's, Bury St.Edmunds, on 22nd March 1886, son of Robert James and Charlotte SCOTT (née CRICK).

1891 census...Aged 5, he was at Cannon Street, Bury St. Edmunds with his father Robert James SCOTT [35] German (journeyman?)baker born Cockfield; his mother Charlotte Ann [35] born Cockfield; brothers Bertie [15] errand boy, William [12], Ernest [9], Herbert [7] and Percy [2]. All the children were born in Bury St Edmunds. Sister Ada [14] was with her uncle Barnard GILL at Chapel Road, Thingoe.

1901 census...Aged 15, an errand boy, he was at 11 Cotton Lane, Bury St Edmunds with his parents (father journeyman baker); sisters Ada [24] and Violet [4] both born in Bury St Edmunds; brothers Ernest [19] cycle maker, Herbert [17] baker's assistant, Percy and Sydney [9] born Bury St Edmunds.

He married Emily DOLBY [27-5-1887] in Ely in 1910, who married 374661 Rifleman John BEEZLEY, Post Offcie Rifles on 29-10-1917, of 52 Newnham Street, Ely.

1911 census...Aged 25, a manservant, he was at 36 Southgate Street, Bury St Edmunds with his wife Emily [23] born Ely. His parents were at 61 Churchgate Street, Bury St.Edmunds with his brother Sidney Arthur (shop porter); sisters Ada Jane and Violet Rosetta.

The Bury Free Press of 2nd January 1915 reported:-
We understand that Mrs. Scott, of this town, whose husband, Prvt.Alver.E.Scott, of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, who went out with the Expeditionary Force, and was reported missing, was yesterday (Thursday) morning notified that her husband was killed. As Mrs. Scott had heard nothing from her husband, enquiries were instituted by the Vicar of this parish, with the above result. It was after the battle of Mons, in the middle of August last that the deceased was reported missing. Before being called up on the reserve he was acting as a rural postman in the Beck Row and Fen District in this parish.

Enlisted in Blackburn. He embarked for France on 23rd August and was reported missing in action on 26th. His Army service record has not been found, but he must have has Army service some time before the war to have been in France so early. His number suggests he joined the Army in 1904 for some unknown period. All regulars sign for a total of 12 years, broken up into periods in the colours and on the Reserves, such as 4 years in the colours and 8 on Reserve, and ant other combination. When on the Reserve they were liable for immediate mobilisation.
The War Diary has:-
26th August 1914- Haucourt-Battalion arrived HAUCOURT about 4:30 am halted in village - at 5:30 am marched up hill due N of HAUCOURT and formed up preparatory to entrenching position right of Lancashire Fusiliers who had been entrenching themselves there since before dawn.
As soon as battalion halted- about 6 am heavy maxim fire was opened on them from the direction of WAMBAIX station- followed shortly by shrapnel.
Battalion and Lanc Fus. returned to position in front of HAUCOURT village.
About 8 am an advance was ordered on to the hill. Battn, Lan Fus. and Warwickshire Regt took part. the top of the hill was reached but line was soon enfiladed by maxim and shrapnel from the right flank and forced to again return to HAUCOURT line.
Battalion now took up position round HAUCOURT. One detachment in front line of village-right section about 300 yards along HAUCOURT-LIGNY road - left section about 300 yards down HAUCOURT-ESNES road.
Enemies shell fire slackened from about 11 am till 3 pm when it was renewed with increased vigour. Advance on hill due north was made about 4 pm to collect wounded- at about 6 pm brigade was ordered to retire to SEVIGNY- Left detachment received orders to retire trough SEVINGY to billets in LE GOUY and LE CATELET.
Remainder of battalion under MajorParker remained on in village with a party of 10th Brigade. About 9:30 pm an attack on village was made by Germans who were finally driven out- At about 11 pm this party left village and after passing through German line, rejoined the Brigade near HANCOURT late in the afternoon of 27th.
Casualties - 6 officers killed; 4 wounded; wounded/missing 3 and 431 O.R. killed, wounded or missing.

CWGC had not even been thought of so soon in the war, so records are not always accurate. Oliver's death was recorded as between 26th August and 8tjh September so it is assumed he was last seen alive on 26th. The significance of 8th September is not since the Allies were in retreat.

CWGC gives 64 of the battalion killed on 26th, only 10 with known graves.

Oliver Scott is commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre memorial
and the Bury St.Edmunds Roll of Honour

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details