JOHN SCOTT AND WILLIAM SCOTT
This post was written by Victoria Doran.
Two brothers from Greasby with deep Wirral roots and Scottish connections; John who enlisted very early and served though to the summer of 1918, and William who waited until 1915 to enlist and died in 1917.
Frankby War Memorial
John and William Scott were the two eldest of the 6 sons and a daughter of George Scott (1867-1944) and Mary Howard (1870-1936). No marriage has been found for their parents.
The Scott family has been traced back to 1830 when James Scott (1812-???) married Jean Anderson (1805-???) at Applegarth, Dumfries-shire, Scotland. This is just north of Lockerbie in south west Scotland. They brought up their family in the very large rural parish of Middlebie, about halfway between Lockerbie and Gretna Green, where James worked as an agricultural labourer.
Their son Francis Bell Scott (1840-1918) served an apprenticeship as a joiner before moving to Birkenhead by 1865, when he married Margaret Davies (1842-1909). Margaret came from West Kirby, but due to her very common name and that they did not get married in the Church of England, it is not certain exactly who she was. Most likely she was the daughter of a West Kirby shoemaker. Francis moved his family to Frankby by 1881 and during the 1880s changed his occupation to that of market gardener.
John & William’s father, George Scott, was the second of their 10 children. He always worked as a labourer in the building trade, and brought his family up in Greasby.
Although no marriage has been found for George and Mary, it is known that she was born in Pensby, the second of the 8 children of John Howard (1838-1895) and Esther Waring (1841-1910). The Howard family has been traced for 3 generations in the Woodchurch, Irby and Pensby areas of Wirral, always as agricultural labourers.
The Waring family also go back a long way in Wirral, starting in Storeton and moving to Heswall by 1822. Esther was born before her mother Sarah Waring (1822-1903) married Thomas Parr (1821-1892) in 1842. As a child, and at her marriage, she was known as Esther Parr, but gave her correct maiden name when registering her many children.
So John and William had very strong Wirral roots as well as a Scottish connection.
All four of their brothers lived to old age, and worked on the land. It is probable that George Scott (1896-1972) and Frederick Scott (1898-1975) were conscripted, but due to their common surname this cannot be verified.
Cheshire Regiment cap badge
John Scott was born in the summer of 1890 in Greasby and baptised at St John the Divine, Frankby on 7 September 1890. In 1911 he was living at home at Ethel Terrace, Greasby and working as a farm labourer.
However he must have changed his occupation by the outbreak of war as he enlisted on 1 September 1914 and became Private W/373 in the 13th (Wirral) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. This means he was almost certainly working for Lever Brothers at Port Sunlight. His regimental number is only 14 lower than that of Albert Oliver Williams, under whose post there is more information about the battalion.
John served throughout the history of the battalion, which was disbanded on 16 February 1918. At that time there were not enough trained men to fill every existing battalion, so many were disbanded and the men re-assigned. John was fortunate as he was moved to another Cheshire Regiment battalion, the 9th, and was allowed to retain his regimental number. He was then part of the 56th Brigade of the 19th Division.
However life will immediately have become very difficult, as the battalion fought all through the German Spring Offensive. The 1st Battle of the Somme 1918 was fought in March and early April, followed by the Battle of Lys for the rest of April. There was no respite with the Battle of the Aisne following in May and June.
July was quiet, preparing for the Allies ‘Hundred Day Offensive’ which began with great success on 8 August 1918, when the German lines were pushed several miles back in the first few days.
John died on 14 August at the end of the first week of the Offensive, when the Germans were rallying. He was a 28 year old Lance Corporal and was buried in Sandpits British Cemetery at Fouquereuil in the Pas-de-Calais in northern France.
Sandpits British Cemetery
Birth: Jun 1890 in Greasby
Death: 14 Aug 1918 at Fouquereuil, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France; killed in action
Addresses: Greasby (91) (01); Ethel Terrace, Greasby (11)
Occupation: farm labourer; Lever Bros., Port Sunlight
Units: 13th (Wirral) Battalion, Cheshire Regiment; 9th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Number & Rank: W/373; Lance Corporal
Medals: 15 Star,Victory and British War
Commemorated and Buried: Sandpits British Cemetery, Fouquereuil, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France; Grange Hill War Memorial, Frankby War Memorial
Sources: GH, F, CWGC, MC, RSE, SDGW, Census: 91, 01, 11, BR, PR
Royal Field Artillery cap badge
William Scott was born in the spring of 1892 in Greasby and baptised at St John the Divine, Frankby on 26 June 1892. In 1911 like his brother John, he was living at home at Ethel Terrace, Greasby and working as a farm labourer.
At the beginning of 1913 he married Ellen Williams and on 5 April 1913 the couple were living at 5 Ethel Terrace, Greasby when their son George Albert Scott (1913-1968) was born. William was a cowman on a farm. Ellen has not been identified before her marriage due to her common name. On 8 February 1915, George Albert was joined by a sister Mary Elizabeth Scott (1915-???).
William enlisted on 30 October 1915 as Gunner 2646 in the Royal Field Artillery. On 6 May 1916 he was promoted to Bombardier, but reverted to the rank of Gunner on 9 October 1916.
On 7 January 1917 he landed at Le Havre in France. On the 19 January he was posted to ‘D’ Company, 312 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery and given a new number of 686414 and a new rank as a Driver.
He was killed in action on 5 April 1917 near Ervillers in Pas de Calais in northern France. This was during the preparation for the Battle of Arras. He was 25 years old and was buried in Ervillers Military Cemetery.
Ervillers Military Cemetery
He left a widow with 2 small children. In October Ellen was awarded a pension of 22/11 per week for herself and the children. They would not have lived in luxury.
It is not known what became of Ellen, but George Albert married Mary Armitage (1911-1994) from a local family, and in 1939 was living in the old village at West Kirby working as a chauffeur / gardener. In 1939 Margaret Elizabeth was living in Ethel Terrace, Greasby with Robert and Ellen Williams and working as a domestic servant. Possibly they were relations of her mother. In 1940 she married John T Dawson.
Birth: Apr 1892 in Greasby
Death: 5 Apr 1917 near Ervillers, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France; killed in action
Addresses: Greasby (91) (01); Ethel Terrace, Greasby (11) (13)
Occupation: cowman on farm
Unit: ‘D’ company, 312 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Numbers & Rank: 2646, 686414; Driver
Medals: Victory and British War
Commemorated and Buried: Ervillers Military Cemetery, Ervillers, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France; Grange Hill War Memorial, Frankby War Memorial
Sources: GH, F, CWGC, MC, SR, RSE, SDGW, Census: 91, 01, 11, BR, PR