Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion


SCOTTER WAR MEMORIAL

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and Copyright © Michael Peck and Andrew Sheardown 2007

The memorial is located in Kirton Road, Scotter on the village green. The memorial takes the form of a concrete base surmounted by stone plinth and obelisk with the inscription in black lettering on the sides of the plinth. There is a wreath in relief on one face of the obelisk. There are names for 13 men who died in World War 1, 101 men who served and returned from World War 1 and 9 who died in World War 2. The memorial was unveiled and dedicated intially on 15th May 1921; the builder was Mr Herbert Dorrington of Gainsborough and the designer Mr Kenneth Eyre. Details can be found in the Gainsborough News 20th May 19821 and the Scotter Parish Council minmures for 4th June 1919, 31st March 1920 and 13th October 1920. See also the Scotter Parish Council web site.

Photographs Copyright © Michael Peck 2007

To our glorious dead 1914 – 1918.

CLAYTON

Arthur

Private 19484, 7th Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), transferred to 405343, 865th Company, Labour Corps. Died 14th July 1918, aged about 33. He was the husband of G. Clayton, of South Carlton near Worksop. He was from Scotton, one of the children of George and Sarah who were also born in that village. By 1891 the family had moved to Scotter and his father became the publican at the White Swan until around 1907 when he retired. At this time his brother William, elder by almost 20 years, was working at Attercliffe Steelworks in Sheffield. It seems likely that Arthur moved over there where he married and made his home. In Derby he enlisted as Private 82116 in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) and at some point transferred into the Royal West Kent Regiment. Their 7th Battalion embarked for France on 26th July 1915 and occupied their first section of line on 23rd August. On that day, the Germans blew a mine under the left of their line but the Battalion beat the attackers from the crater. The men were then employed in railway construction work until returning to the trenches in March 1916. The 7ths were the first West Kent men into action in the Battle of the Somme on 2nd July 1916. Under heavy shelling, they maintained their position in the front line for two days and suffered 180 casualties before being relieved. After some rest they were ordered to take Trones Wood before the next major attack on the 14th July. At 7am the morning before they had moved forward following the customary artillery bombardment. The conditions were difficult with the undergrowth, strongpoints and fierce resistance making life unpleasant for the attackers. That night they beat off several German attacks and, as confusion set in, were cut off for 48 hours. They had 250 more casualties with 34 dead and were down to just half of their number. By September, having received drafts of men from home, they were back up to strength and were involved in action in the ridges above the Ancre and got involved in some very fierce fighting at the Schwaben Redoubt. By now there was only one officer left on duty with 70 men were dead and 200 wounded. More attacks took place in November and by the end of that month the Battalion had suffered 1307 casualties since arriving in France. Its strength was just 20 officers and 529 other ranks. Arthur made his 2nd transfer of the war into the Labour Corps. In early 1918 they were being strengthened with men from shattered Battalions and people returning from injury. Their units were often used as an emergency infantry and were deployed for work within range of the enemy guns. They always suffered from a lack of transport and had many inexperienced officers. He is buried at Les LES BARAQUES MILITARY CEMETERY, SANGATTE, Pas Calais, France. Plot IV. Row C. Grave 8.

EMINSON

Herbert

Two cousins called Herbert Eminson were killed in the Great War. Although neither were from Scotter, their fathers were brothers of Benjamin Eminson, the village doctor for 50 years. One of them is listed on the War Memorial and both are remembered in Scotter Churchyard on the gravestone of their Aunt Maria Jane who died in 1919. Their cousins Robert and Percy are also on our War Memorial.

The first man was:-

HERBERT LUTHER EMINSON:- Lieutenant, 8th Regiment, South African Infantry. Died 19th July 1917, aged 37. A South Arfican national, Herbert was born on 7th April 1880, the son of Luther and Eliza Gertrude Eminson of Church Street, Messingham. By the time of the 1901 Census he was a 20 year old working as a Colliery Surveyor and living in Castle Gresley, Derbyshire. Soon afterwards he had joined the Imperial Yeomanry as 42834 Trooper and went to Africa with the 38th Battalion. His brother Horace Robert Eminson went as a Private in the 8th Battalion of the same Regiment. Benjamin's son Robert was working in that continent from 1913 to 1915 and, by the time of the Great War, Herbert had become a South African citizen and was married. On 3oth November 1916 he was promoted from Sargeant to Second Lieutenant. Herbert died fighting the enemy at Marumcombe in what was then German East Africa an is buried in DAR ES SALAAM WAR CEMETERY, Tanzania. Plot 2. Row AB. Grave 3. He is remembered on the Christ's Church memorial in Bootle.

The second man was:-

HERBERT EMINSON:- Private 203395, 1st/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Died of wounds 3rd October 1918, aged 37. He was born in 1881, the second son of John Milton Oxley and Fanny Froment of London Road, Early in Berkshire. His father was a farmer and Herbert became a Pharmaceutical Chemist. He enlisted in the Army at Peterborough. We can begin to imagine what might have happened to Herbert because on the day that he died a fellow soldier in his 1st/5th Battalion, won a Victoria Cross at Ramicourt. Sergeant William Henry Johnson charged a German machine gun post single handed and bayoneted several of the occupants capturing two machine guns. He was wounded but continued at duty and again charged another machine gun and bombed it putting the gun out of action. Herbert was killed at Lehaucourt near St. Quentin and is buried in BOIS GUILLAUME COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Seine-Maritime, France. Plot/Row/Section F. Grave 15A. Most of the burials were made from No. 8 General Hospital quartered at Boisguillaume in a large country house and grounds. As he was a British citizen it is likely that it is his name on our village memorial.

EMINSON

Robert Astley Franklin

[On the War Memorial his initials are wrongly shown as P.A.F.] Second Lieutenant, 6th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps attached to Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Killed in action 20th July 1916, aged 24. He was born on August 23rd 1891; the fourth of the five sons of Thomas Benjamin Franklin Eminson and his wife Clara of Gonerby House, Scotter. His father was our village doctor for over 50 years and had 5 brothers, 3 of whom also lost a son in the Great War. As a student he attended Epsom College and then achieved a Batchelor of Arts at Downing College, Cambridge. From 1913 to 1915 he was working as an assistant emptomoloist for the British South Africa Company and was involved with research into sleeping sickness. He took a commission in the 6th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps on 15th May 1915, received the rank of Second Lieutenant and attended the Lower Chatam Barracks for instruction. On 26th January 1916, after his probationary period was over, he was seconded for duty with the 2nd Brigade of the Machine Gun Company and in March enjoyed a short time of leave in England before rejoining his men. The Battle of the Somme began on 1st July 1916. By the 20th July he was in trenches at Bazentin-le-Petit, near Albert, France. His men were next to the 1st Northumberland Regiment who had gone 'over the top'. A letter sent by Sergeant Jim Henson to the mother of Sergeant Samuel Yerrell, his comrade in the 1st Northamptonshires, said of that day:-

'Poor Sam has been killed this morning. I have been up to his company and found out all about it. Tonight I am going to see him buried respectably. First off he had both arms shattered by a bomb, and as a fellow was bringing him towards our trench they fell exhausted. Then a Second Lieutenant jumped out of our trench and went to help them. As soon as he got to Sam a German fired at them, the bullet passing through Sam's back and right through the officer's heart. The officer was killed instantly, and poor Sam died an hour later before I could get to him. He died a soldier's death. The brave officer who got killed trying to save Sammy was Lieutenant Eminson.'

Robert was just 24 and is buried BECOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, Becordel-Becourt, Somme, France. Plot I. Row S. Grave 16 He is remembered on the tombstone of his parents in Scotter Cemetery with the words 'killed in France trying to save a fellow soldier'. The Churchyard gravestone of his Aunt Maria Jane also mentions him. The Northern Rhodesia Monument is at the entrance to Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia, just a few yards from a bridge over the Victoria Falls. Robert's name is on it. His cousins Percy and Herbert are also on the War Memorial.

EMINSON

Richard Percival

Royal Field Artillery, died 2nd March 1918 aged 21. The baptism records of St. Peter's Church state that he was christened Reginald Percival but in his obituary he was Richard Percival. The Eminson family usually named their children after other family members. As there were some Richards and no Reginalds it is possible that the typed list of baptisms, produced years later, is incorrect. The family called him Percy and he was born on 22nd March 1896, the son of William Cowper and Annie Amelia Eminson. His father was a farmer in Scotter and an elder brother of Benjamin, the village doctor. From September 1911 to July 1913 he was a boarder at Brigg Grammar School where he was one of the original contributors that set up the school magazine 'The Briggensian'.

Upon leaving he took up farming and then joined the Royal Field Artillery in February 1917 but couldn't complete his officer training. His death was recorded by the Lincolnshire Star with the following report:-

'It is with deep regret we have to record the death on March 2nd of Richard Percival (Percy) Eminson, late RFA, the younger son of Mr and Mrs W. C. Eminson, High View. The deceased donned khaki in February of last year and but few months had passed ere he was stricken with pleurisy and other allied troubles. After spending some months in hospital he was thought to be on the road to recovery and returned home in the autumn, but unfortunately he had to take to his bed practically at once and was never able to leave it until his death as above stated. The funeral took place on Tuesday of last week. The remains were first taken to the United Methodist Chapel where the service was conducted by army chaplain Capt W'm Jollans. Afterwards the cortege went to the Parish Church where the Rector the Rev. J. Blew officiated, Capt Jollans assisting by reading the lessons. At the graveside the hymn, "Jesu, lover of my soul" was sung. The coffin was of polished oak and bore the inscription "Richard Percival Eminson, born March 22nd 1896, died March 2nd 1918". The undertaker was Mr W'm Stuart(?) and the brickwork vault and its decorations the work of Mr Alf Loughton. On Sunday afternoon a muffled peal was rung on the church bells.'

In 1923 the school unveiled a War Memorial to those former pupils who lost their lives. He is not included in the Commonwealth War Graves website or on the Soldiers Died in the Great War CD but is entitled to be. Searches of Scotter Churchyard have failed to find his resting place but are continuing. His cousins Robert and Herbert are also on our War Memorial.

FITCHETT

George William

[Incorrectly listed as C.W. Fitchett on memorial] Private 13356, 10th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment. Killed in action 3rd July 1916, aged 28. He was one of the 2 surviving children of George and Hannah of 58 High Street, Scotter. When he left our local school he found work as a farm hand. He enlisted at Rotherham and joined the 10th (Service) Battalion which had been formed at Pontefract in September 1914 as part of the 63rd Brigade of the 21st Division. The Division was ordered to be stationed at Halton Park, between Tring and Wendover and for a time Billy was at Frensham Camp, Surrey where this picture was taken. When the Battle of Loos began in September 1915 the 10th Battalion were moved directly from England to the battle. They were very raw troops and part of the General Reserve. It was something of a baptism of fire for his Battalion and they, like all the other units, suffered heavy losses. The Battle of the Somme began on 1st July 1916. On his sector of the front the attack was commenced at 7.30am by the 4th Middlesex and 8th Somerset Light Infantry. His Battalion then passed through the 4th Middlesex, who were now in the German front line trenches, and at once came under very heavy machine-gun fire from Fricourt and Fricourt Wood. The leading waves got some distance in advance of Dart Lane, where they were held up by machine-gun fire from Fricourt Wood. At the same time three large parties of the enemy attempted to bomb their way up all the trenches south of Dart Lane, while the battalion bombers were having a hard struggle with numerous German bombing parties in Lonely Trench. Three barricades that the enemy had erected were destroyed.

The following is an extract of the diary of Pte. Walter Hutchinson of the 10th Battalion who says of the 1st July:- “The order came down to 'fix bayonets, you have got to fight for it lads’. We obeyed the order like men and was soon out of the trench. I was running across a trench when the grid broke and let me through. I scrambled out and ran after the other boys but had not gone far before I was hit on the hip with a piece of shell. We then landed at the trench we was making for and found out it was our own original front line trench. We saw some awful sights in it for a lot of wounded men had not been got out. On Monday July 3rd we was still getting it very warm.......". Billy was killed that day. The Battalion history records the losses for the 10th York & Lancasters from the 1st to the 3rd July as “7 officers and 53 other ranks killed or died of wounds."

His name is one of more than 72,000 listed on the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France for those with no known grave. Pier and Face 14 A and 14 B.

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright © Viv Allison 2007

FOSTER

Francis John

Private 23035, 1st Battalion, South Staffs Regiment. Died 10th December 1916, aged 22 years. Son of George and Elizabeth Foster of Scotter, Lincs and baptised at St. Peter's Church on 24th June 1894. Buried WIMEREUX COMMUNAL CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row B. Grave 4. Since Wimereux was an important hospital centre it is likely that he died there from injuries sustained on the battlefield.

HOLLAND

William

Corporal 12027. 8th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment. Died of wounds 10th February 1916, aged 27 years. Son of Charles and Sarah Holland and was born in Scotterthorpe where his father was a farm labourer. His family was from Scotter and in the 1901 Census he had older sisters called Olive and Theresa and a younger brother named Charlie who was born around 1892. He enlisted into the Army at Sheffield. The 8th was a Service Battalion formed at Pontefract in September 1914 and the next month became attached to 70th Brigade, 23rd Division. The 70th Brigade was sent to Frensham but is was not until October that some old uniforms became available for the soldiers, along with 100 obsolete rifles per battalion 'for drill purposes only'. The next month each battalion received just 8 modern rifles, such was the dearth of equipment caused by the overwhelming response to Kitchener's call to arms. The brigade moved to Aldershot in December where they finally got their uniforms. It was June 1915 before modern rifles were issued and proper training began. On 28th August the Brigade embarked for France and landed at Boulogne on their way to rest camp at Ostrohove. In September the 23rd Division was attached to III Corps of the new 1st New Army and moved up to the front where his brigade took over trenches just south of Armentieres. On 24th and 25th September the Division took part in the Battle of Loos and there the 8th Battalion was 'blooded'. They later rested at the rear of the line and moved back to the front in January 1916. Buried SAILLY-SUR-LA-LYS CANADIAN CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot II. Row F. Grave 140.

JACKSON

William Storm

Rifleman 307694, 1st/8th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wale's Own). Died of wounds 25th July 1917, aged 33. He was the son of George Jackson and Hannah (nee Storm). The family lived at West Street, Scotter. He was baptised at St. Peter's Church on 22nd July 1884 and after leaving school found work as a farm hand. The 8th Battalion was also known as the '2nd Leeds Rifles'. In July 1914 the battalion returned early from camp with orders to embody for war. They landed in Boulogne on 15th May 1915 and joined the 146th Brigade of of the all-territorial 49th (1st West Riding) Infantry Division. A large part of their active service found them enduring the misery of holding the infamous Ypres Salient as well as taking part in the Battle of the Somme. Some 2,050 members of the Leeds Rifles died on active service in France and Flanders between 1915 and 1918. He is buried at LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot IV. Row C. Grave 66. During the Great War, St. Omer was a large hospital centre and the wounds that he died from were caused by gas.

JOHNSON

Sidney

Private 15294, 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Killed in action 1st July 1916, aged under 20. He was born in Gainsborough and became a resident of Scotter before enlisting into the Army at Scunthorpe. As yet no other family member has been identified; the 1911 Census may hold clues. When the Great War began the 1st Lincolns were based at Portmsmouth as part of 9th Brigade, 3rd Division. Less than 3 weeks later they were at the Battle of Mons with the British Expeditionary Force. On 14th November 1915 they were transferred to 62nd Brigade, 9th Division. Earlier that year, in June, 127 men of the Bermuda Rifle Volunteer Corps served alongside the 1st Lincolns and by the end of the conflict had suffered 75% casualties. Sidney died on the first day of the Battles of the Somme and is one of the 72,000 remembered on the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme France for those with no known grave. Pier and Face 1 C.

KING

George Rowland

[Incorrectly listed as R.C. King on the War Memorial and listed as Roland KING, the name he used, on CWGC] Private 40501, 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Killed in action 10th November 1916 aged 19. He was born on 14th October 1897 the son of Walter King and Demaris (nee Holland). They ran the village fish and chip shop on Gainsborough Road from about 1910 to 1940. He enlisted at Grimsby and arrived in France on 27th October 1915. The Battle of the Somme began on 1st July 1916. His battalion attacked Ovillers with the 2nd Royal Berkshires and were expected to capture Thiepval village that day. Roland was part of the first wave and went 'over the top' at 7:30am that morning. They were met with fierce machine gun and rifle fire but still managed to get 200 yards into the German trenches. In theory they were supposed to have some shelter from enemy fire but felt the full weight of a German counter barrage and half theire number fell before seeing the enemy front line. Due to a lack of re-inforcements the 2nd's were unable to hold their position and eventually received the order to withdraw. They spent much of the next 3 months in the trenches. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. On the morning of the 10th November they were relieving the 1st Sherwood Foresters near Lesboeufs when they came under attack from shelling, including gas, during the relief. The Battalion War Diaries recorded that 4 other ranks were killed, 6 were wounded and 6 were missing. Just a week after his death the Battle of the Somme finally ended with the onset of a severe winter. He is one of the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France for men with no known grave. Pier and Face 1 C. His cousin Harold is also on the War Memorial.

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright © Tony King 2007

PICKSLEY

Albert

Private 31620. 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Killed in action 21st March 1918, aged 25 years. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website states that he was the brother of Mr. J. Picksley of Scotter. He was the eldest son of Jesse Cottingham Picksley and Ada (nee Harrison). His father was born in Market Rasen and came to raise a family in Scotter after marrying his wife, who was a local girl, in 1895. Albert worked on a village farm until he went to Kirton Lindsey to enlist in the Army. At the outbreak of war the 1st Lincolnshires were based in Portsmouth and were some of the first soldiers to set foot in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. The were involved in many major battle including Mons in 1914, Loos in 1915 and the Somme in 1916. It is not known when Albert joined the Regiment. By 1918 there had been more than 3 years of stalemate on the Western Front. The United States had entered the confict after U-boats began targetting their shipping but were still training their raw recruits before active service. Russia had become communist the year before and quickly sued for peace. This allowed General Ludendorff to move crack troops from the east and he knew of the need to act decisively before the Americans were able to strengthen the allied line. The British forces had been weakened by a lack of re-inforcements following the losses of 1917 and also had to defend more of the front after French withdrawals. The frozen ground meant trenches were only half built and the weakest part of the line was where the Germans attacked. At 4:40am on the morning of 21st March 1918 over 6500 enemy field guns began the heaviest bombardment of the Great War. The onslought included gas shelling and at 9:40am gas masked German stormtroopers went 'over the top' and slaughtered the British, breaking through with ease across the former battlefields of the Somme. He was one of the many killed in battle that day. Commemorated POZIERES MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Panel 23 and 24.

ROBINSON

Joseph

Corporal 203385, 10th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment). Died 21st June 1918. aged 23. He was the son of John and Sarah Robinson of Scotter and enlisted into the Army at Gainsborough. The Italians entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria, in May 1915. Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front from November 1917. In March 1918, XIV Corps (the 7th, 23rd and 48th Divisions) relieved Italian troops on the front line between Asiago and Canove; the front being held by two divisions with one division in reserve on the plain. The French held the line to the left, with the Italians on the right. The front was comparatively quiet until the Austrians attacked in force from Grappa to Canove in the Battle of Asiago (15-16 June 1918). The Allied line was penetrated to a depth of about 1,000 metres on 15 June but the lost ground was retaken the next day and the line re-established. Less than a week later he was 'killed in action' on a day when there was another raid on the Austrian trenches. He is buried at BARENTHAL MILITARY CEMETERY, Italy. Plot 3. Row B. Grave 6.

SLEIGHT

Walter

Private 6198, 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Killed in action 26th August 1914, aged 30. He was born in Scotton, one of the children of William and Mary. They lived in nearby villages and eventually made their home in Scotter. He enlisted into the Army at Lincoln and when war was declared, on 4th August 1914, he was a serving soldier with his Battalion based at Portsmouth. The 1st Lincolnshires were among the 120,000 men of the original British Expeditionary Force. They formed part of II Corps, 3rd Division, 9th Brigade. The BEF disembarked in France on 22nd August. Walter would be amongst the earliest casualties of the Great War, being killed just 4 days after later. They moved up to positions in Belgium just a few miles south of the town of Mons. The Battle of Mons took place on 23rd and 24th with the Allies encountering overwhelming German forces. The Battle of Le Cateau was part of the retreat from Mons. It was in this engagement that he was killed and it was said of that day that 'through the course of the entire war, never were British troops as heavily outnumbered'. He is buried at TROISVILLES COMMUNAL CEMETERY, Nord, France. In the picture his gravestone is the middle one although, as it is a special memorial, his remains could have been buried in any of the three plots.

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright © Pierre Vendervelden 2007

To the honour of the Scotter men who served in the Great War 1914 - 1918.

ARRAND

W H

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ARRAND

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BARTLE

S R

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BELL

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BIRKETT

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BRUMBY

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BRUMBY

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BULTER

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BROWN

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BUTLER

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COTTINGHAM

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CHANTRY

J

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R

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DAWBER

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EMINSON

B F

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EMINSON

J R

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R C

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EMINSON, DSO

Ralph Franklin

M.B. Temporary Captain, Royal Army Medcial Corps. Awarded the Distinguished Service order (DSO - London Gazette 16th September 1918).

London Gazette - 16th September 1918

EMINSON, RALPH FRANKLIN, Temporary Capt., Royal Army Medical Corps. For conspicuous gallantry ant devotion to duty. When two companies who had made a counter-attack and reached a village, were obliged to fall back 150 yards, suffering heavy casualties, whom it was Impossible to rescue owing to the accurate machine-gun and rifle fire from the village, this officer went himself, regardless of fire, and in full view of the enemy, across "No Man’s Land" many times, and carried and assisted back the wounded, who would otherwise have been left.

HOLLAND

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HUDSON

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HUNT

C J

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JACKSON

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JOLLANS, MC

William (Reverend)

Reverend, Chaplain 4th Class, Army Chaplains Department. Awa rded the Military Cross (London Gazette 13th September 1918).

London Gazette 6th February 1917 - Page 12:

William JOLLANS became a Temporary Chaplin 4th Class on 16th January 1917.

London Gazette 13th September 1918 - Page 120:-

Rev. William Jollans, A. Chapl. Dept. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He went up with the motor ambulance cars under heavy shell and machine-gun fire, and assisted in dressing and carrying the wounded. Throughout the day he was of the greatest assistance to the R.A.M.C., whilst his cheerful courage under fire was most praiseworthy.

KING

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LAWMAN

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LEES

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LEGGOTT

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LOUGHTON

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LOUGHTON

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LOUGHTON

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MARTIN

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MARRIS

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MORRIS

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NAYLOR

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NELSON

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OSBORNE

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OXLEY

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RICHARDS

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RICHARDSON

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RENNISON

G W

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RENNISON

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ROBINSON

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ROBINSON

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RODGERS

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SARGENT, MM

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SARGENT

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SKELTON

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SKINNER

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SLEDDON

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STUTTING

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WAKEFIELD

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WINDSOR

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WOODHOUSE

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WOODS

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1939-1945

BELL

Robert Ronald

Flight Sergeant (Rear Gunner) 567353, 97 Squadron, Royal Air Force. K killed in action 8th August 1941, aged 23. He was born on 9th March 1918 the only son of John and Mary Ann Bell of Scotterthorpe. He had five older sisters named Alice, Annie, Emily, Kathleen, who died aged 8, and Marion. His baptism was at St. Peter's Church on 14th April 1918. He attended Gainsborough Grammar School and then joined the Royal Air Force as an apprentice in the mid 1930s. By 1940 he was at RAF Hemswell and the next year was based at Coningsby with the 97th Bomber Squadron, part of 5 Group, who were flying Avro Manchester bombers. In one incident he was shot down over the English Channel and was in the water with the navigator who couldn't swim. Ronald was trying to keep him afloat when he saw a boat and turned towards it to signal for help. When he turned back the navigator was gone.... On 6th August 1941 he married Joan Radley of Morton near Gainsborough at her local church. The day before this he had been on a mission over Essen and 24 hours later he was recalled to duty. His young bride never saw him again. Just after midnight on the morning of 8th August 1941 he and his crew flew in Hampden AE303, with 4 other bombers from the Squadron, in an attack on the Krupps factory at Essen, Germany. They linked up with planes from other airfields and headed East. The Operation Records book states 'Missing from ops - no news after leaving base.' They had been attacked by night fighters operating from the German Frisian islands. It was four months before the Air Ministry confirmed that the enemy had recovered his body from the North Sea and buried him at TERSCHELLING (WEST-TERSCHELLING) GENERAL CEMETERY, Friesland, Netherlands. Grave 33. The burial was witnessed by Second Officer Sundermeyer of the Dutch Navy and his fiance while walking in the sand dunes. They got in touch with Ronald's family and the Sundermeyers continue to visit the grave which is looked after by the teacher and school children of the island. The bodies of the his fellow airmen were never found. Pilot Officer Benjamin Bernard Hunter Rodwell, Sergeant Gerald Percy Imison and Flight Sergeant Maurice Charles Harvey are commemorated on the RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey. Ronald is remembered on the gravestone of his parents in Scotter Cemetery.

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright © Ann Moss (daughter of his sister Marion) 2007

BIRKETT

Albert

Marine RME/10039. HMS Highflyer, Royal Marine Engineers. Died 22nd January 1944, aged 29 years. He was the son of Frank and Theresa Birkett of Sands Lane, Scotter and was known as Billy. He had a brother, Fred and two sisters, Kath and Jessie. HMS Highflyer was the name for the various wireless stations in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Buried COLOMBO (LIVERAMENTU) CEMETERY, Colombo, Sri Lanka. Plot I. Row M. Grave 2.

CLINKARD

Derek Charles Gray

Flying Officer (Pilot) 39855, 61 Squadron, RAF. Killed in action 8th March 1940, aged 24 years. He was the son of Cecil Henry and Margaret Tessier of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand where he attended Wellington High School. After finishing his education he worked in the engine room aboard ship to get his passage to England. He later joined the Royal Air Force on a short service commission. He was based at R.A.F. Hemswell and married Zillah Marris whose family ran the butchers shop on Messingham Road. They rented a bungalow at the very north of the village on Gainsborough Road. He was promoted from Pilot Officer to Flying Officer on 10th January 1940. At 20:18 on 7th March 1940 his Hampden bomber, number L4111, went on an 'offensive patrol' to attack the Luftwaffe base at Sylt, one of the German Frisian Islands. The plane suffered severe damage during the raid and the crew struggled to bring it home. They managed to get as far as R.A.F. Digby, near Lincoln. The usual method of landing is to perform a left hand turn but, due to difficult conditions, they had to attempt a right hand turn and crashed in the darkness at 5:30am. They were the first aircrew of 61 Sqadron to be lost in the war and his comrades were Sergeant Charles Carlile Hobbs, Sergeant Ronald Philips Gibson (aged 19) and Leading Aircraftman Winston Kitchener Wood (aged 20).

The medals he received for active service were:-

1939-1945 Star
Aircrew Europe Star
War Medal 1939-1945
New Zealand War Medal

Buried SCOTTER CEMETERY, Lincolnshire. After the war his mother visited his resting place.

EDGAR

[John] Dennis

Serjeant 4804077, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Died 17th May 1944, aged 25. He was the second of four children of John Wesley and Ada Olive Edgar of High Street, Scotter. He was a bright child and passed his scholarship at the village school to go on to Gainsborough Grammar School. Upon leaving he trained as a draughtsman and was employed in that town in the engineering works of Rose Brothers Ltd. After enlisting into the Army he was later released by them to go back to his employer for war work. The company was making many items for the Royal Air Force. He met an married Elsie, a Scunthorpe girl, who was also in the Army. They had two girls, Janet and Denise but sadly he died before his youngest daughter was born. He is buried in SCOTTER CEMETERY, Lincolnshire and is remembered on the Brookwood Memorial at Woking, Surrey. Years later Elsie emigrated to New Zealand with Denise. In 2005 her ashes were brought back to Scotter to be interred with her husband. The word 'reunited' is on their burial stone.

KING

Harold

Guardsman 2655491, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards. Killed in action 1st June 1940, aged 26. Harold was born on 19th June 1913 the son of Harry and Sarah Antcliff. His early childhood was spent in Doncaster but after the death of his mother in 1922 he came to Scotter to live with his Uncle Walter and Aunt Demaris. He grew to be around 6' 6'' tall and enjoyed being called Tarzan by his friends. His height allowed him to join the Coldstream Guards in the 1930s and after serving his time he left and came back to our village. Following the German invasion of Poland in 1939 Harold was immediately conscripted as he was on the Reserve List. In the old bottom room of the White Swan there was a large mirror. He stood by it and said 'Take a good look at that man because you'll never see him again. I'm going to France tomorrow and I'm never coming back..' The British Expeditionary Force was sent to the Franco-Belgian border with his Battalion part of the 7th Guards' Brigade in II Corps. They landed at Cherbourg on 30th September and spent one of the coldest winters on record preparing trenches, pillboxes and wire emplacements. On the 10th May 1940, the 1st Battalion moved forward into Belgium to check the German invasion of the Low Countries. They held positions on the River Dyle and the Herent canal, north of Louvain. When the Germans attacked on the night of 14th May the Coldstreams had to make a series of fighting withdrawals. The outlying Belgian defences were falling rapidly to German airborne and armoured forces and the line of the River Dyle was coming under rapidly increasing pressure. A procession of Belgian cavalry, artillery and civilians had been streaming back through the Battalion's position for two days, attracting heavy enemy bombing of the village and approach roads. At 6pm motorised troops came into view and German artillery opened up on the Coldstreams' positions. The Belgian units now received orders to withdraw and this thinned the Coldstreams' outposts and made their position even more difficult to hold. Later that evening, in view of the strength of the enemy offensive, orders were received that the outposts were to be withdrawn. It was with considerable difficulty that the forward troops were removed from close contact with the enemy forces and the Battalion retired some two days later. On the 30th May the Germans succeeded in pushing back the 4th Royal Berkshires. The 1st Coldstream Guards counter attacked, maintaining their drive into the hours of darkness and holding the line. The fighting was heavy between the British and Germans with rifle fire across the two sides of the Furnes Canal lasting between six and seven hours. They fought with great professionalism and tenacity. Their General was confident that his men could hold out for as long as it took to evacuate the BEF. Harold and his comrades were told to fight to the death and that if they retreated past a certain point they would be shot. Finally they were ordered to retire and the survivors reached the beaches at La Panne, east of Dunkirk on 1st June. He was one of nearly 200 casualties in his battalion with the surviving men embarking for England on the evening of 2nd June. He is interred in DUNKIRK TOWN CEMETERY, Nord, France, where his memorial stone says 'buried near this spot'. Special Memorial Plot 2 Row 14 Grave 1. His cousin Roland is also on our War Memorial.

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright © Tony King 2007

LEEKE

Ronald William

Leading Seaman P/JX1543364. HM Submarine Urge. Royal Navy. Lost at sea 6th May 1942 aged 20. He was the son of Thomas William and Ada Dorothy Leeke of Scotter and had one brother. The Urge was 540 tonne class U submarine built by Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness and launched on 12th December 1940. In charge was Lieutenant Commander E.P. Tomkinson, R.N., DSO and Bar. In her short life she sank the Italian tanker Franco Martelli in the Bay of Biscay and damaged the Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto. Just a month before her demise, she torpedoed and sank the Italian light cruiser Giovanni delle Bande Nere off Stromboli, Italy. The crew made supply drops to Malta including medical stores, kerosene, mail bags, armour piercing shells and petrol. The decision was made to withdraw the 10th Submarine flotilla from the island. She left on 27th April 1942 but failed to arrive at Alexandria and was reported overdue on 6th May. Most likely the submarine was lost to Italian mines off Malta. There is also a possibility that she was sunk on 29th April off Libya by Italian aircraft or destroyed by the Italian torpedo boat Pegaso in the eastern Mediterranean. 35 men died. Commemorated PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Panel 66, Col 2.

SNELL

Albert

Possibly L/Corporal 4800317 Albert Snell. Lincolnshire Regiment. Died 16th January 1944. Buried BERLIN 1939 - 1945 WAR CEMETERY, 11.H.9.

Note: His identity has not been proven but there are clues to who he was.

Albert Snell, the son of William and Emma, was born in Scotter. On 24th September 1899 he was baptised at St. Peter's Church and by the time of the 1901 Census the family had moved to Laughton, back to his fathers home village. An Albert Snell died aged 11 and is buried in plot 139 at the Laughton graveyard.

WILKINSON

Charles Roy

Stoker 2nd Class C/SKX1525. HMS Vimiera, Royal Navy. Lost at sea 9th January 1942 aged 19. He was born on 12th November 1922, one of the 13 children of William and Annie Wilkinson who lived at 14 The Green, Scotter. He was baptised at St. Peter's Church on 15th January 1924 and attended the local school and Wesleyn Chapel. Billy became a lorry drivers mate and seems to have been a likeable young man who was quite popular with the ladies. At the outbreak of the Second World War he had a reserved occupation but chose to serve his King and Country and joined the Navy. HMS Vimiera was a fast escort destroyer built by Swan Hunter and launched in June 1917. She took part in several actions in the Great War with the 2nd Light Cruiser Section. During peace time she was mostly laid up at Rosyth and when the Second World War began she was updergoing a refit which was completed in January 1940. She began duty escorting convoys along the East coast. By May 1940 the 'blitzkrieg' had swept the British armies back to the channel ports. On 22nd May, in an effort to hold the port of Boulogne, 2 battalions of the Guards were sent, escorted by the Whitshed and the Vimiera. It soon became evident that the port was doomed and the next day she, and 4 other vessels, brought out 1000 men each under close range of enemy fire. The Vimeira returned back across the Channel and, in darkness, crept back into the harbour and laid alongside a jetty. Everything was silent and after a time a mob of civilian refugees and French and Belgian troops appeared and rushed on board. A messenger was sent to collect the thousand Guards still around the town and by 2:45am some 1500 people were packed on board. The ship left the jetty leaving 300 Welsh Guardsmen to wait for another ship, which sadly never came. Under heavy shellfire she returned to Dover. The Vimiera was ordered back and with the HMS Wessex, another destroyer, was shelling a German armoured column proceeding along a seaside road near Calais. They were joined by the Polish destroyer Burza. In the late afternoon, as they fired at tanks, 27 enemy planes appeared above them . The first round of bombs hit the Wessex, which soon sank. The Vimeira was badly damaged and had to stay behind a smoke screen unable to take further part in the fighting. The air attack concentrated on the Burza and after the planes had dropped all their bombs the Vimiera managed to limp back to Sheerness. After repairs were made she returned to her mundane duties of convoy escort up and down the East coast from the Humber to the Thames. On 9th January 1942 the Vimiera was escorting a southbound convoy when she struck a mine and sank in the Thames Estuary, off the Nore light, 3 miles from the Isle of Sheppey. The ship disintegrated forward of the aft funnel and 92 members of the crew perished. The wreck is an official War Grave. Commemorated CHATHAM NAVAL MEMORIAL, Kent. Panel 63, Column 1.

Photograph Courtesy & Copyright © Mrs Belle Thompson (sister) 2007

Last updated 16 June, 2007

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